Lots of shonky things have happened, and are happening re Covid-19 construction and reporting. Academic debunker of all things statistical, Professor John Ioannidis, has been working overtime:
“A Florida health official told a local news station that a young man who was listed as a COVID-19 victim had no underlying conditions. The answer surprised reporters, who probed for additional information. “He died in a motorcycle accident,” Dr. Raul Pino clarified. “You could actually argue that it could have been the COVID-19 that caused him to crash. I don’t know the conclusion of that one.” The anecdote is a ridiculous example of a real controversy that has inspired some colorful memes: what should define a COVID-19 death? While the question is important, such incidents may be just the tip of the proverbial iceberg regarding the unreliability of COVID-19 data. In May, a public radio station in Miami broke what soon became a national story. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had been conflating antibody and viral testing, obscuring key metrics lawmakers use to determine if they should reopen their respective economies. The story was soon picked up by NPR, who spoke to an epidemiologist who condemned the practice. "Reporting both serology and viral tests under the same category is not appropriate, as these two types of tests are very different and tell us different things," Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security told NPR. The Atlantic soon followed with an article that explained the agency was painting an inaccurate picture of the state of the pandemic. The practice, the writers said, was making it difficult to tell if more people were actually sick or had merely acquired antibodies from fighting off the virus. Public health experts were not impressed.