Q&A – How does Florida’s coronavirus testing compare to the country?

Q&A of the Day – How does Florida’s coronavirus testing compare to the country?

Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Today’s entry: I think that you have been saying the opposite to this TCPalm article? Florida lags behind 20 other states in coronavirus testing. Experts say more tests can slow spread

Bottom Line: Something that hasn’t been isolating during the pandemic is media bias & spin. The reporting by TC Palm and other outlets late last week on Florida’s rate of testing is the classic case. What you’ve heard me say is this - We’re also testing more aggressively than most states, adjusted for population, making the performance of our state even more impressive. I’ve included that line in my daily Florida coronavirus reporting for the past two weeks – precisely because of the false characterizations in articles like the one you cited and importantly, because it’s true. Here’s how spin doctors work. There are 50 states. Florida's 21st - that's better than most states - thus making both my characterization true and the TC Palm characterization accurate. The difference is agenda. It’s telling that a statement of fact which clearly indicates we’re testing more than most states is characterized negatively. This is designed to elicit exactly the type of response you had to it. It’s news media manipulation 101. But what’s worse is the extent of the dishonestly. 

As of Sunday, the only state in the country that’s conducted more testing than Florida is New York for obvious reasons. Second in total tests. That could be a headline couldn’t it? Don’t expect to get it from agenda driven news media. But yes, when you adjust for population Florida’s been around 20th in rate, 19th most recently showing Florida’s test rate while already outperforming the country, continues to improve. But as you’re certainly aware, it’s much easier to achieve higher percentages in small sample sizes. The state which leads the country in testing is Rhode Island. Wyoming is the state just ahead of us. New York, which is smaller than Florida, is the only large state ahead of us on a population adjusted basis as well. Our test rate over the two states larger than ours – California and Texas – is greater than double. That would serve as another headline would it not? Florida’s testing performance laps California’s and Texas? Here are the current facts about how well our state has managed the pandemic entering Sunday:

  • Florida’s test rate – 9% greater than the national average
  • Florida’s infected rate – 45% lower than the national average
  • Florida’s death rate – 69% lower than the national average

We’ve performed remarkably well, but – don't expect to hear any of this anywhere else. It’d require analytical thought. It’d require in-depth research. It’d require mathematical calculations. Maybe most of all - it doesn’t fit the agenda by many in news media to attempt to smear our previously uber-popular governor. Make no mistake what’s happening here. Opportunism is running rampant by those with political agendas against Governor DeSantis. The unemployment claim issues at DEO are a legit debacle with a lot of explaining required at the end of all of this, but the state’s handling of the pandemic from a public health perspective has been exceptional by any objective measure. 

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