“An astonishing pattern has emerged in Florida’s COVID death tally — one that suggests the state manipulated a backlog of unrecorded fatalities, presenting more favorable death counts in the days leading up to the 2020 presidential election.” Sun Sentinel
Daily Beast: The South Florida Sun Sentinel has noticed an extremely strange anomaly in the state’s coronavirus-related death figures. On Oct. 24, weeks out from the presidential election, Florida officials appear to have manipulated the numbers to make the situation appear less dire than it was.
⚠️MYSTERIOUS FLORIDA DEATH COUNT—there was a very strange & mysterious “lull” in #COVID19 death reporting in Florida just before November 3rd election, according to epidemiologist @JasonSalemi. Backlog of deaths seemed to be throttled. Resumed after E-day.https://t.co/0zs086ysEb pic.twitter.com/FWD0CJz9eN
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) December 16, 2020
On that date, the newspaper reports that the state stopped including the backlog of unrecorded fatalities, leading to smaller death totals in the days when Floridians started heading to the polls for early voting.
— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) December 7, 2020
Officials only started including the number in the overall totals again on Nov. 17, weeks after the vote. It’s not clear why the anomaly happened, and state officials refused to explain it to the newspaper. Whatever the reason, the change gave the public misleadingly favorable death trends in the crucial days before the election.