St Johns County residents have the right to know what the state knows about coronavirus

Florida health officials say state law prevents them from telling the public about suspected cases of coronavirus, yet the state regularly revealed that information during the Zika crisis three years ago.

In an interview published in the SunSentinel, Daniel Dawes, a lawyer and professor of complex health systems at Nova Southeastern University, said he thinks Florida owes it to its citizens to be open with information so they can protect themselves.

“As a citizen, I want to know if there are pending cases out there.  If there are more pending cases in one part of the state than the other, I want to know that,” Dawes told SunSentinel.  “If a test doesn’t lead to positive, I want to know that, too.”

The Florida First Amendment Foundation, who has Historic City News’ support, is asking what that tells you about the state’s obligation to disclose and the citizen’s right to obtain access to public information?  In a medical emergency, these records could certainly make the difference between life and death.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, who was Florida’s governor at the time, said Florida should be as transparent now with coronavirus as it was with Zika. Scott is urging the same transparency for federal officials.

Stop withholding public information from the public. Otherwise, how will anyone in local, state or federal government be held accountable for their actions?