Florida Deputy Health Secretary Dr. Shamarial Roberson said it is still unclear what led to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s inaccurate reporting of the new coronavirus cases in the state.
How we got here: The Florida Department of Health argued earlier this week on Twitter that the CDC’s number of new coronavirus cases in Florida reported over the weekend were wrong. The health department, which claims the real numbers are much lower, took to Twitter to push back against CDC’s reporting, as well as media outlets that picked up on the numbers provided by the agency.
On Tuesday, the CDC updated its COVID-19 tracker for Florida and while the new numbers were lower than the initial ones, they still did not match the numbers that the Florida health department said were correct.
What she said: Roberson said she does not have a “good understanding” of how the CDC ended up reporting numbers that were so far off. She explained that the state’s health department reports the numbers to the CDC via an integrated public health system and that the two agencies worked together to fix the mistake.
To avoid further confusion, the CDC said it will add a disclaimer to its website that breaks down the data process. Meanwhile, Florida’s health department will introduce a data submission process with access to historical backlogging.
“It is very important that data is accurate,” she said during an appearance on “Fox News Primetime” on Wednesday. “The people of Florida – they deserve it. We’ve been putting out accurate data since the beginning of the pandemic.”
“It’s very important to us that people know the numbers so that they can respond and it’s important to us that we have the accurate numbers so that our public health professionals can respond,” she said. “There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to responding to COVID-19,” she said. “So we take a tailored approach in each county… We’ve implemented to make sure vaccines are available, we’ve promoted PSAs to say that they’re safe… People have the choice to make certain decisions in life about mitigations and we have provided that through outreach.”
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