(UnitedVoice.com) – COVID-19 positivity rates are not being reported accurately in Florida by hundreds of testing sites. The question is, are officials cooking the numbers, or is it an innocent mistake?
In the wake of the false reports, one Democratic governor is using Florida as a case sample of why states need to begin shutting down again. The nationwide repercussions are significant as states begin evaluating Florida’s exploding contraction rates of COVID-19, putting lives and livelihoods in the balance across the country.
Just weeks ago, Florida was the shining example of how to manage the COVID-19 crisis. Today, some in the media are calling it the epicenter of the second wave. However, is that true? What’s happening in Florida, and can the public trust the numbers put out by the labs and the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) or any other reporting agency across the United States?
Hospitals and Labs Making Critical Mistakes
According to a report by an Orlando Fox news station, numerous COVID-19 testing labs in Florida reported a 100% positivity rate of the disease. That means every single person tested has COVID-19. Still, countless others reported between 80% and 99% positive rates. That’s impossible and significantly skews the real infection and mortality rates.
The news station’s investigation revealed the actual numbers were 10 times lower than reported. In one instance, the real positivity rate was 9.4%, and in another, it was 6%. The cause? Hospitals were not saying how many people were testing negative, and therefore the contraction rate was extremely inflated. Thus, the reports give the appearance COVID-19 is spreading faster than anyone could imagine or understand.
The bottom line is the data is flawed, and that creates a more significant problem — the distrust of the public towards elected and public health officials. If the information leaders provide can’t be trusted during a time of crisis, then other issues are bound to follow.
If the numbers are inflated in Florida, it leads one to wonder if other states are exaggerating their numbers as well.
Finally, it also leads to the appearance of politics over facts and science. It’s no secret that in a political season, Democrats will weaponize every instance of increased infections against President Donald Trump, no matter how unfair or wrong the accusation is. If Democrats lie as they did in 2012 about Mitt Romney not paying federal taxes for 12 years and boast afterward that they got away with it, they’ll undoubtedly use wrong numbers now to smear Trump.
Pennsylvania Using Florida as a Scapegoat
Now that everyone believes Florida is ground zero for the spread of COVID-19, the cat is out of the bag. The media is spreading fear that everyone is getting sick, and most are going to die. The reality is many will get the virus and never know it, a few will get sick, and unfortunately, a smaller number yet will die. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), those who have no symptoms make up 40% of cases and the mortality rate is estimated at 0.65%.
On Wednesday evening, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) began initiating some shutdown procedures to prevent the state from becoming, in his own words, another Florida, Texas, or Arizona. He said, “We have to act now” to prevent a resurgence in the state.
Don’t be surprised if other Democratic governors respond the same way. In a political season, it’s healthy to be skeptical of the decisions political leaders are making. In this case, it could be the difference between lives and livelihoods. Some governors are all too willing and trigger happy to shut down their economies too quickly without any planning or foresight.
By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor
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