The turmoil at Sarasota Memorial, one of Florida’s largest public hospitals, began last year after three candidates running on a platform of “health freedom” won seats on the nine-member board that oversees the hospital. Board meetings, once sleepy, started drawing hundreds of angry people who, like the new members, denounced the hospital’s treatment protocols for Covid-19.
An internal review last month found that Sarasota Memorial did far better than some of its competitors in saving Covid patients’ lives. But that did little to quell detractors, whose campaign against the hospital has not relented. By then, the hospital had become the latest public institution under siege by an increasingly large and vocal right-wing contingent in one of Florida’s most affluent counties, where a backlash to pandemic policies has started reshaping local government.
— Patricia Mazzei, nytimes.com