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Condominium Collapse; Vaccine Hesitancy; Cruises Set Sail; UFOs

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, center left, and Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez, center right, arrive for a news conference near the scene where a wing of a 12-story beachfront condo building collapsed, Thursday, June 24, 2021, in the Surfside area of Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Early Thursday morning, part of the 12-story Champlain Towers South in Surfside, near Miami Beach, collapsed.

As of Friday evening, four people are confirmed to have died in the collapse, 35 people have been rescued, and 159 are still unaccounted for as search and rescue efforts continue.

South Florida Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz joined us to talk about the tragedy and how the state has responded to it.

COVID Vaccine Hesitancy

According to the CDC, upwards of 9 million Floridians are now fully vaccinated, and 64 percent of adults in Florida have received at least one dose. That’s short of President Biden’s goal of having 70 percent of American adults with at least one dose by July Fourth.

A new survey shows that some Floridians may not get the vaccine due to fear of side effects, as well as some of the false claims surrounding it.

Dr. Robin Ersing, director and associate professor at the School of Public Affairs at the University of South Florida, who was involved with that study; and Dr. Cindy Prins, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Florida,  joined us to discuss the state of vaccinations in Florida.

Cruises Set Sail 

After a pandemic-induced hiatus, cruises are setting sail again. The Celebrity Edge cruise ship is taking off from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, June 26. Cruises – and tourism in general – are a vital part of Florida’s economy.

Tourism reporter Hannah Sampson of The Washington Post and tourism reporter Gabrielle Russon of the Orlando Sentinel joined us to discuss the return of tourism to Florida.

UFO report due

Some time before the end of this month, the U.S. government has promised to release a report on government UFO research. NASA isn’t directly involved with the anticipated Pentagon report, which was prompted in part by a 2004 video a Navy pilot took of a white blob flying near San Diego.

Space reporter Brendan Byrne of WMFE joined us to discuss the impending report and what it means for Florida’s space industry.

Mackenzie Guiry can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org

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