Accuracy of data critically important
Amber Vibeto, Minot
If we are going to use data to justify putting small businesses and restaurants out of business, keeping families away from dying loved ones, imprisoning the elderly in long-term care facilities, keeping kids out of school and sports, forcing people to wear useless and germ-soaked pieces of cloth over their faces, and informing citizens how many people we should invite into our homes for the holidays, then we better darn well be accurate with the numbers.
Why such a sharp decrease in hospitalizations on December 15th? Because masks are working so well? No…just a “data clean-up.”
“Of the 146 hospitalizations whose status was changed from current to discharged, 74 had been discharged in the past two weeks and the remainder were discharged prior to Dec. 1. This was due to a variety of factors, including case managers catching up with follow-up work after a surge of new cases in November; lags in reporting between when patients were actually discharged from facilities to when the NDDoH was notified of the discharges through the Health Information Network; and inconsistent data entry.” – KFYR-TV, Dec 16th
We currently have 148 people hospitalized….in a state with a population of over 760,000 people. Does this constitute a state of emergency? We can’t even be confident of the accuracy of case numbers. Our labs are running tests with high cycle thresholds, which means many of the positive results are inaccurate. We are forcing asymptomatic people and their families to quarantine because of a positive test result when it’s highly likely that they actually do not have COVID-19 or they don’t carry enough viral load in order to infect anyone else.
Public health officials offer up guidelines that spell financial disaster for many, while their jobs remain secure no matter how many things they get wrong and no matter how they manipulate the data to save face or justify failing policies. I hope Governor Burgum hears from people on what amounts to either blatant incompetence or the intentional misleading of ND citizens. If he insists on this obsession with testing asymptomatic citizens, then we should follow Florida’s example and require labs to lower and report their cycle threshold so that our case count will be more accurate.
North Dakotans, we do not have to continue keeping our heads down and hoping that someday our rights will be granted back to us whenever our unelected public health officials see fit to do so. Contact your legislators before they head back into session and let them know how Governor Burgum’s executive orders have impacted your life and what you’d like done about it.