Coronavirus Update: $252 million from FEMA, $25 million for local small businesses

Today is Thursday, June 4, and the Miami Herald has reported an increase of 1,341 new COVID-19 cases in Florida on Wednesday. That is the largest spike in reported cases in a single day since April 17.

The World Health Organization (WHO) will continue a study into the drug hydroxychloroquine to test its efficacy in treating COVID-19, Reuters reported on Wednesday. WHO had stopped the study over concern that it was increasing death rates and irregular heartbeats. Soumya Swaminathan, WHO’s chief scientist, believes patients need definitive answers about whether the drug could work.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Wednesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is granting $252 million to the state of Florida through its Public Assistance Grant Program as reimbursement for COVID-19 expenses. The total amount approved was $335,869,104 and the federal share was $251,901,828- 75 percent of the total sum.


According to a statement released on Tuesday by Miami-Dade County, commissioners approved $25 million for RISE, a fund that stands for “Re-investing In our Small Business Economy” and draws on funds given to local governments through the federal CARES act. The loans will come from community development financial institutions (CDFIs), which specialize in “assisting small, women-owned and minority-owned businesses”. The resolution is available here.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Estaban Bovo’s resolution imploring Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and the Office of Insurance Regulation to halt salary increases for executives and employees of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation was approved on Tuesday. Commissioner Bovo said he believes it would be inappropriate for a government entity to “fulfill themselves” in midst of historic unemployment.

On the South Florida Media Network: Angela Rivas writes about the worries that daycare teachers are experiencing during the pandemic.

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Beatriz is a broadcast media major at Florida International University and is the managing editor for South Florida Media Network. She aspires to become a documentarian.

Victor Jorges is a broadcast journalist specialized in covering stories about culture, arts and human interaction. His work includes documentaries, feature packages and written profiles. He currently works at CNN en Español as an associate producer. He hopes to cover Miami's Hispanic American culture for a local network upon graduation. Jorges was born in Caracas, Venezuela and moved to Miami in 2007.