LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Governor John Bel Edwards warned the public on Thursday of misinformation about the number of COVID-19 cases, calling the action of those who are spreading it “grossly irresponsible.”
“Unfortunately, it appears that there is a deliberate misinformation campaign claiming that the state’s inflating cases by counting people multiple times if they take multiple tests and that just isn’t the case,” Edwards said.
A case refers to a specific individual, no matter how many times they got tested.
Edwards criticized the spread of misinformation that minimizes how serious the pandemic is, especially in Louisiana where the number of cases, hospitalization rates, and deaths increases.
The Louisiana Department of Health reported 2,408 new cases on Thursday, meaning the state has surpassed 100k cases. Sixteen additional deaths were reported, bringing the total number of deaths to 3,574 statewide.
On Wednesday, 60 new deaths were reported - the highest daily number since May.
Edwards argued there’s no way for hospitalization and death numbers to climb without the number of cases correlating with them.
“I don’t want anybody to believe that the data is inaccurate or being manipulated,” Edwards said. “We’re working extremely hard and we have put in multiple redundant systems to scrub the data to make sure it is accurate, and it is timely. And we are sharing with the public in a way so that we can be as transparent as possible.”
Edwards asked people who are spreading misinformation to stop and for the public to not pay attention to what they’re saying.
Despite serious numbers, Edwards said he is encouraged by the vast majority of businesses, local leaders and residents who are taking this seriously and being responsible.
“I don’t want to go back to Phase 1,” Edwards said. “It shouldn’t be necessary to go backward but the only thing that’ll keep us from doing that is to have everybody wear a mask when you’re outside of your home.”