The Reported Case Discrepancy is Intentional
If you’ve been following my blog lately, you know that I’ve been looking at reported coronavirus numbers of what is being reported at the state level for coronavirus cases, and what’s being reported at the local levels. In some cases the discrepancy is huge. Especially, within the prison system. Nearly everyone I speak to, suspects a coronavirus cover-up.
So, I decided to get to the bottom of why the numbers are so inconsistent.
Here are the specific counties being addressed: Anderson County, Bowie County, Brazoria County, Galveston County, Gray County, Jones County, and Potter County.
These inconsistencies mainly reside within the prison system.
The fault lies mainly with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, however, the Department of Criminal Justice shoulders a lot of the blame.
This breakdown is happening because of the way cases are being reported and a lack of communication between the state entities and each county.
The reasons this is a problem:
- Greg Abbott is using the numbers reported by the state for the reason to end the shelter in place measures.
- If the DSHS is being dishonest or attempting to hide the numbers of true coronavirus cases, they are doing a disservice to the people of Texas by not letting them know how many true infections are in their community.
- If the State of Texas is being dishonest about the number of coronavirus cases in the prisons, what else are they being dishonest about?
With the counties above, I found 288 people who have had positive coronavirus cases, but the state knows about, it has been reported to them, however, they are not reporting these cases to the people of Texas.
Below is a breakdown of each county, what’s being reported, and what county officials told me when I reached out to them.
As of yesterday, Anderson County’s coronavirus cases were 23. Today, they are showing 29. Yet the Prison system in Anderson County, which consists of Beto, Coffield, Gurney, Michael, and Powledge, was showing a combined case count of 153 positive inmates on the TDCJ website.
- 122 in Beto
- 6 in Gurney
- 5 in Michael
Aside from that, the TDCJ website was also saying 22 employees in Anderson County had positive Coronavirus cases.
It doesn’t take a mathematician to see these numbers simply don’t fit.
So, I reached out to officials in Anderson County. I was told all of the reporting was being tracked and maintained in that area by NET Health, (which covers a total of 7 counties).
I did speak with NET health and was told, DSHS has been telling both NET Health and Anderson County that the numbers in the state count would soon reflect the positive cases within that area.
Both NET Health and Anderson County expressed their frustration.
They even expressed this on social media.
Yesterday, Palestine city council members held a public hearing where they discussed the Coronavirus cases in their area. Here were a few key takeaways from that hearing, (which you can find HERE):
- One of the doctors said she was out of masks and wasn’t expecting to get any more until Mid-May.
- This area still has very little testing capacity.
- The current inmates infected are listed with TDCJ, and do not include the inmates who were transferred to Brazoria County.
- No one in this meeting believed they were even close to hitting their peak.
- The mayor had a conference call with other city and county leaders across the state and Greg Abbott. Many of them protested to Abbott ending the shelter-in-place orders. The feeling was that Abbott was not listening to local leaders, but instead only listening to the business community.
As I wrote about earlier this month, there were reports of 121 inmates transferred from Anderson County to Brazoria County.
Knowing that Anderson County had already transferred 121 prisoners to Brazoria County, I started looking for their coronavirus numbers. There were huge inconsistencies.
On the Brazoria County tracking page, one of the very first things it says is “Dashboard does not include the 128 transferred COVID-19 inmates.” However, it listed infections in several of their prison units. The units in Brazoria County are Darrington, Ramsey, Scott, Stringfellow, and Terrel.
The combined count for the positive COVID cases in Brazoria County on the TDCJ website as of 4/28 was 190.
Yet, on the same day, the combined cases on the Brazoria County website for inmates was 117. Which they stated, didn’t include the 128 cases that came from.
You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that 117 + 128 DOES NOT equal 190.
So, Brazoria County had far higher positive inmates than the TDCJ was reporting.
I reached out to Brazoria County’s spokesperson, Sharon Trower. The 128 inmates who were transferred down there…they ALL were positive coronavirus cases. The reason she gave for Brazoria County not counting the 128 inmates who were transferred, was because they were already counted in the county where they were transferred from.
We already know they aren’t being counted in Anderson County, where they initially tested positive. These particular 128 inmates, who have now been shuffled around in the prison system, are not being counted at all.
The state is not reporting this number anywhere else. If you look at the state’s reporting numbers, they are only counting cases that each county reports, and they do not have a separate count for people incarcerated.
Galveston County is reporting only 42 cases in all of Galveston. Yet, the TDCJ is reporting 45 cases as of 4/28 in the prison hospital in Galveston.
I spoke to Galveston County spokesperson, Ashley Tompkins, who told me their count only included residents of Galveston and not inmates in the prison hospital. She then referred me to UTMB’s media relations for more answers. UTMB is the hospital system in charge of the inmate’s care. She said likely those cases were counted in whichever county they originated from.
Although, the TDCJ is counting them in Hospital Galveston.
Jones County discrepancies are cut-and-dry. They put out a press release a few days ago answering all of my questions.
The TDCJ is reporting as of 4/28, 33 inmates with positive coronavirus cases in Jones County prison units, and another 8 employees. Yet, the state was only reporting 13 coronavirus cases in Jones County. It jumped to 37 today.
Once again, the math doesn’t work. More so, the press release from Jones County said TDCJ was changing its reporting process as of last week. However, no one has seen these changes yet.
TDCJ was reporting 25 cases in Bowie County, and DSHS was reporting 69 total cases in Bowie County.
I spoke to a Bowie County official, who told me the 69 cases in their county DID NOT include the inmates at the local prison unit.
So, mark that as 25 more cases the state isn’t counting or reporting on.
While the city of Amarillo is reporting 499 cases, the state of Texas is only reporting 430. Aside from that, the TDCJ is reporting 32 cases.
I reached out to Amarillo spokesperson David Henry. I asked if the count being reported by Potter County included the 32 cases in their local prison. He said he could NOT tell me, and that information would have to come from the TDCJ. (I contacted them, too. I’ll get there.)
Are the 32 inmates in Potter County being counted? That’s a good question. I’m not sure Potter County even knows that answer.
Gray County is a small county in the panhandle with a population of just under 25,000. They have two prisons in that area, and it appears as they are doing their best to have complete transparency with their numbers.
The City of Pampa in Gray County yesterday had put out a press release stating they had 8 positive coronavirus cases in their local prison. Yet, TDCJ showed 9. While they were only 1 off, with it being such a sparsely populated area, I wanted to reach out to the county spokesperson and get their take on it.
This morning, I received a call back from the county judge, Chris Porter, who expressed his frustration with the entire reporting process. Gray County is relying on the TDCJ to notify them when an inmate in one of the prisons tests positive. However, the reporting process is slow.
Judge Porter told me he had raised concerns about the reporting process to both DSHS and TDCJ. He was told the reporting process would be updated soon. The change has still not happened. He usually hears about sick or infected inmates from prison guards he knows in the community before he hears about it from the state.
Gray County prisons house about 1,800 inmates.
A big concern is in that little county, they only have 106 hospital beds and 8 ventilators. If a big outbreak happens in one of the two prisons in the county, they may not have enough resources to care for everyone who needed it.
I spoke to TDCJ a spokesperson, Jeremy Desel, who told me the TDCJ reports their numbers to the state. When I questioned him about the inconsistencies at the county level, he suggested I reach out to DSHS. Which I did.
I received an email from DSHS today.
What does that mean? It doesn’t seem like a direct answer. Plus, the data would reflect that soon. (As they have been telling counties for weeks).
The state of Texas is aware of hundreds of other coronavirus cases, which they are not reporting on.
This is coronavirus cover-up, at the highest level.
Now Texans are left to wonder, can we trust any of the numbers Texas is putting out? How much are they not telling us?
If you are wondering why there would be a coronavirus cover-up in Texas; Remember, these dishonest numbers are what Abbott are citing for opening Texas back up.
It’s time for all of us to ring the alarm bells.
Call your congressman!
Demand transparency. It doesn’t matter if they are a Republican or a Democrat they work for us, the people.
To find out who your representatives are, go HERE!
Make sure you’re registered to vote!
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