We’ve heard about this again and again from sources in the know and have tried to blow the whistle on it, though the legacy media in Louisiana has been staggeringly complacent and lazy in simply blindly accepting the numbers put forth on COVID-19 by Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Health.
Those numbers have never been accurate. They’ve always been inflated. They’re even more inflated now that Edwards is focused on performing more than a half-million COVID-19 tests per month, which assures that his testing will churn results from the same people over and over again.
But the response to raising these concerns has been silence, and Edwards’ dismissive attitude.
Well, perhaps that silence is finally breaking. Red River Parish is one of the parishes least-hardest hit by COVID-19, so much so that Red River Parish was one of only three parishes which was offered an opt-out to Edwards’ statewide mask mandate – which they’ve taken.
And Red River’s homeland security office put out this notice on Facebook yesterday…
The significance of this is obvious, of course – what the state is reporting as “positive cases” is more like tests which are coming back positive. But once you’ve tested positive once, you are almost certainly going to be tested again; you have to be if you want to go back to work. If your symptoms are mild or nonexistent you’re going to go back again and again attempting to get a negative test so you can get on with living your life.
That spread between actual COVID patients (58) and positive tests (96) in Red River Parish, where the impact of the virus has been exceedingly light, compared to a place like Baton Rouge, Shreveport or Jefferson Parish, is probably small. In Baton Rouge, for example, where COVID-19 infections are more numerous and where tons of your tax dollars are being spent ramping up testing the same people over and over, particularly when at Alex Box Stadium they’re offering free McDonald’s gift cards to people who show up to get tested, it’s almost certain that spread is significantly greater.
How much greater is difficult to say. Is the actual number of COVID-19 cases in Baton Rouge half of the number of positive tests? Less? Is it a third?
Without a thorough audit it’s impossible to say.
That audit should be made, and it should be made now. Public policy is being created and implemented without input of our elected representatives in the Louisiana legislature, and it increasingly appears it’s being created and implemented on the basis of flawed, if not fraudulent, numbers.
That doesn’t even begin to address the question whether Louisiana is experiencing similar issues to those being seen in Florida, where some testing labs were only reporting positive results and creating fraudulent infection ratios…
After FOX 35 News noticed errors in the state’s report on positivity rates, the Florida Department of Health said that some laboratories have not been reporting negative test result data to the state.
Countless labs have reported a 100 percent positivity rate, which means every single person tested was positive. Other labs had very high positivity rates. FOX 35 News found that testing sites like one local Centra Care reported that 83 people were tested and all tested positive. Then, NCF Diagnostics in Alachua reported 88 percent of tests were positive.
The report also showed that the Orlando Veteran’s Medical Center had a positivity rate of 76 percent. A spokesperson for the VA told FOX 35 News on Tuesday that this does not reflect their numbers and that the positivity rate for the center is actually 6 percent.
FOX 35 News went on to speak with the Florida Department of Health on Tuesday. They confirmed that although private and public laboratories are required to report positive and negative results to the state immediately, some have not. Specifically, they said that some smaller, private labs were not reporting negative test result data to the state.
“The Department immediately began working with those labs to ensure that all results were being reported in order to provide comprehensive and transparent data,” a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Health said. “As the state continues to receive results from various labs, the Department will continue educating these labs on proper protocol for reporting COVID-19 test results.”
As a result of these reporting “errors,” Florida saw an infection rate coming out of their testing which jumped from six percent to 18 percent.
It doesn’t appear that such errors would be as widespread in Louisiana, but on the other hand there have been days where the positive rates have climbed into the teens in the state. Labs failing to report negatives could account for some of that.
It ought to be looked into. And none of Edwards’ numbers, which are driving public policy and a complete throttling of the state’s economy, can be taken as gospel. Based on the record, the opposite is true.