It is an interesting concept if it had been the other way around. It is certainly a very good possibility that it was. It is really to bad the student did such a poor job on the paper that was published. It is even sadder the CDC used the incorrect information.
The data provided are completely suiting to your theory and justifying it too. I do appreciate your work and effort you had put into it. The explanation part is the best what I found out of this beautiful and true article.