The governor's office responds to claims made by a Florida congresswoman regarding changes to the reporting of COVID information.
Democrat Lois Frankel said Thursday that not only are the updates now weekly, instead of daily, but hospitals no longer need to report admissions and deaths.
"This is a way of this governor hiding what's going on with morbidity and deaths with severe cases."
A spokeswoman for Governor DeSantis says Frankel "should refrain from spreading unfounded conspiracy theories" and called it "ridiculous" to suggest that the state of Florida is "hiding" COVID-related data.
She calls Florida "one of the most transparent states" throughout the pandemic.
The Florida Department of Health says it will continue to adapt and respond to COVID-19 to protect public health statewide.
An FDOH spokesperson also points out that Florida’s case positivity has been below 5 percent for more than three weeks and cases in seniors ages 65 and older are the lowest since early in the pandemic.
Rep. Frankel's comments came as she was holding a virtual roundtable with Palm Beach County and city leaders regarding American Rescue Plan funding.
Statement from Christina Pushaw from Gov. DeSantis' Office:
Rep. Frankel should refrain from spreading unfounded conspiracy theories. It’s frankly ridiculous to suggest that the state of Florida is “hiding” COVID-related data. Florida has been one of the most transparent states in terms of data reporting throughout the pandemic, and the COVID data reported by state agencies has stood up to intense media scrutiny as well as a comprehensive PHAB investigation, which found that DOH has done a “really excellent job” with COVID data collection and analysis. [https://www.flgov.com/2021/05/25/public-health-accreditation-board-florida-department-of-health-doing-a-really-excellent-job-with-covid-19-data-collection-analysis/].
Statement from Florida Dept. of Health Communications Director Weesam Khoury:
As previously stated in last week’s Joint Information Center press release, Florida is transitioning into the next phase of the COVID-19 response. As vaccinations increase and new case positivity rate decreases, the Florida Department of Health has moved to a weekly reporting schedule for key COVID-19 data that can be found here.
More than 10.3 million Floridians have been vaccinated – accounting for more than half of Florida’s eligible population. Eighty-five percent of Florida’s seniors are vaccinated.
Florida’s case positivity has been below 5% for more than three weeks. Cases in seniors ages 65 and older are the lowest since early in the pandemic.
Infections and disease control is a core function of the Florida Department of Health. The department will continue to adapt and respond to COVID-19 to protect public health statewide.
Nearly 90% of the population is eligible for the vaccine, and widely available statewide. For information on where to get a vaccine, visit our website.
The Florida Department of Health thanks all of Florida’s public health professionals, health care workers, and first responders who have responded to COVID-19 over the past year and a half.