The news is out: [While looking at Florida’s COVID-19 death tally, the South Florida Sun Sentinel found a pattern suggesting the state “manipulated a backlog of unrecorded fatalities” so the daily death numbers were artificially low ahead of the November presidential election, the newspaper reported Tuesday.
There is a lag between the date a person dies of COVID-19 in Florida and the date the state reports the death as part of the public count. The Sun Sentinel found that with just a few exceptions, starting on Oct. 24, Florida stopped including deaths that occurred more than a month earlier in daily counts. It wasn’t until Nov. 17, two weeks after the election, that these backlogged deaths were consistently included in the daily tally.
These deaths have “long formed a significant part of the daily totals in Florida” because it can take some time for death reports to make it from a doctor’s office to the health department, the Sun Sentinel reports. For example, from Sept. 23 to Oct. 20, the state included in its daily tallies 1,128 deaths that took place at least one month earlier. This accounted for 44 percent of the deaths that were announced over those four weeks.]
Something in the water, besides the gators?