The latest COVID-19 data out of Florida on Thursday indicated an increase of 1,296 deaths from the total reported a day earlier.
Renowned author and high-profile liberal Stephen King misattributed that total to the number of deaths in Florida on Thursday alone. Those deaths span back weeks.
"1200 died of COVID yesterday in Florida. Not the total for a week or a month, but ONE SINGLE DAY," tweeted King late Friday morning.
The backdating of fatalities shows that more than 7,600 residents died in Florida in August, or a calculated average of 245 deaths per day, which was the deadliest month of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, reported Local 10.
A Twitter user, who lists himself as a former FBI special agent in New York, replied: "Great example of confirmation bias Stephen King!"
"To the objective reader, this number seems statistically WAY out of whack," he said. "This should trigger the question in your mind, "can this be accurate?""
"Of course, 3 minutes of research reveals it is not," he went on to post.
"Exactly right," wrote another. "It amazes me how people are willing to follow things that make no sense just because it fits the narrative they want. And Stephen King leaves this misinformation up when he must now know it is wrong."
According to the present data, only three COVID-19 deaths were reported in the state on Thursday, Sept. 9. Nine deaths were reported the day before.
However, more deaths may be connected to the virus and assigned later for those respective days. This is down significantly from previous weeks, where daily death counts amounted to around 200, 300 or more.
Last month, the state's health department switched from tallying deaths by the day they were verified to now tracking them by the date they passed away. The deaths usually take several days to be processed, so a single date's totals can eventually grow days later, and the day-by-day increases appear smaller at first.
The first Twitter user added in the Twitter thread: "[King] stressed 1200 [deaths] in a single day. The truth is closer to 245."
"What profession do you have where you can be THAT wrong and not get fired?" he further blasted King.
I don't think you get how the truth works. You don't get to inflate a number by 500% and say "well it's still bad." Try that with your taxes next year and see how it goes.
To the author's credit, King issued a correction of the earlier tweet, although he still criticized the DeSantis administration while half-conceding hours later:
"I'm wrong about the number of deaths in Florida due to COVID. Not 1200 in one day but over the course of one week, possibly more. I regret the error, but regret the DeSantis crew's failure to come to grips with the COVID virus even more."
Twitter still hasn't slapped a "misinformation" label on King's coronavirus tweet.