FL Gov Hires Anti-Mask Uber Driver For COVID Analysis

The Miami Herald reports:

When Gov. Ron DeSantis needed to hire a data analyst, his staff picked a little-known Ohio sports blogger and Uber driver whose only relevant experience is spreading harmful conspiracy theories about COVID-19 on the Internet.

In his own words, Kyle Lamb of Columbus, Ohio, has few qualifications for the job at the state’s Office of Policy and Budget, which pays $40,000 per year.

“Fact is, I’m not an ‘expert.’ I’m not a doctor, epidemiologist, virologist or scientist,” Lamb wrote on a website for a subscribers-only podcast he hosts about the coronavirus. “I also don’t need to be. Experts don’t have all the answers, and we’ve learned that the hard way.”

The New York Post reports:

Lamb gained recognition among right wing commentators through his Twitter feed, where he once posited the claim that a resident of Ohio tested positive for the virus 15 times, each of which he said was counted by the state separately and inflated the positivity rate. He later deleted the tweet when it was proved false.

A guest on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show cited the tweet and lauded Lamb as a good coronavirus researcher, which nearly doubled his Twitter following. Several sports writers and reporters from Ohio told the Herald they knew Lamb as a “crackpot” and gadfly in the world of Ohio State sports journalism.

The Washington Post reports:

Lamb gained most of his large Twitter following when he began posting colorful spreadsheets and graphs generated in Excel as communities across the United States went into shutdowns because of the pandemic.

Many of Lamb’s covid-19 posts are desecribed as “conspiracy theories and half-baked crackpot data” that were “constantly being proven wrong.”

Experts have taken issue with Lamb’s data analysis. A University of Florida professor retweeted several instances where Lamb appeared to make a clumsy error, including switching the axes of a graph showing new covid-19 cases in Ohio and creating messy spreadsheets that defied basic data organization principals.