August 28, 2020
The history of open government in Florida is so long and strong that it is an outrage that our leaders continue to try to suppress information.
The administration of Gov. Ron DeSantis has been withholding important public health information regarding a historic pandemic.
One of the major lessons of the 1918 flu pandemic is that suppressing information to the public leads to more deaths.
Without a vaccine or effective treatment, Americans are little better off than our ancestors 100 years ago. We still don’t have enough quick results from tests, nor enough contact tracers to follow the spread of infection.
And Florida leaders have slashed funding for public health.
In many ways, we are helpless without good information. So suppressing information in a pandemic is a public health disaster and an insult in a state known for government in the sunshine.
Our major way to limit the spread of the coronavirus is to change our behavior: wear masks, be physically distanced and wash hands often.
As Emily Bloch of the Times-Union has reported, the Duval County school system was told not to report school-specific coronavirus data by public health officials without their permission.