Over the last couple of weeks we’ve picked up a lot of traffic here at The Hayride passing along a pair of reports from two parish governments – Red River and DeSoto – who have pushed back against the escalated numbers of COVID-19 cases coming out of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ press conferences and news releases. Both noticed evidence that the case counts have been inflated by counting people who tested positive more than once as separate cases, something the Louisiana Department of Health has vehemently denied they’re doing.
Red River and DeSoto Parish are not the only ones finding disparities, however. Sheriff Scott Franklin in LaSalle Parish has similarly uncovered some fluff in the numbers, and his brother penned an op-ed in the Jena Times (reprinted on the paper’s Facebook page) which challenges Edwards’ record-keeping.
Caldwell Parish has also reported irregularities, as noted in the link above.
And then there’s this e-mail we received from President-elect Archie Chaisson in Lafourche Parish…
I’ve read the last two articles about the COVID numbers from Red River and DeSoto. I wanted to let you know that I’ve tried to tell everyone since the second or third week of this that the data is wrong, including the Governor’s Counsel and Dr. Billioux with DHH to no avail. We know that we have people on our list that are not even Lafourche residents in addition to daily “unknown” residents because the spreadsheet we get doesn’t even have an address on it. So if it doesn’t have an address then now do they even know it’s in Lafourche??
We take the daily list we get from DHH and between our Sheriff’s Office and 911 System we run the names and addresses to confirm their location. We remove the inconsistencies and come up with a true number for Lafourche. For example, July 19 the stat showed 86 new cases for Lafourche but our count was 81 based on the list provided by DHH. We operate a day behind so I don’t have the July 20 numbers yet from 911. It’s only five people but you take five cases every day then it adds up quickly. Another large example is July 14-15, the state showed a two day total of 109 but after our work its was only 72 cases. That is a starker example of how bad it is.
Just wanted to pass that along to let people know it’s a wide spread issue. If you have any questions please reach out to my office.
Next door to Lafourche Parish is Terrebonne, where we’re told there have also been questions about the numbers though the parish hasn’t gone public with any inconsistencies. But a local official did send us this…
Terrebonne’s total death count from all causes is right on target for an average year.
100% of COVID related deaths tested positive, although COVID was not always the cause of death. (I need to follow up on the causes of death listed on death certificates.)
100% of COVID related deaths had co-morbidities. Nearly all had multiple. The most common one was hypertension. (It’s not the high blood pressure itself but the medication for high blood pressure that makes a person vulnerable because it changes the way the virus affects the body.)
Average age of COVID related deaths is 75.
64% of COVID related deaths were nursing home residents. (45 out of 70)
Death count of senior citizens from all causes is also right on target for an average year. (Average 200 per year. 2020 so far: 104)
Terrebonne has 2 hospitals. All in-hospital COVID related deaths are from one of them. The other had zero.
That hospital difference – both are admitting COVID patients. It could be VERY significant to look at because the one with zero deaths is the “charity” hospital – Chabert Hospital. Think about that!
These stories from parish government people around the state aren’t hard to find, though Louisiana’s legacy media isn’t working very hard to find them. They cast a long shadow of doubt over whether we’re getting a straight story from Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Health.
The issue with the disparity in outcomes of the two Terrebonne hospitals might also present an interesting case study, particularly with respect to treatment protocols. One thing which should be common knowledge in Louisiana but is not is how our hospitals are treating COVID patients and which methods are showing better or worse results. For all the talk about case counts and masks and economic shutdowns, you would think COVID remedies would become a new national pastime, but our leaders can’t really be bothered to discuss the issue.
It’s time to start looking at hospitals to find out which ones are doing better and which ones are doing worse, and to uncover what protocols are saving more patients.
Perhaps we’ll start with those hospitals in Terrebonne. Then we can work our way out to just how much fluff is in those COVID numbers Edwards is flouting every day.