Governors

DeSantis Administration’s Misleading Data Covered Up Surge In Deaths

According to a shocking report from the Miami Herald, new data from the Center for Disease Control shows that Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Department of Health intentionally changed the way it reported COVID-19 deaths during the month of August, “giving the appearance of a pandemic in decline” even as the state experienced its most “serious and deadly surge.”

Gov. DeSantis – who prohibited local governments from implementing life-saving covid protections – has been widely criticized by parents, doctors, and front-line workers for his abysmal handling of the latest COVID-19 surge. The governor’s decision to put politics first resulted in the state experiencing record-breaking hospitalizations and deaths months after vaccines became widely and freely available. 

“Ron DeSantis has repeatedly ignored the advice of medical experts, prioritized his donors, and implemented obscene policies to prevent schools and local governments from fighting the spread of COVID-19. Now we know his administration was cooking the books just as the latest deadly wave began” said American Bridge 21st Century spokesperson Aidan Johnson. “In 2022, voters will remember that DeSantis put his presidential ambitions ahead of the state’s health and safety.”

The Miami Herald: Florida changed its COVID-19 data, creating an ‘artificial decline’ in recent deaths

By: Sarah Blaskey, Ana Claudia Chacin, and Devoun Cetoute | August 31, 2021

Key Points:

  • “As the delta variant spreads through Florida, data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest this could be the most serious and deadly surge in COVID-19 infections since the beginning of the pandemic.”
  • “As cases ballooned in August, however, the Florida Department of Health changed the way it reported death data to the CDC, giving the appearance of a pandemic in decline, an analysis of Florida data by the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald found.”
  • “On Monday, Florida death data would have shown an average of 262 daily deaths reported to the CDC over the previous week had the health department used its former reporting system, the Herald analysis showed. Instead, the Monday update from Florida showed just 46 “new deaths” per day over the previous seven days.”
  • “Shivani Patel, a social epidemiologist and assistant professor at Emory University called the move ‘extremely problematic,’ especially since it came without warning or explanation during a rise in cases.”

Read the full report here.

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