July 28, 2020, The Daily Signal | Doug Badger |
Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus task force head, claimed this week that “we have right now … three New Yorks,” with sharp increases in COVID-19 infections in recent weeks in Florida, Texas, and California.
Incorrect. Doug Badger takes a deep dive into Florida’s numbers and finds that, despite rising cases and deaths, its COVID-19 mortalities per million residents are just over half the national average and a fraction of New York’s toll, according to data he analyzed from Worldometer.
“There’s only one New York, as this chart shows. It makes it clear that Florida’s coronavirus deaths per million residents is nowhere near as bad as New York’s,” Badger writes. “For Florida’s COVID-19 mortality rate to reach that of New York City, deaths would have to rise from its current level of just over 6,000 to more than 83,000.
“That’s not outside the realm of possibility, of course, but seems improbable. And while Florida has seen its new infections climb throughout most of June and July, fresh data from the Florida Department of Health suggest that the rising tide of COVID-19 cases may have crested,” he writes.
“While that is encouraging, caution is in order. The pandemic has traced an uncertain course that has confounded predictive models. And while the apparent plateauing of new cases may be a signal that rates have begun to decline, the number of new infections remains elevated and portends more hospitalizations and deaths during August.
“Although Florida is no New York when it comes to COVID-19-related mortalities, its death count is trending upwards. Total coronavirus deaths in the state exceed 6,000, with more than 2,500 of them occurring over the first four weeks of July.
“That unfortunate trend will likely accelerate during August, since the number of newly infected seniors has risen significantly.”
While Florida has proven the value of targeted approaches to COVID, Badger writes that Florida’s “response to the pandemic can improve. It needs to do a much better job, for example, of delivering prompt test results, a problem that has emerged nationally, and one that Birx and her team have bungled from the pandemic’s onset.
“Their energies too often are channeled toward apocalyptic pronouncements that have generally proven as errant as the ceremonial first pitch Dr. Anthony Fauci threw on baseball’s opening day.
“A fitting metaphor for a public health establishment that can’t seem to get it right.”