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Jessica Bryce

Orlando Weekly



Recent Stories from Jessica Bryce

Image: Medical Staff, CDC.gov

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: President Trump announced major insurers Humana and Cigna will waive copays during the coronavirus pandemic



Doctor visits without health insurance are expensive. Doctor visits with health insurance are pretty expensive too, especially if you fear you may have COVID-19. The story of a Miami man’s flu test went, sorry to say it, viral in February. After a work trip to China and feeling ill, he went to a doctor “in an abundance of caution” and left with a bill for more than $3,200 (and a diagnosis of simple flu). On Tuesday, President Trump announced major insurers Humana and Cigna will waive copays during the coronavirus pandemic. Many wonder why it took COVID-19 for health insurance companies to promote medical visits by removing copays. Well, it could have to do with insurance companies being profit-driven enterprises …


Image: SCREENSHOT VIA OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR/YOUTUBE, Orlandoweekly.com

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Gov. DeSantis resists a State wide shelter in place order while local officials issue their own



With at least 50 known cases of COVID-19 now in Orange County, county Mayor Jerry Demings announced a stay-at-home order lasting two weeks, beginning Thursday night at 11. Demings said he had a conversation with other Florida mayors as well as healthcare experts for input, and he believes this is the most effective way to deal with the coronavirus threat. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer noted that “every single mayor” in the county was in agreement with the decision, betraying a hint of frustration with Governor Ron DeSantis. DeSantis has been resisting growing calls for Florida to institute a similar lockdown statewide. State Senate Democrats flooded the governor’s office with letters on Tuesday, urging him to issue a shelter-in-place order. State …


Photo: Adobe Images, Orlandoweekly.com

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Shut Downs and Social Distancing puts severe strain on Orlando’s service based economy



In recent years, there’s been a move to present Orlando as more than just the theme parks. Travel articles in publications from Bon Appétit to the New York Times have extolled the virtues of “the other Orlando.” And the main driver of this praise has been our restaurant scene. Orlando’s diverse population brings together flavors from around the world, from Brazilian to Vietnamese to Ethiopian. From Restaurant Row to Milk District food trucks, downtown Winter Park to the melting pot of Mills 50, we serve cuisines of every type and price point. Right now, both Orlandos are suffering as the city shuts down in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus. With the theme parks closed through the end …


Image: Photo by ColtsMcGee Reddit, Orlandoweekly.com An animatronic operating at Disney World with its hand laying on the floor beside it.

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Disney World’s bad few weeks of ride breakdowns points to a bigger issue at the theme park



It’s been a rough few weeks in the Magic Kingdom. A Jungle Cruise Boat loaded with passengers sank. Two PeopleMovers smacked into each other. The super-popular Haunted Mansion was shut down on and off for five days. And guests on the Carousel of Progress were horrified when the animatronic host’s hand fell off mid-gesture. Anyone can have a bad day or two, but experiencing this many breakdowns in such a short period points to more than just bad luck. Disney’s legion of devoted fans are starting to wonder if this rash of ride failures is actually a systemic problem. It’s not easy for the parks to balance their desire to keep guests happy with the need to close rides periodically …


Image: Photo via Tavares Police Department/Facebook

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Tavares Police Department asked citizens to bring in their drugs for coronavirus testing



Last week the Tavares Police Department made a real commitment to their motto, “People Helping People.” On their Facebook page, they invited locals to bring in their drugs for coronavirus testing. “With the rising health concerns associated with the Corona virus we are offering free testing of your drugs,” the police department wrote on Facebook. “Being that a large amount of narcotics come from outside the US, we want you safe. Bring it by our station and we will test your batch within minutes!” In the comments, the Lake County law enforcement team also mentioned that they would be more than happy to send an officer to your home, if you felt uncomfortable going to the police station. The helpful …


Governor Ron DeSantis

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Gov. DeSantis asks court to keep preventing felons from voting



In January, this station featured readings of the U.S. Constitution and Amendments. I was thrilled to be asked to read Article 1 Section 8, meaning I got to say “piracy on the high seas.” But it’s the 14th Amendment that our state government needs a refresher on. Specifically, the line that says, “No State shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” That includes poor people, to our governor’s chagrin. The people of Florida passed Amendment 4 in 2018, restoring the vote to released felons. But the law was written in a way that disregarded the will of the people, only restoring the vote to those who can pay every cent of fines, …


Image: Paula White-Cain on Facebook, orlandoweekly.com

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Apopka Pastor and White House spiritual advisor Paula White-Cain asks congregation for first monthly paycheck



“I don’t want pie in the sky by and by. I want some ham where I am.” A line like that is entertaining if you’re watching The Righteous Gemstones on HBO, but when a real-life church leader asks you to fork over the cash till it hurts, you have to wonder. But that’s a line straight out of one of Paula White-Cain’s sermons. White is an Apopka pastor and an advisor to the White House. President Trump hired her in 2018, though she first worked with him in 2004 on his reality TV show, The Apprentice. Just this month, she touted her “prosperity gospel” to thousands of people at the King Jesus Supernatural Ministry School in Miami. She told them …