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Sun Sentinel Investigation: Gov. Ron DeSantis ‘Ordered Public Health Officials Not To Discuss The COVID-19 Virus With The Public’

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In the midst of this pandemic, a SunSentinel investigation found that Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration had been misleading the public about the crisis from the beginning.

A: So in the weeks leading up to the election, we essentially discovered that the DeSantis administration had ordered public health officials not to discuss the COVID-19 virus with the public. So no press releases about COVID-19 were coming out from the Florida Department of Health. And the Florida Department of Health’s messaging to the public shifted remarkably online. The term that we kept hearing again and again for this was “blue sky” messaging, in the lead up to the election.


Q: Tell us about blue sky messaging. What does that mean?


A: Well, it’s almost a directive to talk about anything other than the virus itself. “Go get your flu shot. Watch out, it’s radon season. Make sure that you get your yearly checkup, or that you’re, you know, doing all of the other health things that you should be doing.” But the Florida Department of Health, which is the main public health agency in the state, wasn’t talking about the pandemic, it wasn’t talking about COVID-19. It was talking about everything else.



Q: Did your investigation actually reveal misinformation that was put up by the governor’s office? Because it’s one thing to focus on the positive. It’s another thing to deliberately mislead people. Did you find that?


A: Yes, indeed, yeah. This is one of the more difficult things to talk about. So we found that the governor spokesperson on his personal Twitter account, at least 16 separate times, discussed mask wearing in a way that experts consider to be misinformative. In keeping with the DeSantis administration’s greater position on masks... the spokesperson would go ahead and say, Fred Piccolo, Jr., you know, there’s no need for a... mask mandate, they don’t work. That’s not factually accurate. They are shown to work. And in several instances, he actually compared COVID-19 to the flu, and said that the flu was equally deadly. That’s not accurate, either. And so this is a public official, and, you know, the governor’s number one spokesperson, and so we felt the need to fact check that misinformation coming out.


Here's the main article:



The DeSantis administration tried to control public information on the coronavirus pandemic by sidelining Florida health experts, spreading misinformation, withholding data, and casting doubt on the risks, a Sun Sentinel investigation has found.


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still see people complaining about the restrictions in California on the basis of "Florida's open and they're doing fine!" My ex was one of them before our breakup over the summer when we were fighting about how she was rushing to want to do things that really weren't safe and I'm sure she's still doing stupid shit and using it as a justification. So the negative effects of this bullshit are definitely not confined to just Florida. 

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