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11 Aug, 2021 19:14

CDC adjusts 'record' high Covid-19 numbers from Florida after state officials cry inflation

CDC adjusts 'record' high Covid-19 numbers from Florida after state officials cry inflation

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have adjusted their Covid-19 tracking data for the state of Florida after state officials complained their case numbers were artificially high.

After the CDC showed a record number of 28,317 cases on Sunday, the Florida Department of Health did not accept the calculation and said the total given had included other days’ numbers rolled into it. State health officials’ case numbers for that same time period were much lower, at 15,319.

“This is not accurate. Florida follows CDC guidelines reporting cases Monday through Friday, other than holidays. Consequently, each Monday or Tuesday, there will be two or three days of data reported at a time,” the agency tweeted, adding that when data is published, “it is attributed evenly to the previous days.”

State officials released several days’ worth of correct numbers to dispute the CDC’s reporting. The average of cases over the three days ending in the supposedly record Sunday was 18,795.

The department later responded directly to multiple news stories that reported the CDC’s numbers as true. 

“They combined MULTIPLE days into one. We anticipate CDC will correct the record,” they wrote in response to a tweet from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. 

After days of feuding over the numbers, the CDC has adjusted the figure on its website to a much lower one than was originally reported. The number has dropped from over 28,000 to 19,748.

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The CDC’s original numbers led to an onslaught of criticism directed at Florida and its Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, who has become one of the most vocal critics of future potential lockdowns and mandates on masks and vaccinations.

DeSantis has even traded barbs with the White House, given the governor and President Joe Biden stand on polar opposite ends of the debate over whether to mandate masks in schools. The president has said he is “checking” if such mandates can be enforced, while DeSantis has banned them and threatened school leaders with withheld pay if they go against his ban order. 

Dr. Shamarial Roberson, Florida’s deputy secretary for health, told National Review that the CDC did not give any specific guidance as to why or how this mistake was made, but they did acknowledge that it was incorrect.

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