CDC Exaggerates Florida’s Weekend COVID Case Counts

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is misrepresenting Florida’s coronavirus case counts from this past weekend, according to the state’s Department of Health (DOH).

On Monday, the CDC announced that Florida had reported new 28,317 cases for Sunday, August 8 — a figure that would have set a new record in the Sunshine State. It also reported 28,316 new cases for the day prior, and 23,903 for last Friday.

State officials dispute those numbers. On Monday night, the DOH’s official Twitter account stated that the number of newly recorded cases for all three days was substantially lower than what the CDC is claiming, coming in at 21,500 on Friday, 19,567 on Saturday, and 15,319 on Sunday.

Responding to a report on the purported Sunday total compiled by the CDC, the department tweeted that “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. When data is published, it is attributed evenly to the previous days.”

Dr. Shamarial Roberson, Florida’s deputy secretary for health, told National Review that the CDC has acknowledged and committed to remedying its error.

“Accurate data was provided to the CDC, but the incorrect number for Friday, Saturday and Sunday was displayed on the website,” said Roberson. She also says that the CDC was made aware of their mistake by Florida officials as early as Monday night.

As of 3p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, the incorrect numbers remained up on the CDC’s website. Roberson has been told that the CDC plans to make corrections at some point on Tuesday.

The mistake was entirely the federal agency’s, per Roberson, who maintained that “the data file [containing the daily case counts] was sent as usual.”

Roberson did not know why the incorrect data was published and remains up on the CDC website, explaining that “they didn’t provide any specific guidance as to why or how this mistake was made, but they did acknowledge that it was incorrect.”

“We’ll wait and see if they put out how exactly they made that data error and go from there,” she mused.

While Florida’s caseload numbers mirror those of previous spikes in the state, the death rate remains significantly lower than at those times, demonstrating the various coronavirus vaccines’ effectiveness in decoupling cases from deaths.

Both Governor Ron DeSantis and the DOH have been encouraging residents to be inoculated against the coronavirus. DeSantis has been criticized for his opposition to vaccine mandates and effort to prohibit private businesses from requiring proof of vaccination to frequent them.

Roberson stressed the importance of vaccination in combatting the pandemic, asserting that “vaccines are safe, they’re effective.”

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