On Friday, Sept. 10, the renowned writer Stephen King, went viral on Twitter after making a post with erroneous information about the deaths caused by the COVID-19 in the state of Florida, which led him to receive an avalanche of criticism.
The following text can be read in the post “1200 dead of COVID yesterday in Florida.
Not the total for a week or a month, but ONE SINGLE DAY..”
The writer would be referring to the 1,296 deaths corresponding to Florida reported this Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but this amount does not correspond to the deaths that occurred in the state during a single day but is an accumulation corresponding to a period of days that can be up to several weeks.
It should be noted that infections and deaths in Florida have been declining in recent days.
Beginning in August, the state health department changed the way it counts daily deaths. They used to assign them to the day on which they were verified and now they are assigned to the actual day of death. For that reason, the 1296 deaths published on Thursday correspond to a span of several days, especially considering that it usually takes several days to process them.
At the time of publication of this article, King’s tweet—he has more than 6 million followers—had more than 25 thousand retweets and 90 thousand likes. The curious thing is that this tweet, which contains obvious misinformation about COVID deaths, was not deleted by Twitter, despite several comments indicating that the information is false.
One user commented that it is biased information from the writer and that with 3 minutes of research he was able to reveal the truth.
Another user replied to the writer that those deaths corresponded to several days and not just one.
Almost 12 hours later, the writer of horror novels such as “It” and “Carrie” acknowledged his mistake but took advantage of the situation to criticize Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
King, who has lived in Sarasota County, Florida, for more than 20 years, is a fervent critic of Governor DeSantis.
In the first days of August he published two tweets strongly criticizing the governor for his policies to deal with the CCP virus.
In the first of the posts, he blamed him for the CCP virus infections and the red tide.
And in the second one, he went further and pointed to his “right-wing” policies
DeSantis’ office was quick to respond to the writer’s accusations and it was press secretary Christina Pushaw who said via email to the Herald-Tribune:
“I do not understand why the public or reporters would look to fiction writers for insights on infectious disease and environmental issues.”
The other point that remains unknown is whether Twitter will remove from its platform the post with erroneous data of the writer and his subsequent post accepting his mistake, the one containing false information continues to add likes and retweets, bringing misinformation to the users of the social network.