(Update: They aren’t just taking it away, they are outsourcing it to a private contractor. See the follow-up post.)
And they didn’t even put out a press release.
Check out this Facebook post from the McKinney mayor, George Fuller, letting his constituents know the state told him to stop reporting coronavirus case numbers.
A few days ago, I stayed up really late, going county to county and finding out the difference between what each county was reporting and what the state was reporting. The state was off by nearly 3,000. You can see that post, here.
There is also a rumor that doctors’ offices were also notified reporting of test results would be direct to the state rather than the county.
During this pandemic, the government, Greg Abbott has repeatedly lied to us. The DSHS has not been transparent, they have hidden numbers, they have delayed reporting numbers, and they have left many of the prison cases out of their count altogether.
This is not OK and based on the way they have been reporting the coronavirus numbers so far during this pandemic, it’s reasonable to ask:
- Why are they doing this?
- Will they be completely transparent?
I don’t know the answer to these questions. Do you?
How is it being reported right now?
A few separate ways. The larger, urban areas have their own health departments and the resources to handle the coronavirus management. They report to DSHS the number of new cases and the daily death toll, and the county reports it to its citizens on their local county website.
The rural areas and small counties that don’t have the resources themselves, so they rely on DSHS to tell them how many cases are in their own county. A lot of counties have been reporting the cases within their area, but not all of them. Some report it on their local county judge’s Facebook page or EMS page, and some don’t report it at all.
The positive cases at the prisons are reported to DSHS, then DSHS reports those numbers to each county housing a prison unit. Then, the county gets to choose whether or not they include those cases in their overall count that they report to the state. Last, each county reports its case count back to DSHS. Sometimes it includes the prisoners, sometimes it does not.
Anderson County, Brazoria County, and Bowie County are just a few of the counties who have been choosing not to include the prisoners in their overall case count.
The stripping away of government transparency.
No one should be OK with this, no matter who you vote for, or if you even believe in the coronavirus isn’t real. This is not the principle which America was built on.
James Madison, one of our founding fathers once said that access to information was the cornerstone of a democratic government.
The Open Government Initiative started under Barack Obama created an unprecedented level of government transparency. Is this something that Trump has also done away with?
The Republican mantra is going to be, lie, lie, lie, and lie some more.
This is a red-alert! Pick up the phone, open your email. Call or write your elected officials. We should not stand for this.
How can we be assured we will be getting accurate numbers? Is this Abbott’s way of ‘controlling’ the number of new cases so his reopening strategy looks good?
Call your congressperson!
Demand transparency! This is America. You have the right to know if your town has 100 infections or 1,000,000. It’s a risk to you and your family’s personal safety.
To find out who your representatives are, go HERE!
Make sure you’re registered to vote!
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