Georgia Has “Cooked the Books” According to the State’s Largest Circulated Newspaper
Many people around the country are claiming all over social media it is safe to get back to business as usual. These same people hail both Florida and Georgia as the basis for this belief. All of this is in spite of warnings from public health experts suggesting we are in real trouble without an aggressive national public health strategy.
It was being reported on Monday, May 18, 2020, by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, one of the south’s most circulated periodicals, that Georgia may well have manipulated the numbers to get the outcome which supported its predetermined path. The ramifications of having done this could be quite costly and measured in the loss of human life.
According to state data models, which Governor Brian Kemp used to justify Georgia’s aggressive reopening, the Georgia infection curve has been in steep decline. No less than the Wall Street Journal was quick to hail the Georgia Model as evidence aggressive lockdowns were needlessly harming the economy.
Georgia’s numbers defied logic. Pandemics don’t end just because you either want or need them to end.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution broke a story that Georgia’s numbers look too good to be true because they have been doctored. According to the investigative piece, it’s difficult to believe it wasn’t done purposefully.
The article written by journalist David Fahrenthold, claims Georgia made it look like its COVID cases were going down by putting the dates out of order on its chart. For instance, May 5th’s numbers on the chart were followed by April 25th’s numbers. This gave the trajectory a downward appearing slope where there really wasn't one.
Georgia State Representative Jasmine Clark, who happens to have a PhD in microbiology and molecular genetics, told the Journal Constitution “I have a hard time understanding how this happens without it being deliberate. Literally nowhere ever in any type of statistics would that be acceptable.”
Georgia isn’t the only state itching to reopen with a penchant for dubious data. Florida has been accused of actively suppressing county coroners from releasing their actual COVID-19 death tallies, according to the Fahrenthold piece in the Journal Constitution.
With hot, humid weather upcoming, and the effects it is believed to have on the virus and its spread, these two states may have the coronavirus go into an unearned, naturally induced remission. That would be a fortuitous outcome based on factors outside either Governors' control from which both would benefit, particularly politically.
As the Fahrenthold article concludes, wishful thinking isn’t going to whip this pandemic for us. Be skeptical of numbers which look too good to be true as they likely are. Stay home if you are able and don’t let politically motivated talk lull you into a false sense of security.