If you are a Republican governor who wants to cook the books on the number of coronavirus infections and deaths in your state, there are multiple methods for doing so.
- Place both the PCR based test with the antigen test together. The PCR test determines if the viral RNA is present now, while the antibody test looks at antibodies specific to the coronavirus that developed over time. This is apples and oranges, but it increases your overall testing rate and lowers your rate of infections. Both Texas and Georgia are lumping the two tests together in their testing results.
- Fake the data outright. Georgia has gotten busted for this with their infamous graph that showed decreasing infections that were chronilogically out of order.
- Supress/fake the data. Ron DeSantis of Florida is doing both of these. It will take more digging by local reporters to find the multiple smoking guns on this stunt by DeSantis, but DeSantis is making all the local coroners report deaths to the state and not directly to the public. Also, there is that whistleblower who was fired by DeSantis.
- Use a shitty test for COVID-19 for most of your state testing. This is what Iowa Governor Kay Reynolds employs.
I’ve written about TestIowa before. Reporters in Utah rang a warning bell about the accuracy of this test, which was designed by guys who have no background in diagnostic testing. But more data has come in about the unreliability of TestIowa:
In late April, Reynolds signed a $26 million no-bid contract with Nomi to launch TestIowa sold to her by Ashton Kutcher. Nomi also had a contract with Utah. Not long after Iowa made it’s deal, Governor Pete Ricketts signed a deal with Nomi for Nebraska.
Reynolds TestIowa data announcement was intended to silence concern about the initiative, which had promised to allow Iowa to test 3,000 people per day. Nearly a month into the experiment, TestIowa had fallen significantly short of it’s goal. People who had been tested weren’t receiving their results. Additionally, anonymous reports out of the State Hygienic Lab revealed that there were problems with the TestIowa equipment, which the governor’s office later confirmed.
But Iowa’s data only raises new questions. The numbers contradict reports coming out of Utah and Nebraska. Nebraska’s Journal Star reported on May 14, that the TestNebraska initiative is showing a 3 percent positive rate, which is “well below the 18% average positive rate for all other tests conducted in Nebraska since testing began in early March.”
In Utah, growing concerns about the quality of the TestsUtah initiative led to lawmakers to ask Co-Diagnostics to check the accuracy of their tests with other labs around the state. TestUtah denied that request. Instead they are opting do an accuracy check with the state lab, the results of that check could be kept private.
Emboldened is mine.
Think about it. The same test in Nebraska is only reporting 3% positives versus the 18% shown by other tests in the same state. If true, this would confirm earlier results out of Utah that this test only reported 40% for positives compared to other tests there.
Who wouldn’t want to keep a test that would cut the number of positive coronavirus cases by greater than half, especially if you are a governor who deserately wants to reopen her state for business as usual?
I hate to sound like some damn Trumper, but I cannot trust most of the Republican governors, especially those from red states.