Rick Scott Wants More Transparency from White House, Feds on Coronavirus-Related Deaths

On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., spoke to President Donald Trump about coronavirus and called for more transparency “regarding travel by individuals testing positive for coronavirus.”

Scott thanked Trump “for stopping travel from communist China, making sure Americans who want to be tested for coronavirus are able to, and for making sure insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid waive all co-payments for coronavirus tests” and he weighed in after their conversation.

“The health and safety of American families is my focus, and I was glad the president agreed that solving the coronavirus should be our first priority and will be the best stimulus for the American economy,” Scott said on Tuesday. “I expressed my concern over the lack of information available to the public, especially regarding the virus-related deaths in Florida. I am concerned the public doesn’t know all details of the victims’ travel, including which airports they were in or what flights they were on. I have repeatedly asked for this information from the FAA, DHS, CDC and County Health Departments. I urged the president to make this information available for all of the virus-related deaths in the U.S.

“Additionally, I urged the president to provide the public with information about what worked and what hasn’t worked in Italy and South Korea’s response to the virus so we can utilize the best practices here,” Scott added before noting that coronavirus can greatly damage Florida’s economy.

“All across the world, Florida is known as a top tourist destination and this virus is affecting our tourism industry. There are countless jobs – especially hourly and tip workers – that depend on people coming to visit our beautiful state. I suggested to the President that while we will need to look at economic actions in response to this crisis, we first have to deal with this virus. Until we fully respond to this virus, we cannot address the many residual impacts it is having on our nation. As I saw dealing with hurricanes, terrorist attacks and the Zika outbreak, a public health crisis is not a partisan debate. Americans expect all of us to come together to find solutions to protect each and every family in our country,” Scott said.

Tuesday marks something of a shift from Scott who had been referring to “Chinese coronavirus” in recent days. Several Republicans, including U.S. Sec. of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have drawn criticism for using similar terms.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

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