NBC News reports that various states are coming under investigation over concerns of how COVID-19 death counts have been made and the potential public health implications of it.
As states ramp up their reopenings, some are coming under criticism for making public misleading statistics or concealing information related to the coronavirus outbreak.
While the U.S. has reported more cases and deaths than any other country, the method for counting COVID-19 deaths varies by state. In testimony before the Senate earlier this month, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said the actual number of people who’ve died as a result of the pandemic is “almost certainly” higher than what’s been counted.
Such data has been the basis for how quickly states are beginning to open up and return to a sense of normalcy. But government officials in a number of states are facing questions about how open and honest they’re being about how the virus is impacting their state.
“Accurate, complete and timely information is the best way to understand, respond to and limit the impact of the virus on both health and the economy,” Dr. Tom Frieden, who ran the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under former President Barack Obama, told NBC News.
“This helps to set realistic expectations on how the pandemic will affect people’s lives and to inform required changes in behavior to prevent the spread of the virus,” he added. (source)
Unfortunately, there is still a lot of ambiguous information about COVID-19 and how it spreads. The fact is, there is very little that can be confirmed other than that the disease will come back and that there seems to be a relationship between it and Vitamin D levels.
It is to be expected that given the intense politicization of the virus, that it would be manipulated for some gain or other form of exploitation, which is the last thing that anybody needs now, because pandemics do not care about politics. What is needed is truth, and that is what nobody wants to give because it is not as easily exploited for gain.
At this point, the manipulation of the numbers or not is less important than what the actual science on whether or not this disease is still a threat to the public. Numbers and claims of lies can be debated and thrown around all day. What only matters is (a) if it still is around and (b) if one is taking the necessary steps to minimize the spread of the virus.
Let the political actors argue and the various parties attempt to exploit this. The only word that matters on this are whose who work with the virus directly, either on-the-ground or in specialized research, and until they say more, the current precautions need to remain in place for the sake of the public good.
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