Florida Department of Health accuses CDC of altering state’s COVID-19 deaths

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by Andrew Kerr, Investigative Reporter  | 
 | March 25, 2022 01:42 PM

The Florida Department of Health accused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday of wrongly deleting roughly 20,000 Florida deaths from its nationwide COVID Data Tracker.

The CDC removed 72,277 deaths last Wednesday from its nationwide tracker after discovering what it called a “coding logic error” that had mistakenly counted deaths from 26 states that were not COVID-19-related. The removal caused all-time reported childhood deaths from the virus to drop nearly 24% in the tracker.

But Florida Department of Health spokesman Jeremy Redfern said the CDC got it wrong. He told National Review that included in the 72,000 removed deaths were roughly 20,000 Florida deaths that the state had previously informed the CDC were, in fact, COVID-19-related.


“Instead of calling us and verifying these data, they decided to switch to a different field in the data set and just delete a bunch of our deaths,” Redfern told the outlet.

Redfern said it took “about a week” for the CDC to return the Florida DOH’s communications to the agency to fix the issue. On Thursday, the CDC sent Florida’s data tracker back to the state health agency for a correction.

Redfern said the CDC will have no choice but to reinstate the 20,000 erroneously deleted Florida deaths to its nationwide COVID Data Tracker.

“All those cases they deleted, they’re going to have to put back on there. And my guess is they’re not going to tell anybody that they’re putting it back on there. They’re just going to do it and hope that nobody notices,” Redfern said.

The CDC did not return a request for comment.

This is not the first time the Florida Department of Health has accused the CDC of fudging the state’s COVID-19 data.

In August 2021, the CDC announced that Florida had reported 80,536 new COVID-19 cases over the course of one weekend. But the agency had to correct the data after the Florida DOH said the actual case total for that weekend clocked in at 56,386, a substantially smaller figure.

Then-Florida Deputy Secretary for Health Shamarial Roberson told National Review at the time that the issue was entirely the fault of the CDC.

The CDC came under fire for its lack of transparency surrounding COVID-19 data in late February after the New York Times reported that the agency had published only a small portion of the data it had collected on hospitalizations, vaccines, and wastewater analysis, in part because it feared the information might have been misinterpreted by the public.

Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, railed against the CDC in a March 1 letter for its “disturbing and shameful” lack of transparency surrounding COVID-19 data.

“Throughout the pandemic, CDC and other health agencies have promoted inconsistent policies and recommendations regarding COVID-19,” Johnson said. “Many Americans who voiced concerns about these policies have been subjected to ridicule, vilification, and censorship from the press.”

“Rather than provide the public with complete access to relevant data to justify its COVID-19 policies, the Biden Administration has apparently favored censorship over transparency,” Johnson added.

Content retrieved from: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/healthcare/florida-department-of-health-accuses-cdc-of-altering-states-covid-19-deaths.

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