Monday, July 27, 2020

Oh, the Horror

The Johns Hopkins University of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center has a chart showing new cases /100,000 per day.  Most states are leveled off or declining, especially in the West, including Idaho.

What will the news media and Fakebookers panic about?

So what characteristic do all of the reports share? They are all false.

It is not true that 173 people died from COVID-19 “in a day” in Florida. Nor did 134, or 156 on previous days.

It is also untrue than 2,013 had died in July when that story was published. 

All of these scary headlines are based on the number of deaths reported by the state on any given day. This is not the same as the number of deaths that occurred on those days.

The difference might seem trivial. But it’s crucial because the press is using the timing of Florida’s death reports to whip up a frenzy about COVID-19 running riot in the state....

In fact, as of Sunday, the biggest one-day death toll so far in the state happened back on July 16, when 114 are known to have died. And when the press was claiming that 2,013 had died in July, the actual number of known deaths was 1,847.

As we noted in this space last week, this distortion is being repeated by the media in state after state that has seen a recent spike in coronavirus cases. While deaths attributed to coronavirus have increased, the “surge” is a fiction because many of those deaths happened earlier.

But almost no news outlet explains this difference clearly to readers. The Miami Herald is one exception.

In a recent story, it noted — after shouting about hitting a new record for daily deaths — that “the 173 deaths …. does not necessarily mean that every person died in the past 24 hours. In Florida, the deaths announced on a given day could be from several days earlier because the state information does not include the exact date of death.”


  1. It would be interesting to plot the area under each curve on a per 100K persons basis. Absent a vaccine, policy diffs can change the shape, but not the overall area under the total course of an outbreak. You can have your cases early, middle,or late, or spread them out to match hospital capacity, but the total won't change. We area getting better at treating the severe cases, so the death rate is going down.

  2. Oh, they'll find something to panic over, no question of that.
    I predict it will be something about plastic in the food chain, and America, being the biggest among consumers, and the adult in the room in every other respect, will be expected to take care of the plastic flowing into the sea from the ten worst offending rivers in the world, not one of which is in North or South America, Europe or Australian