Reporting of state COVID-19 deaths remains misleading; actual dates of death not emphasized

Reporting of state COVID-19 deaths remains misleading; actual dates of death not emphasized
Image: CDC

[Ed. – Interesting that even in Republican-run states (like Florida) the health departments may continue to — as Just the News puts it — publicize one number, quietly report the other.  The “publicized” number is always the more alarming one, making it seem that there’s a surge in deaths when there isn’t.  The health departments appear to be incorrigibly invested in political alarmism.  It isn’t possible to trust their motives when they just keep doing this.]

Seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, state governments and media outlets continue to publicize confusing, misleading data on the spread of the disease here, perpetuating fears that deaths from the virus are skyrocketing on a daily basis even as those fatalities are generally distributed across a period of days, weeks or even months.

At issue is how state health departments publicize daily reports of fatalities within the state’s borders. State health officials have for months been publishing two sets of mortality statistics: deaths that occurred on the publication date in question, and deaths that have only recently been catalogued from state backlogs.

The Arizona Department of Health Services publishes both of those figures on its coronavirus dashboard: On its “Summary” page, it lists the “number of new deaths reported today,” while on its “Covid-19 Deaths” tab, the state lists the actual “deaths by date of death.”

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