Media claim study shows that Florida undercounted COVID deaths by thousands. Here’s what the study actually says.
I downloaded the actual study and read it, and here is what it says.
The number one thing to note is that it certainly does not say or even suggest that Florida underreported COVID deaths by 19,000 or 14,000. The folks making this claim either haven’t bothered to read the study or have extremely poor reading comprehension. The study suggests, based on statistical modeling, that in a given period of 2020, Florida experienced 19,241 more deaths than would have been expected in that time period. Florida reported an official tally of 14,317 COVID-19 deaths during that time period. Therefore, according to the researchers, there are 4,924 extra deaths in Florida that cannot be accounted for.
Yes, incredibly, publications somehow took the actual reported figure of COVID deaths from the study time period and claimed that the study said that those deaths were underreported. Somehow, they came to this position even after someone clearly pointed out that they were misreading the study. To the extent that the study suggests anything nefarious at all, it pertains only to the 4,924 deaths that the researchers believe happened. One wonders whether the Twitter and Facebook pages of the outlets that shared these clearly erroneous stories will be suspended or condemned to oblivion with “fact checks” that diminish their reach.
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