Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida today emerged from his crypt/coffin/hole dug by Saruman to invite all professional sports teams to Florida. Certainly he’s got his timing down, as all of MLB, the NBA, and MLS are discussing either completely housing their entire leagues there to finish out seasons (NBA and MLS) or as a partial oasis for baseball teams in states
that haven’t lost their minds still under heavy lockdown orders.
Of course, the thing is, we don’t know that it’s safe for anything to take place in Florida (though that’s just about normal). DeSantis and his administration have taken to one of the more brazen information cover-up efforts in recent memory, to make the state appear safer. You can read about that here or here. Statistics from prisons and nursing homes were at first withheld, and now virus-related facts concerning the general public have been obscured as well. Even the state’s top medical examiner has called on DeSantis to release the data, calling the currently available information a “sham.”
As of Tuesday, cases in Florida had increased by 11 percent in the last week, despite DeSantis’ claims that the latest numbers proved his reopening of the state was safe. The government is also refusing to include in its tallies non-residents who have died of the virus in Florida. Which, given the amount of “snow birds” trekking down for the winter months and residing elsewhere, could be just about any number.
This is the spreadsheet that the Miami Herald was provided when requesting the data on cases and deaths in the state:
I don’t know about you, but large black spots always make me feel more secure about what I’m being told.
Secondly, or maybe 43rdly at this point, even MLS alone has said it would require around 2,000 tests per week — and probably more — to conduct its proposed plan for a summer tournament/continuation of their season. It’s hard to know how many tests Florida is completing, because 90 percent of them are handled by private labs, and, surprise: Florida is not releasing those figures either.
DeSantis has also admitted that the official count of tests conducted by the state includes people who have been tested multiple times. As those who have tested positive and then quarantined for two weeks would generally, though not always, get tested again to make sure they’re free of the virus. So that number could also be anything. So it’s unclear (and that’s being kind) if Florida could add a mere 8,000 tests per month to its load, a figure which would barely cover the most conservative estimates of MLS alone.
Throw in the NBA, and you’re into the tens of thousands of tests, per month, in a state that won’t tell you how many tests it’s actually done, or how many of those tests have been processed, or how many people have the virus, or how many it has killed. Sounds panic-room safe!