On this episode of the South Carolina Lede for July 25, 2020, we bring you an in-depth look at the politics surrounding the reopening of schools, including Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman's thoughts on how different in-person and online learning will look this fall. Plus, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) speaks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about the state of the federal coronavirus relief bill, State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell voices support for a statewide mask ordinance, and more.

Vice President Mike Pence in Columbia on July21, 2020.  Right of him are SC Gov. Henry McMaster, and US Secretary of Education Betsy DevVos
Gavin Jackson/SCETV

Like some other aspects of the ongoing pandemic, how public schools in South Carolina should open is now fully embroiled in politics.

Despite the continuing spread of the coronavirus, President Trump is urging the nation’s schools to open this fall, and to provide full-time face-to-face instruction. Last week GOP Gov. Henry McMaster, an ardent supporter of the President, adopted the same position, and called for the state schools to provide in-class instruction for five days each week if parents make that choice.

Auto Dealers Adjusting to COVID-19 World

Jul 24, 2020
South Carolina car dealers, like other businesses, have come up with innovative ways to continue sales in the wake of COVID-19.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

As an essential business, automobile service has continued to operate relatively normally even as other facets of the car business have been changed by the COVID-19 pandemic.    Like other businesses, auto dealers have made numerous adjustments to keep their employees and clients safe and retain the confidence of their customers.   Some of these adjustments were outlined by Sims Floyd, executive vice president of the South Carolina Automobile Dealers Association:

We’ve heard about the issues facing the meat packing industry during this pandemic.  But what about the multitude of other food processing and distribution facilities across the country and our state?

Mike Switzer interviews Brian King, president of A M King in Greenville, SC.

We interviewed our next guest back in March when the pandemic was just beginning it’s havoc creation across the country and our state and he reported that our state’s business community was committed to do what was necessary to halt the spread of Covid-19 and to help companies survive its wrath.  And now, in the face of record unemployment, they are helping to bring a workforce development and awareness program to our state’s school children.

Vice President Mike Pence participates in a media briefing at the USC Alumni Center on July 21, 2020.
Gavin Jackson/SCETV

On this episode of the South Carolina Lede for July 23, 2020, we take a look at Vice President Mike Pence's recent visit to the Palmetto State, find out the latest on the federal COVID-19 relief bill, speak with SC Ports Authority CEO Jim Newsome, and more.

Not long after the pandemic started forcing businesses to shut down, Congress came to the rescue with financial aid programs, including grants and low-interest loans.  To what degree have our state’s small companies been able to take advantage of this assistance?

Mike Switzer interviews Savannah Wilburn, a lender relations specialist & public information officer for the South Carolina District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration in Columbia, SC.

White House Briefings on the Battle Against COVID-19

Jul 21, 2020
Noah Fortson/NPR

President Trump will hold daily briefings  as coronavirus infections surge in hot spots around the U.S.  Briefings are scheduled for 5:00 p.m., but, start times may vary. Watch the live video here...

Dr. Satish Nadig
Bobbi Connor/MUSC

This week Bobbi Conner talks with Dr. Satish Nadig about pediatric and adult organ transplantation during the pandemic.   Dr. Nadig is an adult and pediatric multi-organ transplant surgeon and he is the PK Baliga MD Endowed Chair in solid organ transplantation at MUSC.

On this episode of the South Carolina Lede for July 21, 2020, we bring you COVID-19 warnings from medical professionals in the Upstate, recent comments from Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) on his police reform bill and the state of play on it in Congress, Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) remembrance of the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, and more.

Dr. James McElligott

This week Bobbi Conner talks with Dr. James McElligott about virtual appointments (or telehealth visits), which have become part of the new normal during the coronavirus pandemic.  Dr. McElligott is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medical Director of the Center for Telehealth at MUSC.

Prisma Health Infectious Disease physician Dr. Robin LaCroix gave updates this week on Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a condition associated with COVID-19. Two children in South Carolina have been diagnosed with the condition,
Prisma Health

On this episode of the South Carolina Lede for July 18, 2020, we bring you the latest on Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) attempts to reshore medical manufacturing jobs to the US, recent polling on how South Carolinians feel about masks and working from home, and updates on what parents can do about the COVID-linked MIS-C syndrome affecting children. 

Gov. Henry McMaster at his Statehouse announcement on Wednesday, July 25, 2020.  Joined by Sen. Gregg Hembree, R-Little River (center) and House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Hartsville (right)
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Education Superintendent Spearman, District Superintendents, and Democrats Criticize as Premature and Unsafe

While there appears to be overwhelming support to re-open South Carolina’s public schools this fall, the question of how to open them safely has become a contentious and highly political issue. Republican Gov. Henry McMaster this week said despite the growing pandemic in the state, schools must open, and that parents must be given the option of sending their children to school five days a week.

There is no doubt that the pandemic and resulting quarantines have caused some perhaps permanent shifts in consumer attitudes and behavior.  Which is why our next guest’s company has begun conducting studies to discover how consumers in our area (North and South Carolina) are making decisions about their health and safety, travel, personal finances, buying and shopping habits, and work situations.  What are they discovering?

Mike Switzer interviews Fenton Overdyke, director of research at Chernoff Newman in Columbia, SC.

Contact Tracing Finds People Possibly Exposed to Virus

Jul 17, 2020
Woman at computer
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

The coronavirus has generated a lot of phone calls.  Many are from friends and family checking on each other.  Many are to restaurants to place a take-out order.  And thousands in South Carolina are made by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).