For months, the Editorial Board has implored Gov. DeSantis to put a protective mask on the smiley face that he continues to flaunt as Florida’s coronavirus cases reach the stratosphere. He could mandate face masks. He could credibly threaten another lockdown. The number of cases is soaring, but no dice. He’s blamed Hispanic farmworkers. He’s blamed low-income residents. He owes both an apology, for they are the essential workers who let the rest of us stay home.
His dereliction has gotten national attention, as most things Florida do. The headlines tell the most infuriating of stories. So, maybe he’ll listen to them:
“Florida man leads his state to the morgue”
Chilling, yes, but we can’t say it’s off base. Not when cases of the coronavirus are surging among a younger and likely healthier demographic this time. After all, it’s already rampaged through nursing homes, aided and abetted by the state’s late-to-the-game response to protect elderly residents, content, instead, to conceal the facilities where COVID-19 was found.
“As COVID cases surged, Florida shut down its business complaint portal”
File WLRN.org’s disclosure under the DeSantis administration’s fervent belief that, No news is good news. As Jenny Staletovich writes: “Florida business regulators shut down a web portal launched to make it easier for the public to file complaints about businesses that violate COVID-19 guidelines last month, just as cases statewide started to surge.”
And, “A spokeswoman said the agency eliminated the portal because complaints had dwindled.
Turns out that was fake news. Staletovich reported that the department’s own records show the number of complaints doubled from April to May.
Of course, “no news” can make you sick. “No news” can kill you. But it’s all in keeping with the governor’s push to get back to normal as quickly as possible, despite medical experts’ warnings of the imperative for people to wear face masks if a second arrival of the coronavirus is going to be a gentle wave, and not a tsunami.
“Fired Florida data scientist launches a coronavirus dashboard of her own”
Consider this National Public Radio story “No news is good news No. 2.” Rebekah Jones, a Geographic Information Systems manager at Florida’s Department of Health, produced the COVID-19 Data and Surveillance “dashboard,” which provides researchers and the public a real-time look at the state’s coronavirus caseload.
But the numbers got too real, apparently. Jones said, her bosses told her, basically, to fudge the numbers. She went public with this contention and was fired, understandably so. But, as the Miami Herald reports, Jones has “designed her own competing dashboard, one that draws upon state data but offers an expanded menu of metrics, including hospital bed availability by facility, a key number, especially now as the number of confirmed cases soars. She says the state continues in its effort to twist the COVID-19 data for political reasons.” The state responds: Does not!
For some reason, we believe her.
And with Florida reporting a record-shattering 5,508 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, who can blame him? After all, Sanjay Gupta is a real doctor. Real doctors don’t put a smiley face on sickness and death.
Originally published by the Miami Herald. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.