Media, Florida Officials Wrangle Over Covid Death Counting

Over past 3 weeks, COVID-19 might be Florida's leading cause of death.

FLORIDA POLITICS – The number of people dying of COVID-19 in Florida continued to get worse in the past seven days, as the state set another record Friday with a weekly report tallying 1,727 new deaths acknowledged since last Friday.

With that report, Florida has averaged reporting more than 200 new COVID-19 deaths per day over a three-week stretch of August — the worst period of mortality seen in the Sunshine State’s entire 18-month coronavirus pandemic.

That level also means that in recent weeks COVID-19 might be the leading cause of death in Florida. COVID-19 deaths are being reported at a pace that exceeds what is typical for either heart disease or cancer, normally the two biggest killers in Florida.

That level also is far higher than what any other state is suffering this Summer.

There has been much political gnashing of teeth recently as some state officials have sparred with journalists over high death numbers being reported.

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Reporting on Florida’s COVID-19 death rate is a task fraught with difficulty, as the state no longer publicly discloses dates of deaths for COVID-19 fatalities.

The way COVID-19 death reports percolate from local officials to state officials, and then to federal officials, information from those reports can take days or weeks to be tabulated.

Information often finally reaches the public domain in big, mixed batches some days, which federal authorities often release on Mondays and Thursdays in multi-day bundles.

Meanwhile, on other days almost no new Florida COVID-19 death reports get tabulated for public disclosure.

For example, on Thursday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services daily report showed that Florida had just presented 901 new death cases, as reported Thursday by the Miami Herald.

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The day before though, the federal agency showed that Florida sent information on just nine new COVID-19 fatalities … READ MORE. 

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