Florida and Georgia are petulant, entitled quarantine protesters embodied as states. Since this all started, both states have been frantically searching for an excuse to end their quarantines as fast as possible and get back to life as usual despite a rampaging virus that's killing people. If there were are any states who seemed the most likely to have falsified data to justify reopening sooner than they should, it's them -- and boy, did they ever falsify themselves some data. Both states have been credibly accused of doctoring their numbers to make it seem like their strategy of doing as little as humanly possible to stop the spread of COVID-19 was actually the best strategy.
In the case of Georgia, there was, for a brief period, a little bit of wiggle room where you can possibly, maybe give them the benefit of the doubt. Georgia's Department of Public Health claimed that the number of infections had dropped every day for two weeks straight across five counties when, actually, there was no discernible downward trend at all. Hey, could have been human error, right? State officials apologized for the mistake after everyone on the Internet made fun of them for trying to pull off such a bold and blatant lie. The wiggle room closes up pretty quickly when everyone realized this was the third time they got caught doing this.
Georgia's opening up now so everyone can get their haircuts and Applebee's fixes, yet extremely evil governor Brian Kemp is using the virus as an excuse to cancel an election for state Supreme Court. Doing so gives him the power to appoint another Republican to the seat who'll hold the position for the next two years. This asshole thinks it's safe enough to get drunk at a bar with your bros but not safe enough to maintain basic democratic principles. Cool.
Florida's case is, somehow, impossibly, much more blatantly evil. It revolves around a woman named Rebekah Jones, who built Florida's highly praised COVID-19 data tracking tool entirely by herself. She said she worked on it for 16 hours a day for two months and wasn't even paid for most of her time. Her reward was a swift kick in the ass out the door. She says she was fired for refusing to change the sad, bleak numbers to fun happy numbers to drum up support for reopening.
On top of that, Florida has been routinely undercounting the number of coronavirus-related deaths by only counting the deaths of Florida residents. Florida has a huge population of people from the frozen tundra of the North who fly south to wait out the cold for a few months. But because they're not residents, their deaths don't count. The state should be counting all the deaths that happen on their soil, not just the ones who are year-round Floridians. All told, there's no way to actually know how many people have been infected by the coronavirus or have died from it in Florida. But they're using their lower numbers to justify reopening. That's the kind of top-notch leadership you'd expect from the state deemed the WWE an essential business.
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