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Florida Governor Accused Of 'Playing Politics' With COVID-19 Vaccine – NPR

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to the media at a COVID-19 vaccination site near the Lakewood Ranch retirement community in Bradenton, Fla., on Wednesday.

Chris O’Meara/AP

Chris O’Meara/AP

In Florida, Democrats are criticizing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who they claim is allowing politics to play a role in COVID-19 vaccine distribution. DeSantis became testy when questioned by reporters at a vaccination event near Lakewood Ranch, an upscale retirement community on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

The vaccination event was the latest in a series of state-sponsored clinics at retirement communities. Under DeSantis’ “Seniors First” initiative, the COVID-19 vaccine is being made available to everyone age 65 and over in Florida — an estimated 4.5 million people.

According to the Bradenton Herald, DeSantis reached out to the developer of the Lakewood Ranch community, offering to use it as the site for a vaccination drive. Working with a county commissioner, the state reserved shots for residents of two ZIP codes in Manatee County that cover Lakewood Ranch and other well-to-do communities.

At a news conference, reporters peppered DeSantis with questions about the perception that he was favoring one community over another in a county where vaccinations have lagged behind the rest of the state. DeSantis responded by threatening to take the state’s vaccination distribution effort elsewhere. “If Manatee County doesn’t like us doing this,” DeSantis said, “then we are totally fine putting this in counties that want it. We’re totally happy to do that.”

DeSantis said the 3,000 shots being made available for residents of Lakewood Ranch and nearby communities were in addition to the county’s regular vaccine allotment. Commissioners in Manatee County expressed concern that the event favored wealthy neighborhoods over underserved communities.

Democrats immediately sent out news releases criticizing DeSantis for injecting politics into vaccine distribution. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who has suggested she may challenge DeSantis when he’s up for reelection next year, said, “There is no reason that Governor DeSantis should be rationing vaccines based on political influence. This is troubling and potentially illegal.” State Sen. Annette Taddeo said the governor owes residents of Manatee County an apology. She said, “Veiled threats should not and cannot be tolerated by any public official.” Manny Diaz, the new head of Florida’s Democratic Party, said DeSantis must stop “playing politics” with vaccine distribution. Diaz said, “Threatening retribution and less vaccine access for communities that criticize the vaccine rollout for its problems is shameful and inhumane.”

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Opinion | Peterborough letter: Women treated differently in local politics – ThePeterboroughExaminer.com

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Much has been written in the last few days and weeks about the tone of our local, provincial and federal politics in Peterborough and the surrounding Kawartha Area.

If you have missed it, recently Mayor Diane Therrien and MPP Dave Smith got into a war of words over housing. The mayor pointed out that Mr. Smith was missing from the housing conversation in Peterborough, which then spiralled into a war of words on twitter.

However, while Smith’s statements are misleading, and the mayor’s frustration with Smith’s response (seen in her response on twitter) obvious, I am instead writing to address a consistent issue related to the way we frame political discourse in this community.

Simply put — there is a double standard when it comes to tone policing in our local politics.

Smith has repeatedly targeted the mayor, MP Maryam Monsef, and even Dr. Rosana Salvaterra in local media and on Twitter. In relation to the recent incident, after the mayor made a legitimate criticism of Mr. Smith, many called her comments unacceptable, but viewed Smith’s response as a “defence.”

However, when the mayor or Monsef defend themselves publicly, or criticize colleagues on policy, they are called out in articles, letters to the editor and on social media.

Reading Facebook comments on any post that mentions politics shows a disgusting slew of ad hominem attacks directed at the mayor and the MP, filled with derogatory terms. When posts are made regarding Smith, these types of attacks are largely absent.

It is clear that sexism runs rampant in relation to political leadership in our community — and even the media is guilty of this same double-standard.

Should our discourse be less vitriolic and more related to policy across the board? Absolutely, 100 per cent. But when tempers flare, we must remember that it takes two to tango, and not tone-police in one direction.

We must be cognizant of how we treat women in power in our community, lest incredibly qualified leaders that happen to be women shy away from taking up the political gauntlet in the future.

Dane Bland, Community Advocate, Peterborough-Kawartha

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Opinion | Power, Politics and Sexual Misconduct – The New York Times

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Readers discuss their own experiences dealing with inappropriate behavior in the workplace and what the consequences should be for Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

To the Editor:

Re “As Scandals Sap His Political Strength, Cuomo Resists Calls to Resign” (news article, March 3):

Now 79 years old, I experienced my share of minor sexual harassment through the years. When I was young, I had to tolerate it or suffer significant consequences and more “teasing.” But now women do not have to tolerate crude jokes, butt pats, breast grabs, unwelcome kisses, sly sexual remarks. Only in the last few years have women’s complaints been taken seriously.

Women my age took a lot of crap. The sexual bullies won. Gentlemen: Women are now complaining and making it stick. The rules have changed. If your behavior was “playful,” realize it was probably no fun for the woman. It’s time to clean up your act. Now.

Mary Beal
Chicago

To the Editor:

I am certain many women, especially those involved with the #MeToo movement, will disagree with me, but since when did women become helpless victims? I worked for a number of elected officials, as well as other employers, when I was young.

On many occasions I experienced inappropriate gestures and comments that might in today’s world be considered inappropriate. I handled them. I would simply say “Please get your hand off me” or “I am sorry, but I find what you are saying offensive.” In all cases, the offender backed down.

If women want to be treated as equals we need to take some control over these situations, rather than just being passive. Speaking up will empower us. We should be teaching our daughters to speak up about these matters when they happen, rather than waiting and making public accusations.

Angela Reichek
Garden City, N.Y.

To the Editor:

Donald Trump has been accused of sexual misconduct — including assault and rape — by at least 25 women. Andrew Cuomo has been accused of an unwanted kiss and sexually harassing comments.

Granted, any type of harassment is intolerable. But are these accusations equivalent? Might there not be degrees of such misconduct? Should they be treated differently? Will Mr. Cuomo lose his job, while the former president bragged about predatory behavior with impunity?

Edward LaFreniere
Scottsdale, Ariz.

To the Editor:

I am a liberal Democrat and feminist. I have worked for a state legislature, for Congress, for many dozens of elected officials and candidates to elective office. I think the outpouring of condemnation against and demands for the resignation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo are ridiculous and scary.

His misguided flirtatious behavior warrants a sincere apology and promise to cease and desist; that’s all. No one is perfect. To demand that every utterance, every action of public figures, be perfect is absurd. Asking too personal questions is not equivalent to threatening a person’s livelihood. Placing a hand on a person’s back is not equivalent to groping someone’s private parts. Asking to plant a kiss is not equivalent to raping someone.

People, what’s called for here is a sense of perspective.

Carole Lieber Glickfeld
Seattle

To the Editor:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s disgusting behavior toward others is the result of his belief in the false privilege of rank held by so many politicians — that you are exempt from the rules of decent behavior and from punishment for your misbehavior. Thus, not only was it wrong for Mr. Cuomo to reportedly make the “strip poker” remark to another state employee, but wrong as well for him to believe that this did not warrant punishment.

His deeds are abuses of power and inappropriate conduct and are grounds for removal from office.

Stephen V. Gilmore
Charlotte, N.C.

To the Editor:

Re “Why Democrats Aren’t Asking Cuomo to Resign” (column, March 2):

Michelle Goldberg notes that “many Democrats are sick of holding themselves to a set of standards that Republicans feel no need to try to meet.” I completely understand this dynamic but greatly regret the result.

After all, morality that is contingent on your adversary’s expected behavior under similar circumstances is not morality at all. Rather, it is mere political gamesmanship. And that is a real shame.

Paul E. Greenberg
Brookline, Mass.

To the Editor:

I don’t want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign in the middle of a pandemic. Too many lives depend on his leadership. Yet I also want him to become aware of what he said and did to these women and understand why his behavior shouldn’t continue. How about he stays in office while working on his behavior?

Mr. Cuomo should hire the best sexual harassment prevention trainer and work with that person one-on-one or in a group setting. He should go through a journey of awareness publicly, but remain in office, leading in a crisis, to keep us from letting another talented leader fade into obscurity.

Carrie Wasser
Gardiner, N.Y.

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Jamie Nye: Athletes and politics do mix, and that's OK – CKOM News Talk Sports

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If Zlatan Ibrahimovic wants to collect his millions in soccer and keep quiet about political issues, he can go right ahead.

But then he should take his own advice and shut up and play.

Instead, the Swedish soccer star has taken it upon himself to criticize big-name athletes who are using their platforms to try and improve communities, lobby politicians and become leaders outside their realm of sport.

LeBron James is Ibrahimovic’s main target. Ibrahimovic believes athletes should be athletes and let the politicians be the politicians.

That’s all well and good but a caller to the Green Zone nailed it when he called the soccer player’s comments trash.

The caller simply stated that maybe more athletes would stick to athletics if the politicians were any good at being politicians.

I really couldn’t have said it any better than that.

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