It’s Friday, September 17th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - The federal government is set to slash Florida's allotment of monoclonal antibody treatments to fight COVID-19, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday.
Speaking at a news conference at Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, DeSantis said Florida is expected to see a "dramatic reduction" in the number of monoclonal antibodies from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that the state will have to make up for. HHS officials said they are changing the system for allocating monoclonal antibodies to maintain an equitable distribution of the treatments. DeSantis has heavily promoted the use of monoclonal antibodies in recent weeks as an effective early treatment for patients with COVID-19.
No. 2 - Florida's COVID-19 death toll officially surpassed 50,000 Thursday, according to figures released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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The state's virus-related death toll was 50,811, an increase of more than 2,000 in the past week. Florida's COVID-19 deaths have increased by more than 10,000 since late July, when the state began to feel the full impact of a coronavirus surge that lasted through much of August. Meanwhile, the state's COVID-19 hospitalizations continued on a downward trend, with 9,917 reported Thursday by the Florida Hospital Association. Daily hospitalizations had peaked at just under 17,000 in August but have been steadily declining. In the past week, hospitalizations have decreased by about 19%.
No. 3 - The last message a desperate mother received from her missing 22-year-old daughter was just four words, a family attorney says: "No service in Yosemite."
That message from Long Island native Gabby Petito's phone came on Aug. 30. And her mother, Nicole Schmidt, still doesn't even know for sure who texted it Her daughter, the exuberant young blond woman from Long Island's Blue Point, vanished during a cross-country road trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, at some point around the time the couple traveled through Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park as part of a months-long "van journey" adventure, Petito's family believes. Investigators in North Port, Florida, where Petito lived with Laundrie and his parents, say Laundrie is not cooperating with their probe into Petito's disappearance. A day ago, they labeled him a person of interest in the case.
No. 4 - In light of a TikTok trend that involves the theft and destruction of school property, Miami-Dade County Public Schools is reminding students that taking part in the social media craze will not be tolerated.
In the "devious licks" trend, students post videos showing items they've allegedly stolen from their schools. Videos have shown students stealing a variety of items, from wet floor signs to soap dispensers to security cameras. The video-sharing platform said Wednesday that it has banned content around the "devious licks" trend, saying that it violates its community guidelines, NBC News reported. Miami-Dade Schools is also urging parents to speak to their children about the importance of respecting school property and acting responsibly on social media.
No. 5 - It doesn’t matter how often she calls or when, Laurie Scop said she hadn’t been able to reach anyone at Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity — the agency that handles unemployment benefit claims — for months.
The Miami Beach resident said she lost her job in February 2021 and filed for unemployment benefits. She said her status on the CONNECT site shows up as "pending." Daniel Rowinsky, an attorney for Legal Services of Greater Miami, said he and others who work in similar positions have seen the issue worsen in recent weeks, as the calls for help to his office keep coming. Click here to see what happened when NBC 6 Responds called in a report from consumer investigator Alina Machado.
No. 6 - After canceling the event in 2020 and postponing for five months due to the pandemic this year, Miami Beach Pride is back.
A larger-than-life flower installation amplifying LGBTQ+ voices will be on displayed on Lincoln Road. Visitors will hear audio messages from LGBTQ+ storytellers that bring you all the Hulu shows you love. The main event Sunday along Ocean Drive from 5th to 15th Street will feature former professional football player and Voice contestant Esera Tuaolo as Advocate Marshal and a parade of 50+ floats and walking participants. There will be two main entertainment stages featuring Latrice Royal, DJ Tracy Young, Walk The Moon, among others. Finish off the night with fireworks. For more information on all the events, click on this link.