Shady coronavirus data in Florida

So this whole coronavirus outbreak in Florida is … interesting. Statistically, everyone in the state is getting this killer cold virus, in the middle of a punishing heat wave (heat index is 105 degrees and up – we just got back from the stables and it was painful to be outside even for half an hour). I don’t know a single person affected by the illness, living in a community that is comprised of 47% senior citizens. In fact, the senior citizens seem to be among the people least interested in wearing a mask and social distancing. They are going swimming in community pools and throwing parties, because they just don’t care anymore (and it’s hard to blame them).

I have figured for a while that there had to be widespread manipulation of the data in advance of the Republican convention in Jacksonville. We’ve already watched regulators adopt a “liberal” definition of who has died from the illness. But the disconnect between what is being reported and what living here looks like is getting truly bonkers.

A friend told me today that one of her relatives was going to be tested for the coronavirus but never went. She received a letter in the mail 7 days later saying she tested positive. On a test she never took. Now I understand why. They are blanketing the state with false positives.

From today’s local news:

The Florida Department of Health released its daily coronavirus testing report showing a statewide positivity rate of 11 percent, but FOX 35 News investigated and quickly noticed some shocking positivity rates.

Countless labs have reported a 100 percent positivity rate, which means every single person tested was positive. Other labs had very high positivity rates. FOX 35 found that testing sites like Centra Care reported that 83 people were tested and all tested positive. Then, NCF Diagnostics in Alachua reported 88 percent of tests were positive.

How could that be? FOX 35 News investigated these astronomical numbers, contacting every local location mentioned in the report.

The report showed that Orlando Health had a 98 percent positivity rate. However, when FOX 35 News contacted the hospital, they confirmed errors in the report. Orlando Health’s positivity rate is only 9.4 percent, not 98 percent as in the report.

The report also showed that the Orlando Veteran’s Medical Center had a positivity rate of 76 percent. A spokesperson for the VA told FOX 35 News on Tuesday that this does not reflect their numbers and that the positivity rate for the center is actually 6 percent.

FOX 35 News has yet to hear from the other labs or the Florida Department of Health to explain how the error could have been made on an official report.

So I would understand one lab accidentally inverting numbers in reporting on one occasion. Sort of. You would think they would have people double-checking data on something that is ostensibly this significant, right? But to have that happening across disparate health organizations and multiple labs? And then no one at the state checked it and said, gee, everyone you tested came back positive? And you don’t even have paperwork to back any of this up? Do they simply have zero controls and nothing but incompetent people managing this stuff, all the way from the lab to the capital? Does it work this way on other diseases too? Are people having surgery when they never had cancer?

And I am sure a not insignificant number of these false positives were given to people who delayed hospital care during the lockdown. So getting the test will likely interfere with the quality of care they receive on whatever illness put them in this situation in the first place.

Somehow the state has systemic misreporting of test results on thousands of tests. That sounds a bit difficult to pull off without outright fraud, but YMMV.

4 thoughts on “Shady coronavirus data in Florida

  1. I tell my sister about this stuff and she calls me a Conspiracy Theorist and that I do not understand the science behind this virus. But her husband, who is an electrical engineer, does. I was told by my family that I cannot come visit them because I have the virus since I am living in Arizona with the numbers going up. Thank goodness for Heather and her family she is going to let me stay with her when I come back in October, she isn’t fear based. I am over this world and how they are dividing families with this stupid virus and the wrong reporting they are doing on who has it and even deaths. Hello, Colorado got caught pushing their numbers. But of course i am not as smart as an electrical engineer, oh and my step mom flat out told me not to come home. Gah, apparently I needed to vent on your page. I am just over this stupid virus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve had something of an evolution in thought as this episode has progressed. I’m always skeptical of government data because I worked in public policy for over a decade and I know the people (and, really, I’d say the kinds of people) who are responsible for compiling it across agencies. It was ridiculous going from an investment bank (where you had extremely well-educated people who took everything seriously and did meticulous work) to dealing with government finance (where you had people who got their jobs through nepotism, a total lack of competition, or because they were political activists). Truly an eye-opening experience. I will never look at a bureaucrat’s work product and not ask what agenda they are working from, on either side of the aisle.

      I started following the coronavirus reporting in Asia back in December, at least, and I was genuinely scared about what I was reading. Most of what I was reading came through financial markets websites and English language journalists stationed over there. I was having daily conversations with my family about how the media here was seemingly clueless. Back then, the media was 24/7 impeachment freak-out. Most of them were dismissing talk of the virus as an attempt to distract from impeachment proceedings, which I thought was insane because everyone already knew Democrats did not have the votes for impeachment and it was all just an epic waste of taxpayer money.

      As time went on, I started to see coverage of the virus as getting more and more extreme and less grounded in facts. I could not find any medical commentators that I could trust to explain the actual mechanics and why the virus was “special.” I mean, NBC had a PhD epidemiologist faking the illness while telling people they were going to get infected through their eyeballs. It was all self-mocking. Then the thought-policing started. They’d try to shut down any dissenting opinion – even medical doctors with decades of experience – at which point I really stopped caring. Then they started politicizing specific pharmaceutical treatments. At that point, I started to see it all as a vapid power struggle in an election year. I’ve grown to be convinced that most of what I was reading coming out of Asia was Chinese propaganda built on destroying western economies. The “tell” to me is that China never shut down anywhere close to the degree western countries did, and they have been full speed ahead in reopening.

      I started to care mostly about how this is being used – and I do mean used – to destroy our economy and social institutions. The winners and losers this episode has created are very telling. I don’t see much point in fighting with people over it though. I have already watched the end game on all these political spats. If Biden were to win in November (and I don’t think he will, partly because of all this), all the liberals talking about how we are in Armageddon now will pretend this all magically went away. The same way the main question they have a pharmaceutical is what Trump thinks about it. I just don’t care what they think about anything under the sun anymore. Their brains are broken. I don’t have to worry about being uninvited anywhere, either. People who talk this way are not people I’m going out of my way to visit to begin with.

      Liked by 1 person

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