Georgia Governor Apologizes After Misleading Graph Showing Virus Cases Dropping Over Time Sparks Backlash
Georgia's Republican governor, Brian Kemp, faced backlash even from President Donald Trump when he made the decision last month to begin easing stay at home orders in the state.
People didn't have much faith in his decision, considering he didn't learn about the prevalence of asymptomatic carriers until weeks after it became public knowledge.
Kemp's office is still trying to minimize the threat posed by the virus in an effort to justify the move to prematurely begin reopening. Now, it looks like they're willing to fudge public data to do so.
A graph released by the Georgia Department of Public Health documenting virus deaths in five Georgia counties, at first glance, looks promising.
It appears to show a consistently downward trend in deaths and hospitalizations in Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnet, and Hall counties over time.
But take a closer look at the x-axis.
The dates go from April 28 to April 27, then the 29, then May 1 to April 30, followed by May 6, May 4, May 5, all the way back to April 25, then May 2, May 7, April 26, May 3, May 8, and May 9.
In other words, the dates are completely out of order, resulting in a graph that looks more promising than it actually is.
Governor Kemp's communications director Candice Broce offered up a bizarre explanation for the confusing and downright misleading graph.
@petecorson @AJCInteractives The x axis was set up that way to show descending values to more easily demonstrate pe… https://t.co/KRfJOHtfjC— Candice Broce (@Candice Broce)1589229502.0
But all was not forgiven.
Georgia, Dear Georgia. Calendar dates are not user-configurable options. That's not how this works. That's not ho… https://t.co/iz5wqR58KF— Bob Mina (@Bob Mina)1589644748.0
There's a 1954 book called "How to lie with statistics," but it never occurred to them that a government (state of… https://t.co/mwsiB6CQDr— Seth Cotlar (@Seth Cotlar)1589604228.0
@blakesmustache Speaking of GA...this is a new low.👇🏼 They rearranged the dates to make the graph show a declining… https://t.co/ZEiv8pvGSK— Kat Packer 🏡 (@Kat Packer 🏡)1589636620.0
This is unreal https://t.co/FmALjC9QK7— Alexander Dent (@Alexander Dent)1589631825.0
WOW!😳 They are straight-up lying! https://t.co/0bz1LRrCxu— Gretchen🌻 (@Gretchen🌻)1589602627.0
They weren't buying Broce's explanation either.
Can someone, anyone, explain what this means? https://t.co/rl7B1QdgdU— Michael Wilson (@Michael Wilson)1589751735.0
Lol this is insane https://t.co/clWCWGmunj— C.B. English (@C.B. English)1589692902.0
No, ma’am. The X axis was set up to deceive, as you’re attempting to do right now. https://t.co/22Yd81DTWB— A. Social Distancing Rascal (@A. Social Distancing Rascal)1589668126.0
What a mess.