Stephen King posted a tweet in which he claimed that 1,200 deaths from the virus had been recorded in a single day in the state. However, King’s claim is false.
“1200 dead of COVID yesterday in Florida. Not the total for a week or a month, but ONE SINGLE DAY” he wrote on Twitter.
The writer was referring to the figure given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on COVID-19 cases in Florida. However, the CDC data is weekly and, in fact, may include deaths that occurred weeks earlier.
The reality is that the average number of deaths from the disease in the state stood at 1,200 in a week, not in a single day. That equates to an average of 245 deaths per day in August and not 1,200 as King claimed.
Twitter did not flag King’s tweet
Despite the disinformation pushed by King, Twitter has taken no action to prevent further dissemination of that claim. This, despite the fact that the platform has censored several conservatives for posting news that the company deems “false.”
According to Twitter’s rules, manipulating information is prohibited. But, in addition, the company designed rules to avoid disinformation on COVID-19, which is also not being applied in the case of the famous writer.
“You may not use Twitter services to share false or misleading information about COVID-19,” Twitter’s community policies state.
How has Florida handled the pandemic?
Governor Ron DeSantis differed from his counterparts in other states, such as Andrew Cuomo of New York, by not implementing Draconian quarantines. For example, while Cuomo ordered nursing homes to receive coronavirus-positive seniors, DeSantis halted outside visits to nursing homes and beefed up his stockpile of personal protective equipment.
Likewise, a Wall Street Journal article details chronologically how DeSantis progressively opened up the state’s economy despite criticism and political pressure. The article highlights how the Florida governor managed to make his state one of the least affected by the pandemic.
In fact, the differences remained even in the vaccination strategy. While the governor of New York warned that he would fine hospitals that do not distribute the vaccine properly, his counterpart in Florida argued that the government cannot tell health centers how to work because “it would be a disaster”.
The Florida governor’s plan was based on stimulating “a healthy competition” between hospitals: whoever vaccinates more and is better organized received more doses, in DeSantis’ words.
De Desantis’ latest victory came this Friday, when the Court of Appeals ruled in the Republican’s favor on a ban on mandatory masks in schools.
“A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeals reinstated the stay of Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper’s ruling, clearing the way for the state to try to stymie school districts from requiring students to wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.” reads a SunSentinel report, explaining that the court’s ruling in favor of DeSantis “was a setback for a group of parents who filed the lawsuit and argued that children would be harmed by the governor’s Executive Order.”