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‘It just fuels fear’: Florida Gov. DeSantis slammed for withholding info about coronavirus-infected nursing homes

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The almost 200,000 Floridians who live in nursing homes are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus outbreak, and so far, 33 have tested positive. According to the Tampa Bay Times, health officials and Governor Ron DeSantis aren’t saying much more, and that silence has relatives who aren’t allowed to go near their loved ones due to a ban on nursing home visitations incredibly frustrated.

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DeSantis still is not releasing location information about nursing homes that have been infected, and according to Brian Lee of Families for Better Care, the state is “playing Russian roulette” with the lives of its seniors.

“This is the worst public health crisis in at least this century,” Lee said. “I stress the word public, because we are all affected. And the public has the right to know if these facilities are spiraling out of control into an outbreak. By not being transparent, it just fuels fear.”

While there’s no evidence yet of a significant outbreak in Florida nursing homes, the unreliability of the data is creating confusion. “Neither DeSantis nor his health administrators have been willing to say whether large numbers of long-term care residents have been tested for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus,” the Times reports. So far, at least one resident in every one of the 15,000 nursing homes across the U.S. has tested positive for coronavirus.

DeSantis says his refusal to release more information is due to his desire to protect people’s confidentiality. While he appears to be invoking the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act which protects patient medical records and privacy, the First Amendment Foundation’s Pamela Marsh says that’s just an excuse to keep vital information secret.

“That information should be made available,” Marsh, the former United States attorney for Northern Florida, told the Herald. “It can’t be business as usual for the families of loved ones in care.”

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Read the full report over at the Tampa Bay Times.


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WATCH: Video shows pack of police forcibly remove man from a city bus — for not wearing a mask

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Shocking video from Philadelphia shows multiple police officers forcibly removing a man from a city bus -- reportedly for not wearing a mask.

"A video that went viral Friday shows what appeared to be four police officers, backed by about six more, forcibly pulling a man not wearing a face covering off of a SEPTA bus. After the uniformed and masked Philadelphia Police Department officers lift the adult man off the bus and engage in a brief confrontation, he walks away. No arrest. No ticket," WHYY-TV reports.

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REVEALED: White House pushed FEMA to give its biggest coronavirus contract to a company that never had to bid

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Last month, as a deadly new virus swept over the globe, one Canadian defense contractor predicted on an earnings call that it would lead to a big business opportunity in the U.S. Thanks to the White House, that bet paid off just a few weeks later in a $96 million no-bid deal.

In an unusual move, even in times of disaster, the White House stepped into the federal purchasing process, ordering the Federal Emergency Management Agency to award a contract to AirBoss of America. The Trump administration has rushed through hundreds of deals to address the pandemic without the usual oversight, more than $760 million reported as of this week, but the AirBoss transaction is the single largest no-bid purchase, a ProPublica analysis of federal purchasing data found.

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Trump mocked as a ‘gibbering lunatic’ for continuing to lie about how tariffs work at latest coronavirus briefing

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At Friday's coronavirus task force press briefing, President Donald Trump repeated, for the umpteenth time, his false claim that the government of China is paying the tariffs imposed on Chinese goods in the United States, as opposed to American businesses and consumers — something that he has repeatedly been corrected on. This time, he even went out of his way to note that people have debunked this claim, but saying that he still believes it anyway.

Commenters on social media exploded in frustration at the president's refusal to understand basic concepts of world trade.

Trump is repeating his false claim that China is paying most of the tariffs, specifically noting that people say it's not true and then rejecting this true point.

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