Coronavirus headlines – 18 February, 2020
When the first reports came out about the 1918 “Spanish” flu they said more or less what was being said in the media in 2020.
hotel near Heathrow has been closed to the public and designated as a
coronavirus quarantine centre as health officials prepare for more
cases in the UK.
Holiday Inn Heathrow Ariel hotel closed on Saturday with staff told
it would not reopen for bookings until next month at the earliest.
told The Independent the hotel has been block booked as a potential
quarantine zone for international visitors to the UK who develop
coronavirus or for Britons evacuated to the UK from overseas.
booked at the three-star hotel, which is operated under franchise
from the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), have been transferred
to sister hotels.
hotel’s general manager, who did not give his name, confirmed the
hotel had been closed but he emphasised there had not been any cases
of coronavirus at the hotel.
Coronavirus outbreak in China . . . . which is actually a Military
Bio-Weapon that escaped China’s Level Four Bio-Safety Lab in Wuhan .
. . is still spreading out of control and causing people to drop dead
in their tracks on the streets!
video below, taken by a scooter driver, shows more than TWELVE DEAD
BODIES, laying covered on the sidewalks, in the short three block
video lasting only 30 seconds.
Department of Health cites patient confidentiality law as reason not
to inform public
going on with the coronavirus in Florida?
you can’t find out. It’s a secret.
doesn’t sound like it should be a secret, but according to the
Florida Department of Health, it has to be a secret.
are bound by a specific statute and can’t release the information,”
explained Alberto Moscoso, the communications director for the
Florida Department of Health.
state gave regular public updates on Zika, a mosquito-borne virus
that infected more than 100 Floridians three years ago.
was no problem with public updates then. But we know precious little
about the coronavirus in Florida.
Ron DeSantis casually dribbled out a little information two weeks ago
during a press event at Omni Middle School in Boca Raton, where he
was touting an expansion of speech and debate programs in schools.
to this date that has been tested has come back negative,” he said.
don’t know anything about these everybodies or where they lived. Or
about the somebody who got tested last week at Memorial Regional
Hospital in Hollywood, according to the Sun-Sentinel, but not
confirmed by the state.
the secrecy? If a virus that began in China two months ago and has
already spread to 28 countries, including the United States, don’t
the people of Florida have a right to be kept in the loop?
state law cited is a passage in the Florida Administrative Code that
says “all information contained in laboratory reports, notifiable
disease or condition case reports and in related epidemiological
investigatory notes is confidential.”
the passage goes on to note three exceptions for releasing otherwise
confidential disease or condition case reports to the public.
If the state’s health department determines public release of
information is warranted “due to the highly infectious nature of
If the release of information would be useful to reduce “the
potential for further outbreaks.”
If the release helps to identify or locate people in contact with the
one of those conditions is true, it trumps the patient
the case of the coronavirus, it wouldn’t be a stretch to argue that
there’s more than enough wiggle room in the law for the state
health department to be transparent with the public.
“patient privacy” as an excuse to tamp down information on a
virus well on its way to becoming a pandemic says more about tourism
than public safety in Florida.
lack of openness has become a trend in Florida, as more and more
public records become private.
example, this legislative session, lawmakers are proposing a bill
that would keep their home addresses private.
disclosing their home addresses is more than an unwarranted personal
safety issue. It shields the public from the valuable information of
knowing which representatives live outside their own legislative
example of codified secrecy run amok is the recently passed Marsy’s
Law, a state Constitutional amendment that was sold primarily as a
way to inform crime victims about the dates their cases would be
heard in court.
also has a provision that allows crime victims to have their
identities kept secret in public records. This provision is now being
used by police officers who are involved in situations where they use
force in the line of duty.
claiming that they are crime victims while making an arrest, some
officers are using Marsy’s Law to shield their names from being
disclosed in use-of-force cases, including ones where they use lethal
to take it even further, the Jacksonville Police Department is using
the law to keep secret the addresses where some crimes occur.
I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that Florida’s reaction to a
viral outbreak is less public information, not more.
all part of the secrecy virus on the loose in Florida.
Chinese professor Xu Zhangrun, who published a rare public critique
of President Xi Jinping over China’s coronavirus crisis, was placed
under house arrest for days, barred from social media and is now cut
off from the internet, his friends have told the Guardian.
passionate attack on the government’s system of controls and
censorship, Viral Alarm: When Fury Overcomes Fear, was published this
month – a rare, bold expression of dissent from the liberal camp
under Xi’s rule.
friend of Xu’s who spoke on Sunday on the condition of anonymity to
avoid reprisals said police placed Xu under house arrest soon after
he returned to Beijing from his lunar new year break at his home town
in Anhui province.
confined him at home under the pretext that he had to be quarantined
after the trip,” the friend said. “He was in fact under de facto
house arrest and his movements were restricted.”