Valujet scene 1996

COVID FLORIDA: SO MANY DEATHS, IT’S LIKE VALUJET CRASHED 52 TIMES

Boca Raton COVID-19 Facial Coverings Florida News Palm Beach County

FLORIDA GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS, PALM BEACH COUNTY MAYOR DAVID KERNER MUST DO BETTER

Valujet scene 1996
[NTSB investigators recover the flight data recorder from ValueJet 592 via WFOR-TV’s “Chopper 4” in May, 1996].

BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — When ValuJet 592 crashed into the Florida Everglades on May 11th, 1996 killing all 110 people on board, it was considered a major disaster that brought with it a massive federal response.

It was one of my first big stories as a TV reporter in Miami.

The cause: in what would prove to be just one in a never ending stream of Floridians doing really stupid things that lead to the deaths of others, workers at Miami International Airport placed oxygen canisters in a cardboard box next to a tire in the cargo hold of the airplane. The oxygen canisters combusted, the cardboard ignited, the burning tire ensured there was no chance of survival. The pilot attempted to fly the plane back to MIA as the cockpit and cabin filled with smoke just after takeoff. It was too late. The DC-9 plummeted into the Everglades west of the airport.

As of July 26, 2020, 5,777 people have died in Florida from COVID-19. It’s like ValuJet 592 crashed 52 times. But unlike ValuJet where the NTSB was on the scene within hours, working to determine the cause of the disaster so it never happens again, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Palm Beach County leaders continue to put oxygen canisters in cardboard boxes underneath all of us.


As of July 26, 2020, 5,777 people have died in Florida from COVID-19. It’s like ValuJet 592 crashed 52 times. But unlike ValuJet where the NTSB was on the scene within hours, working to determine the cause of the disaster so it never happens again, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Palm Beach County leaders continue to put oxygen canisters in cardboard boxes underneath all of us.


There continues to be no enforcement of facial covering orders in Palm Beach County. Police repeatedly look the other way — not wanting to confront those who claim it’s their right to do whatever they want to do.

boca boating no masks
[No masks, no social distancing on this boat in Boca Raton on Saturday, July 25, 2020].

When I covered ValuJet standing in the Everglades for weeks, and at the NTSB’s hotel base camp nearby, I remember the calm and presence of NTSB lead ValuJet investigator Greg Feith who became known as the “Mud Stud” for intelligently updating the world on a nightly basis about what investigators found in the depth of the Everglades and what it meant. It was a simpler time then. An NTSB investigator saying combustible objects shouldn’t be put under passengers in a plane without a fire suppression system was taken as fact. Changes were made.


It was a simpler time then. An NTSB investigator saying combustible objects shouldn’t be put under passengers in a plane without a fire suppression system was taken as fact. Changes were made.


But in 2020, even intelligent mandates are questioned by the people issuing the mandates. Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner, a former police officer himself, practices pacifism over enforcement. He issued the “facial covering” executive order but won’t tell police to issue citations. He can’t point to one person who has been cited in Palm Beach County for not wearing a mask. He continues to promote the “Covid Education and Enforcement Team,” but won’t release a real-time list of what businesses have been cited — something other counties do.

Statewide, there is a continued body of proof that Governor Ron DeSantis — or the people who work for him — are suppressing the true infection and death rates in the state. It’s like saying “sure, ValuJet 592 crashed, but no one was on board, so there’s nothing to worry about.”

Kerner, DeSantis: the plane is in trouble. Not enforcing facial covering orders is akin to saying it’s fine to put those oxygen canisters in a cardboard box next to the tires. Florida — and Palm Beach County — deserve better. But right now, it just smells a lot like smoke.

 

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