Kansas using doctored data to justify mask mandates
08/12/2020 // Ethan Huff // Views

In an attempt to justify the state's ongoing face mask mandates, Kansas Health Secretary Dr. Lee Norman recently held a press conference at which he presented a colorful data chart suggesting that masked counties in Kansas are faring much better than unmasked counties in terms of new Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. But there was just one problem: The data that Dr. Norman presented was deliberately faked.

Appearing to plot a seven-day average for new Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases per 100,000 people across Kansas, Dr. Norman's chart made it seem as though counties in Kansas that require face masks are seeing case declines, while those that allow people to breathe normally have a flat rate of new cases. But this was all a façade, as Dr. Norman had deliberately used a different set of ranges on the two axes to make the graph's appearance fit his pro-mask narrative.

It was actually The Sentinel, a non-profit watchdog group based out of Kansas, that noticed the anomaly and pressed Dr. Norman on it. During his presentation, a reporter from The Sentinel asked Dr. Norman if the blue line, which represented new Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in unmasked Kansas counties, would drop below the orange line, which represented new Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases is masked Kansas counties.

"If the no-mask counties would start masking, would it [blue line] drop, and would it dip down below the mask counties?" this reporter from The Sentinel asked.

"I think it would," Dr. Norman answered.

"But the chart was consciously manipulated to produce that appearance by comparing the same data (cases per day) on different axes," the Sentinel reporter further charged.


"Cases for mandate counties are based on the left axis, with a range of 15 to 25, while those without mandates are based on a secondary axis on the right, with a scale of 4 to 14," he added, exposing the alleged data as a manipulated farce.

Unmasked counties in Kansas are actually doing BETTER than masked counties, data shows

To drive home the point that Dr. Norman's data was obviously manipulated, The Sentinel created its own new graph with equivalent, and thus accurate, axes, which produced completely different results. As it turns out, the no-mask counties had fewer new cases of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) than mask counties – the exact opposite of what Dr. Norman's chart implied.

"At a time when the public needs government to provide sound conclusions with accurate information, it's unfortunate the Kansas Health Secretary knowingly deceived the public into justifying his narrative," stated Kansas Policy Institute (KPI) economist Michael Austin in response to the revelation.

At best, both masked and unmasked counties in Kansas are seeing similar declines in new cases of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), suggesting that masks are unnecessary. At worst, masked counties are actually seeing more new cases of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) than unmasked counties. In both cases, masks are hardly the health saviors that people like Dr. Norman continue to claim they are.

"Governor Kelly and her administration have failed Kansans time and again, but manipulating data to intentionally deceive the entire state is a new low," stated Kansas House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins.

"Tens of thousands of Kansans have lost their jobs and businesses as a direct result of Governor Kelly's politics-first response to the COVID pandemic, and these individuals struggling to make ends meet deserve to know the truth. It is reprehensible for a public servant like Dr. Norman that we trusted to protect our health and safety in a nonpartisan way to intentionally spread misinformation. The Kelly administration has lost all credibility."

The latest news about the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) is available at Pandemic.news.

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