The deaths of residents of Lee and Santa Rosa counties due to the coronavirus last Friday were the first two outside of the state of Washington at the time. U.S. Senator Rick Scott has fired off at letter to federal and state officials and the health administrators of the two Florida counties demanding more transparency. Note: He also calls the virus the “Chinese coronavirus.” *
“The lack of publicly released information surrounding these cases is alarming and unfair to millions of families across the nation who are worried about their well-being,” wrote the Republican lawmaker from Marco Island. “Now more than ever, we must be transparent and provide as much information as possible to Americans, so they can keep themselves or their families safe.”
Scott asked that information about the inbound and outbound flights of the affected individuals in Lee and Santa Rosa counties be released. He also requested any records concerning medical screening at U.S. or international airports, underlying health conditions, when CDC was notified of the deaths, and the current process for hospitals to notify county health departments of presumptive cases.
More Requests for Transparency
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan is calling on the Florida Department of Health to do a better job communicating important information about the coronavirus outbreak to the public. Read more.
Inweekly has made the same request of Escambia County Administrator Janice Gilley.
* Xenophobic Tags
Scott calling the virus the “Chinese coronavirus” has been seen as racist and xenophobic. The World Health Organization named the disease COVID-19 to deter people from associating the virus with a location or group of people and avoid stigmatization.
The Washington Post reports that the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Robert Redfield, agreed that it was “absolutely wrong” for President Trump to label the 2019 novel coronavirus as the “China Virus”–another variation of Scott’s tag. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called it the “Wuhan virus.” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has said “Chinese coronavirus”—-Does anyone detect a GOP pattern?
“It’s absolutely wrong and inappropriate to call this the Chinese coronavirus, I assume you would agree with that?” Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL) reportedly asked Redfield.
The Post reported: “Redfield said ‘yes,’ noting the virus is also widespread in South Korea, Iran and Italy.”