Coronavirus coverage 2020

Going It Alone Isn't a Covid Strategy. Just Ask Florida

As we mark the fourth anniversary of the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s past time the federal government require uniform public health data and transparency standards at the state level — both to reestablish public trust and to avoid the dangerous spread of misinformation during the next deadly outbreak. One of the enduring lessons of the pandemic is that politics reigned over public health and no state better demonstrates that than Florida.

‘ ’22 is right around the corner.’ DeSantis’ optics were focus of Lakewood Ranch vaccine organizers

Organizers of the three-day vaccine distribution event last month in Lakewood Ranch in Manatee County were focused on more than shots, text messages between them and the governor’s office show. They were also keenly aware of the political optics of bringing Gov. Ron DeSantis into town to promote vaccines in their Republican-rich neighborhood. Rather than rely on a random selection of vaccine-eligible residents, the governor’s staff wanted them to create a list of who would get a vaccine.

Legislating in the time of COVID-19 means putting protections over public access

Located on the tallest hill in the highest part of the state, halfway between Pensacola and Jacksonville, Florida’s Capitol is hard to reach for most Floridians during the annual legislative session.But this year, as legislators opened their 60-day session Tuesday trying to navigate a global pandemic and stay healthy enough to avoid disrupting their activities, access to elected government is even more distant.

The Florida COVID-19 data said one thing while Gov. DeSantis sometimes said another

When Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that most of the state would reopen for business on May 4, he cited his administration’s “data-driven strategy” and success at achieving “critical benchmarks in flattening the curve” to contain COVID-19. But a review of the data the governor was using shows his public pronouncements were often in conflict with real-time facts. He either wasn’t aware the data showed that community spread, regional outbreaks and death tolls were worse than he was telling Floridians, or he selectively focused on outdated statistics to make his case.

Reluctantly, under pressure, Florida disclosed COVID-19 data. What the numbers tell us

As Florida’s government built a plan to contain the effects of a global pandemic, it elevated one tool above all others: data. But unlike the way the state has handled other infectious diseases, the COVID-19 records have been incomplete, changed without explanation, dropped from the Department of Health website without warning, or don’t match the public narrative advanced by the governor. The Miami Herald investigated.
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