A major scandal for the healthcare system in Florida appears to be brewing after a recent investigation found that hospitals are over-reporting their positive coronavirus rates by substantial margins.
The investigation, conducted by Fox 35 News' Robert Guaderrama, was originally launched after reporters found it unusual that hundreds of hospitals and testing companies were reporting a 100 percent infection rate from administered tests.
This would mean that every single person who received a test was sick with the virus -- an unlikely scenario in even the most hard-hit of places.
However, after reporters looked into the data, they found very different results.
For example, Orlando Health had originally claimed that 98 percent of all those who had taken COVID-19 tests had tested positive. After Fox 35 News contacted the facility, they claimed that there were errors in the data. The amended number suggests that just 9.4 percent of patients tested positive -- a change of almost 90 percent.
Similarly, Orlando Veteran's Medical Center had posted a positivity rate of 76 percent on the state website. A spokesperson for the hospital later claimed that "this does not reflect" their true findings, and the rate is actually around 6 percent.
Though reporters have sought to clarify how there could be such a major discrepancy in the data, they received no response.
"What's strange is that it's unclear why the negative results are not being reported. No reason was given. Are these clinics overwhelmed? We're not sure..." wrote Amy Kaufeldt on Twitter. Kaufeldt works as an anchor at the station. You can see her tweet here.
Kaufeldt later suggested on Twitter that it was now believed that the clinics may have been reporting the numbers correctly, and the error came from the Florida Department of Health.
"It's not the clinics. They are reporting the number correctly and it is getting changed on the FL Dept of Health website. They don't know how or why it's getting changed," she wrote in a tweet that you can view here.
The fact that negative tests have not been reported could have major implications for the true coronavirus numbers in Florida which currently stand at 12.6 percent.
The latest findings come amidst a crisis of public confidence in both the media and government institutions concerning the truth on the novel coronavirus. A poll conducted by Axios earlier this spring noted that just 67 percent of respondents trusted COVID-19 information that came from their local government.
The number was even lower when respondents were asked about their trust in data from newspapers or digital media. That number hovered between 47 and 51 percent.
In other COVID-related news, a potential vaccine by Pfizer has been fast-tracked following promising results, as was previously reported by The Inquisitr.