This is a serious question.
Would you consider someone who recklessly defies the science and scientific recommendations and whose defiance results in the possible loss of thousands of lives a mass murderer?
To make this easier, I am only going to look at and compare the numbers of California that adhered to better practices through this summer when delta emerged and Florida which ignored warnings and flagrantly defied science.
And for those who won’t care about the math, it looks like Florida (compared to California) may have suffered over 15,000 deaths that could have been avoidable if they have followed California’s protocols during the same time and had similar results. (For those who want to see how I came to that number, please be patient.)
Also, while some people may say that Florida has more older people and older people are hit harder by covid, here are some numbers for comparison.
* Florida has a median age of 42 while CA has a median age of 37
* Population over 65 years of age is 15.7% in CA and 20.8% in Florida
It is important to note that the difference is only 5% AND that would seem to create a stronger argument for Florida to work more aggressively to avoid covid spread so I am not going to consider this a factor. Frankly, the age issue makes the case against DeSantis stronger for his recklessness and negligence.
Also, by July 1st of this year, it was clear that that:
- This virus impacted older Americans harder — so those responsible for older populations should have taken greater care.
- We could reduce the spread by wearing masks.
- Vaccines could also reduce spread.
- Both treatments and vaccines were available to improve recovery rates.
5. The Delta variant was making its appearance.
If a corporate executive defied science the way DeSantis and others have, to the point of obstructing others who are working to prevent the spread of illness and disease, that corporate executive would be immediately fired and would be charged for the misconduct that resulted in unnecessary sickness and death.
I am not sure if we should hold politicians by a different standard. They are responsible for the public trust also and if they act recklessly should they be held accountable?
The math of it:
To make the comparison simple, I am going to compare the numbers results of each state by July 1st thru October 21, 2021.
Data and initial calculations:
If Florida had suffered 208 deaths per million like CA during this time only 4470 people would have died — for a difference of 15,828 or over 75% of the deaths suffered.
And, while initially states were caught off guard with few resources, by July 1 there were many tools available to defeat the virus and reduce spread. DeSantis (and others) have openly defied science — even making it difficult for businesses and schools to implement and enforce simple things like mask mandates — which really defeats their local choice and freedom arguments. (The validity of these things are in the middle of a public health crisis but they are not even consistent in the reasoning for their actions.)
There are many factors and ways to calculate this but what seems clear is that regardless Florida seems to have suffered a significant number of avoidable deaths.
This is a contagious, communicable disease.
Should we hold politicians to the same standard that we hold others to? There is such a thing as criminal negligence. In Florida it is:
“The definition of criminal negligence states that it is “recklessly acting without reasonable caution and putting another person at risk of injury or death (or failing to do something with the same consequences).” You may also hear this referred to as culpable negligence or involuntary manslaughter in some cases.”
I don’t have the answers. I will leave it for people to decide on their own.
But first, we need to start talking about it using facts and data.