Ron DeSantis has become the left’s second favorite bogeyman. Donald Trump will probably hold the top spot for a while yet, but the Florida governor’s unique blend of governing effectiveness combined with a cunning hostility toward the media has Democrats seeing red, and not just because he’s a Republican.
That’s led to hit piece after hit piece and a BlueAnon conspiracy theory that purports that the only reason Florida did so well is that DeSantis somehow “hid” the “real” number of COVID deaths in his state. That’s complete nonsense, as we’ll see, but that didn’t stop Yahoo News and Vogue from publishing this hot garbage that has been spread by dozens of blue check “experts.”
The news that Florida may have undercounted its COVID-19 deaths comes months after agents raided the home of a data scientist, who claimed the state was undercounting https://t.co/lgRSYwa9Yg
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) March 30, 2021
FLORIDA UNDERCOUNTING COVID DEATHS—new study says 4,924 excess deaths should have been counted as resulting from #COVID19. Deaths were determined by Florida Governor directly-appointed medical examiners, which have “been subject to political pressures”. 🧵https://t.co/pmSigh3Tuk pic.twitter.com/sNrczPsAgY
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) March 30, 2021
Man, they’ve really got DeSantis this time, right? Well, that is until you actually read the article and realize the absolute hack at Yahoo News who propagated this doesn’t understand the data he’s purporting to have uncovered.
The issue of “excess deaths” is highly misleading, and it is not a figure unique to Florida. Not a single state includes excess deaths in COVID counts because it’s just a projection based on the past year’s data. There is no evidence whatsoever of what caused said excess deaths, nor can you even say they were actually in excess. The previous year could have been a low year for general fatalities.
In short, it’s a pointless stat, and in no way shows that DeSantis has been covering up the real COVID death numbers in Florida. Anyone saying that is an absolute mental deficient with an ability to critically think that doesn’t match up to your average fruit fly. So, of course, lots and lots of left-wingers ran with this idea, partially because the headlines were so willfully misleading, but mostly because lying is their thing.
Further, even if one wanted to make an issue of excess deaths and somehow claim that they are above average in Florida, that would also be false.
I calculated each state's ratio of [confirmed COVID death count : CDC excess death projection].
Turns out that Florida is exactly in the middle.
There is no proof of a conspiracy to hide deaths.
— Max Eagle (@MaxNordau) March 21, 2021
It gets better, though. To really put a fine point on all this, the author of the actual study used by these disinformation spreading news outlets countered how they used the data, saying they fundamentally misunderstood what it meant. This per National Review.
But Moosa Tatar, the lead author of the study featured by Yahoo, said the story’s framing of his analysis was incorrect, and he does not yet know how many of the excess deaths are attributable to COVID.
Further, another researcher who studies excess deaths around the country said she saw nothing out of the ordinary with Florida’s numbers. That’s clearly because there is, in fact, nothing out of the ordinary with their numbers.
The media are not going to stop. The lies will continue because DeSantis is a threat. He’s a threat in 2022 running for re-election, and he’s a bigger threat in 2024 running for president. They know they’ve got to take him down early, and they are going to throw everything they have at him. It won’t work, though.