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Get the facts straight

The Rustler and Tribune’s opinion writer, George Worthy, should stick to opinion. The “fact” he quoted in his May 27 column, i.e., that Florida is one of the states with the lowest infection rate of the Covid-19 virus, is simply not true. That day’s data placed Florida eighth, just below California’s fifth-place rating, in the number of reported cases in the United States.

Here are some facts. With its 20 million approximating about half California’s population of 40 million (rounded figures), Florida reported 52,626 cases and 2,318 deaths in the latest figures. California had 101,776 cases with 3,959 deaths (the exact count posted online by the New York Times).

Not only are his facts wrong, I find Mr. Worthy’s closing statement unworthy of print. We do not wash our hands nor wear masks to make politicians happy. In fact, the latter makes some politicians so unhappy they hide from reporters the fact that they ever wear one.

We take these steps to protect ourselves, our friends and neighbors, and all those whose paths cross ours, as well as the dedicated people working at personal risk to contain a disease that has proven to be far smarter than people like Mr. Worthy who dismiss it.

Can we come together as Americans to support public health, scientific fact and the truth that we are all in the same storm, even though it has become obvious we are not in the same boat? Those with fewer resources are exposed to greater risk of infection, suffering and death. The least people with a public platform can do is to get the facts they proclaim straight, or stick to their own opinion.

Susan Raycraft and Larry Woodfill

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