The South Florida Sun-Sentinel examined thousands of documents and interviewed dozens of people to verify what a lot of Florida residents already suspected: Their governor was lying to them about covid.
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration engaged in a pattern of spin and concealment that misled the public on the gravest health threat the state has ever faced, a South Florida Sun Sentinel investigation has found.
DeSantis, who owes his job to early support from President Donald Trump, imposed an approach in line with the views of the president and his powerful base of supporters. The administration suppressed unfavorable facts, dispensed dangerous misinformation, dismissed public health professionals, and promoted the views of scientific dissenters who supported the governor’s approach to the disease.
The DeSantis administration’s approach to managing COVID-19 information carries costs. It supports a climate in which people proudly disdain masks, engage in dangerous group activities that could spread the disease, and brush aside information that conflicts with their political views. With partygoers packing Florida bars and holiday travelers filling hotels and guest rooms, the state faces a few difficult months before the possible relief of vaccines.
These findings are based on interviews with more than 50 people, including scientists, doctors, political leaders, employees of the state health department, and other state officials, as well as more than 4,000 pages of documents.
For one thing, the DeSantis administration actually sought out experts who said what they wanted to hear and shut others out. See no evil, hear no evil as a public health philosophy -- just like his role model, Trump.