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Andrew Gillum Speaks About Struggle with Addiction and Depression

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Andrew Gillum, the former Democratic candidate that ran to be the governor of Florida, spoke on  Monday for the first time about his struggles with addiction and depression.

What We Know:

  • Gillum posted on his Instagram a very candid description of what he endured and what he was feeling after he was found intoxicated in a Miami Beach hotel room with a man, Travis Dyson, suspected of overdosing on crystal meth. According to news reports, Dyson was a male escort that also worked as a gay porn actor.
  • In the Miami Dade Police Department’s (MPD) incident report, the police were called to the hotel room for a drug overdose. When MPD arrived, they found Gillum with two other men and Dyson being treated by paramedics. The police report and pictures of the scene show plastic baggies with a white substance and pills strewn all over the floor and room.

  • Following the March incident, Gillum withdrew from the public, and subsequently politics. He later announced he was entering rehab for alcoholism and going to therapy to deal with his depression.
  • Gillum’s Instagram post focused on his personal journey and growth since the highly publicized incident. Gillum expressed his remorse, described how he is now managing through his issues, and talked about growing up with an alcoholic father.

“I knew I had to do something about it and I had to do it now,” Gillum said. “I knew that if I had not dealt first with issues of addiction with the numbing from the alcohol, I could not start pulling back the layers and talk about what was truly happening underneath.”

  • Gillum said that he totally underestimated the impact that losing the race for governor of Florida had on his life. He admitted that he shut down and could not talk about losing the race because it made him feel like a failure, and he could not cope. Gillum said he was “suffering in silence.”
  • In the 11 minute video, Gillum tells his audience “to not be like him” and “to not suffer in silence.” “Find the help you need because no one has it all together. Everyone is struggling and trying to be at home with themselves,” Gillum said.
  • During the post, Gillum spoke about the pressure and impact of the pandemic, while also discussing George Floyd’s killing in Minnesota and the pressure he’s had to deal with as a Black Man in America.

Gillum had served as the mayor of Tallahassee before running for governor of Florida in 2018 against Ron DeSantis. He lost the gubernatorial race by half a percentage point.

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Jasmine Abreu is a writer from Miami. She has a Broadcast Media and Film Degrees from Florida International University. When she's not writing, she's trying to become the next Bobby Fischer.

Headlines

Senate Prepares to Move Forward with Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

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On Monday, the Senate pushed to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill just hours after its legislative language was completed and unveiled. Senators who created the proposal expect it to clear the upper chamber in the following days.

What We Know:

  • Senate negotiators completed the 2,702-page bill on Sunday night. The bill, known as H.R. 3684, aims to provide $550 billion to fund the nation’s roads, bridges, railways, and public transit systems.
  • Since then, the Senate began taking up two amendments to the proposal. In addition, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer previewed three bipartisan amendments for consideration. Currently, it is uncertain how many amendments the Senate will consider. However, Schumer wants to vote on amendments quickly; he also noted that the first three “constitute only the first tranche of potential amendments.”
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell commented that H.R. 3684’s text lays out “a good and important jumping point for what needs to be a robust and bipartisan process” on the Senate floor. McConnell added that an “artificial timetable” must not affect the Senate’s “full consideration” of the bill.
  • On July 28, the bipartisan group of Senators and the White House reached an agreement on H.R. 3684’s details. Officials also voted 66-28 on the deal, which opened the package to potential changes during the amendment process. After this, Senators worked throughout the weekend to hammer out the legislative language.
  • If the Senate passes H.R. 3684, it will be a significant victory for President Joe Biden. A key proposal in his economic agenda, Biden boasted on the impact H.R. 3684 will hold on the nation. On Sunday, he tweeted that the deal is the most important investment in America’s public transit history. He additionally stated the bill will impact the U.S. just as much as the invention of the Amtrak 50 years ago.

If Congress approves H.R. 3684, it will ensure that Democrats may begin work on a $3.5 trillion proposal that focuses on Biden’s plans for childcare, healthcare, education, the environment, and possibly immigration. Doing so will ensure another success on Pres. Biden’s behalf.

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Coronavirus

Florida Breaks Record for COVID-19 Hospitalizations

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Florida recently saw 10,207 hospitalizations caused by coronavirus cases, the highest number since July 23, 2020.

What We Know:

  • On July 23, 2020, Florida reached a high of 10,170 hospitalizations, just six months before the COVID-19 vaccine became available. The new record makes Florida the leader in per capita hospitalizations for the virus.
  • Most of the new cases come from the highly contagious Delta variant. On average, Florida sees 1,525 adult and 35 children hospitalizations daily. In addition, Saturday revealed a peak in positive numbers, as the stated reported  21,683 occurrences of COVID-19. The day prior, the Sunshine State saw 17,093 cases.
  • Many hospital employees believed the excess hospitalizations would end soon because of an increase in vaccinations. However, the Delta variant changed all this. The Associated Press wrote that several hospitals, including the Mayo Clinic Florida and the UF Health North emergency room, needed to operate overcapacity and put beds in hallways to treat patients; the Mayo Clinic will continue to do so until the current surge ends. In Tampa, some local ambulances already needed to divert ambulances to other locations because of capacity concerns.
  • The higher numbers also are a direct result of a loosening of restrictions and a governor’s stubbornness. Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis actively declares he will not enact any more mask mandates and vaccine requirements. Along with the state Legislature, this makes it difficult for local officials to impose restrictions that will ease the positive numbers.
  • Medical officials scorned DeSantis for his adamance on the issue. Dr. Bernard Ashby, a Miami-based vascular cardiologist and Florida State Lead for the Committee to Protect Health Care, commented that the state would not be in its position now if DeSantis focused more on lowering cases than proving Dr. Anthony Fauci wrong. Gainesville infectious disease expert Dr. Frederick Southwick agreed with Ashby’s statement, saying that DeSantis needed to stop acting like “Florida won the pandemic.”

DeSantis recently announced that Florida would resist any federal authorities’ campaigns to enforce mask mandates inside schools despite the criticism.

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Headlines

NY Attorney General: Gov. Cuomo harassed women, tried to retaliate against accuser

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NEW YORK — Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday announced the findings of her inquiry into accusations against Andrew Cuomo, concluding that the governor sexually harassed multiple women. James said victims included current and former employees, and that Cuomo tried to retaliate against at least one woman who came forward. Over 179 people were interviewed.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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