Florida
(AP Photo/Brendan Farrington)

 

It is becoming apparent that injecting politics into coronavirus reporting is contagious.

The state of Florida has become the ever-growing focus of activities surrounding the coronavirus and the way it is handled by the politicians. The reasons for this are numerous: Florida is a swing state in November, GOP leadership is at the helm, the press is desperate to cover for the incompetence seen by the Mayor and the Governor in New York, and any good news on the COVID front cannot be allowed to make President Trump look good in any fashion.

As Governor Ron DeSantis has done a good job with managing this pandemic, the media have been intent on only making things look bad. Yesterday, I reported how the blaring headlines of record cases in the state were done to overlook the drop in infection rates and the constant diminishing of deaths by the virus. Now, today, we are learning the data from local clinics may be severely error-prone and inflating the numbers higher.

Local news channel Fox 35 in Orlando pored through the individual reports from labs across the state and found that an alarming number of these clinics are reporting 100% positive results with coronavirus tests. This defies the running averages seen in most areas, which typically are 85-90% lower. The station contacted a number of the clinics reporting these wildly high figures with one of them announcing that their report of 98% positive results should have in fact been only 9.4%. 

The press has had a field day over the past weeks raging about the irresponsibility of leaders like DeSantis who have called for states to open back up, and now we need to question whether these infection rates have been artificially inflated, and by how much? What makes this all the more disturbing is every state is looking into how they will manage things like the opening of schools in the coming months, and now we see indications that the infection rates may be incorrectly reported as much higher than the reality.

If this story trends even just in this isolated capacity, it reveals a serious problem, but if this proves out to have been an ongoing practice then it is a severely irresponsible issue. The media has been on a course of looking for only negatives to report regarding the outbreak, both in Florida and nationwide. In the case of Andrew Cuomo in New York, you see the political bias in play, as the press has strained to applaud the efforts of the Democrat Governor. The numbers revealed yesterday that Florida, where the press is intent on leveling criticism upon DeSantis, has a death rate per 100,000 so low that Cuomo’s average is over 90% higher.

This is an example of the malpractice we have been served by the press in this country regarding the pandemic, and if this story evolves into a wider issue it compounds that indictment. If the positive results have been artificially inflated, there is even more reason to be critical of the people reporting on what is happening.

Brad Slager
Covering politics, as well as the business side of Show Business. Expert in fine bourbons, good cigars, competent hockey teams, and horrible movies.

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