PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — As large parts of the U.S. ease their lockdowns against the coronavirus, public health officials in some states are being accused of bungling infection numbers or even deliberately using a little sleight of hand to make things look better than they are.
The result is that politicians, business owners and ordinary Americans who are making decisions about reopenings and other day-to-day matters risk being left with the impression that the virus is under more control than it actually is.
The Associated Press reports, in Virginia, Texas and Vermont, officials said they have been combining the results of viral tests, which show an active infection, with antibody tests, which show a past infection. Public health experts say that can make for impressive-looking testing totals but does not give a true picture of how the virus is spreading.
The U.S. has recorded 1.5 million confirmed infections and over 90,000 deaths.