Washington State: Padding COVID Stats, Hit With A Nigerian Scam
Washington State is under fire for padding COVID stats with gunshot victims, and the news that the state has fallen victim to a Nigerian scam to the tune of millions of dollars.
Over-Reporting COVID Deaths
On May 18, the Freedom Foundation reported that the State of Washington was “over-reporting” the number of COVID-19 deaths. On May 21, the Department of Health acknowledged that some of the statistics even included gunshot victims. The inflated numbers may be as much as 13% over the actual number. They had reported 1,001 deaths as of the 18th.
The issue comes with that testing program for COVID-19. Is reporting COVID deaths a money thing? Do they get more money from the Federal Gov if someone dies of COVID-19?
Colorado moved its death total from 1,150 to 878 because of improperly counted statistics.
The Freedom Foundation noted on May 21:
Today, officials at the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that, as the Freedom Foundation reported on Monday, the state is counting in its COVID-19 death total the deaths of persons who tested positive for the virus but died from other causes.
In remarks made during a telephonic press briefing, DOH officials even acknowledged knowingly including multiple deaths caused by gunshot wounds in the state’s COVID-19 fatality count.
The vast majority of people who test positive for Coronaviarus get mild symptoms. Using the “tests” as the basis for a cause of death is not accurate, especially for gunshot wounds.
Of course WA Gov Inslee called the Freedom Foundation report “dangerous,” “disgusting” and “malarkey.” He also accused the Freedom Foundation of “fanning these conspiracy claims from the planet Pluto” and not “caring about the lives lost to COVID-19.”
That’s right, blame the messenger.
The Nigerian Scam
On top of that information, now it comes out that the State of Washington fell victim to a Nigerian scam as millions of people became unemployed from the pandemic.
The Post-Millenial reported:
On Thursday, Suzi LeVine, commissioner of the state Employment Security Department (ESD), acknowledged the loss of “hundreds of millions of dollars” to an international fraud scheme that crippled the state’s unemployment insurance system. Levine did not specify an exact figure of the losses….
…On May 14, Washington state officials said they were stopping unemployment payments for two days while they attempted to block an onslaught of fraudulent claims. By that time, the fraud payouts were estimated by ESD officials to be approximately $1.6 million.
On May 16, the Tax Foundation released a map showing Washington state having the highest unemployment compensation claims in the US as a percentage of the civilian workforce…
…Some questioned the data, noting that tech giants headquartered in Washington and some of the states largest employers have not had mass layoff or furloughs. It is not currently known exactly how many fraudulent claims were filed or an exact number of how much money was defrauded from Washington State.
No one noticed that high amount of claims?
According to The Seattle Times, one of the criminal groups involved was a Nigerian organization known as “Scattered Canary” that has been running scams for decades.
The State of Washington says that more delays are likely for the unemployment checks, which will seriously jeopardize those folks who need them. Over 9 weeks and counting since the shutdown, with many people trying desperately to contact the Department of Employment and getting nowhere. Meanwhile, the fraudulent claims kept coming and being paid out. The State at least paused the progem until they can sort out the mess.
Those are delays that will be highly expensive and not just for the victims who’ve had their checks stolen…expensive for the state of Washington as well.
Featured photo: Newstalk 870