Congressman Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) is calling for the state's surgeon general to reveal whether there are any confirmed cases of coronavirus in Florida.
Rep. Crist believes the global health emergency is more important than the state statute that allows the Department of Health (DOH) to work in secret. In a letter sent from Rep. Crist's office to Dr. Scott Rivkees, he believes Floridians are being kept from the truth and wants the state's DOH to be transparent.
"With new information coming out every day, my constituents are concerned about what the virus could mean for them and their families and what the state of Florida is doing to keep them safe," Rep. Crist said in the letter. "They want to be informed and engaged, not left in the dark like what they are seeing out of China."
Rep. Crist wrote to Dr. Rivkees that transparency is key.
"Anything less than full transparency puts all Floridians at risk, especially children, expectant mothers, senior citizens, and those with compromised immune systems," Rep. Crist said in the letter.
As of Friday night, the state has not released any information on whether anyone in Florida has coronavirus. The Tampa General Hospital revealed last week it is monitoring patients with flu-like symptoms.
The letter from Rep. Crist comes as ABC Action News anchor Wendy Ryan investigates the state's DOH and how it is failing to reveal specifics on who is dying from the hepatitis A epidemic.
Wendy will have a series of reports airing beginning Monday, February 24, that will reveal how the people in charge are keeping the life-saving information from the public.