Now, let's consider Australia: By common agreement, New Zealand has done an excellent job handling Covid-19.
What explains New Zealand's success? Only in the New York Times would you read something as silly as this:
TAUB (5/16/20): After New Zealand began its lockdown on March 25, [Prime Minister Jacinda] Ardern addressed the nation via a casual Facebook Live session she conducted on her phone after putting her toddler to bed. Dressed in a cozy-looking sweatshirt, she empathized with citizens’ anxieties and offered apologies to anyone who was startled or alarmed by the emergency alert that announced the lockdown order.What explains New Zealand's relative success? (For data, see below.)
By contrast, Mr. Trump has tried to anthropomorphize the virus into a foe he can rail against, calling it a “brilliant enemy.” But while that may have encouraged his base, it has not aided American efforts to contain the pandemic. The United States now has the highest coronavirus death toll in the world.
We can't necessarily answer that question. But we're fairly sure that the nation's success hasn't been caused by the fact that Prime Minister Ardern wore "a cozy-looking sweatshirt" when she addressed the nation. Nor would we link it to the claim that she had just put her toddler to bed.
Meanwhile, note the almost fanatical innumeracy which seems to be gripping the Times. In this high-profile piece from Saturday's paper, Amanada Taub included the grossly misleading fact that the United States "has the highest coronavirus death toll in the world."
That's true, of course, but it isn't relevant to Taub's insinuation. Among major nations, the U.S. currently ranks ninth in deaths per million population, and we're nowhere close to first.
We only have "the highest death toll" because we're the world's third-largest nation by population, behind only China and India. When it comes to this simple point, the New York Times is almost as innumerate as President Trump himself.
Trump constantly ignores population size when he triumphantly declares that we lead the world in tests. The Times keeps countering with the innumerate clam that we lead the world in deaths. As we noted on Friday, the same misleading claim had appeared in Mara Gay's otherwise excellent editorial essay in that day's editions.
In that sense, the New York Times—its reporters and its editors both—are almost as dumb as Trump is. That said, let's return to Prime Minister Ardern's cozy attire, along with her slumbering toddler.
That ridiculous passage about the sweatshirt was part of Taub's attempt to claim that female heads of state have been doing a better job confronting the coronavirus than their male counterparts.
That may or may not be true. Let's consider New Zealand.
Taub started her report with praise for Prime Minister Ardern. This is the way it went:
TAUB: Monday was a day of triumph for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Thanks to the efforts of the entire nation, she said, New Zealand had been largely successful in meeting its ambitious goal of eradicating, rather than just controlling, outbreaks of Covid-19. The lockdown she had put in place on March 25 could now end.Have countries led by women been particularly successful? As you'll see, we aren't hugely sure.
Ms. Ardern’s success is the latest data point in a widely noticed trend: Countries led by women seem to be particularly successful in fighting the coronavirus.
But that was the premise which led to the claim about the cozy-looking sweatshirt. Under present arrangements, anything which fits some prevailing narrative is fit for the New York Times.
In fairness, New Zealand does have a good track record. Below, you see its current standing, as compared to a neighboring country ruled by one of those men:
Deaths from Covid-19 per million population, as of May 18:Oops! Taub failed to mention the fact that Australia, ruled by a man, has the same low death rate that New Zealand does!
New Zealand: 4
Taub cited three other female heads of state—those in Germany, Finland and Taiwan. She didn't mention Belgium—which, despite its female head of state, has the highest death rate in the world:
Deaths from Covid-19 per million population, as of May 18:Does the United States have "the highest coronavirus death toll in the world?" Once you adjust for population, it isn't even close!
United States: 276
For various reasons, assessing these matters isn't enormously easy at the present time. For a Washington Post report concerning Belgium's high death rate, you can just click here.
Concerning the general question, you can consider Taub's report for yourself. But the "N" in question is very low, while the "narrative quotient" is high.
New Zealand has a low death rate—but so, alas, does Australia! This is part of the way cogitation works in this, the age of the tribe.
"Only in the New York Times would you read something as silly as this"ReplyDelete
Meh. Only in the New York Times and in every other yellow rag of your goebbelsian zombie media.
"We can't necessarily answer that question. But we're fairly sure that the nation's success hasn't been caused by the fact that Prime Minister Ardern wore "a cozy-looking sweatshirt" when she addressed the nation. Nor would we link it to the claim that she had just put her toddler to bed."ReplyDelete
So, Somerby doesn't understand about creating atmosphere and the importance of image. No one would ever believe that Trump empathizes with the common man, if you take his picture with his gold toilet and other rich-guy trappings. That might enhance his authority but it doesn't encourage anyone to believe he understands or empathizes with everyday people.
The fact that this woman visibly cares for her own toddler, instead of handing Barron off to Melania and nannies, makes more believable the idea that she truly cares for her nation's people as well.
Trump utterly fails as a leader because he is all about coercion and force, not about persuasion or leadership. So, yes, those paragraphs about how New Zealand's leader set the scene for her mandatory orders is relevant and important because it explains why her people were willing to follow her, whereas Trump has created nothing but divisiveness and chaos in our country.
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Australia and New Zealand both have a greater ability to control movement of people into their country. Same with Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Alaska and Hawaii.ReplyDelete
But Taub isn't talking about death rates as much as leadership and compliance with lockdown procedures. It is very hard to argue that Trump has achieved any kind of compliance when half the country is doing nothing and the other half is resisting Trump's own call to abandon control of the virus. The people here do not agree about what they should be doing, because the president himself has been inconsistent, wavering, and unclear about what he expects from the populace.
New Zealand's Prime Minister showed herself under lockdown, caring for her child, at home with her family, in lockdown casual clothes. She is modeling the behavior she expects from her nation. Trump won't even wear a mask.
It may be that her leadership ability arises from being female in politics, which requires some other methods of persuasion besides power, authority, force. She persuades. But it is also much easier to lead when you know what to do about a situation, as Ardern clearly does and Trump does not. It might be reasonable to suggest that any woman who makes it to the top in politics must be a great deal more competent than the men who achieve that position. Trump got there without being competent, informed, educated, intelligent, or having any other characteristic other than saying "fuck you" to libs and agreeing to dismantle government on behalf of the wealthy. A case can be made that fewer women are psychopaths, fewer women are interested in accumulating wealth for its own sake, fewer women would sell their country out for cash, and fewer women would be as brazen in their wrongdoing as Trump is.
Belgium may not be doing as well as the rest of the world, but it is at a crossroads for travel, has no natural barriers that would defend against spread of a virus, is the head of the EU, and most likely had the virus before Wuhan was on anyone's radar. It may be that Belgium is doing poorly in spite of competent leadership, not because female leaders are not universally effective. This article suggests that the difference is in the way Belgium counts its deaths, not its methods for coping:
But Somerby rarely looks behind the numbers. He thinks it is enough to just adjust for population size, without thinking about how deaths are counted as Covid deaths versus deaths from other causes.
I could, without trying very hard, make a case for Somerby's innumeracy, his incompetence analyzing and interpreting figures. In his case, it seems to be related to his motivation for attacking the NY Times, and to his use of numbers to play games, without any real interest in the story being told by them, what they mean.
The NY Times reporters at least care about the subject they are discussing, whether they offend Somerby by suggesting that some woman, somewhere, might be doing a good job, or not.
So why is US so much higher in both real numbers and per million numbers, Mr. superior numeracy?ReplyDelete
As for your apologia for 100,000 deaths, thanks for nothing.
The Times shamefully continues to repeat the lie that supposedly "The United States now has the highest coronavirus death toll in the world." As we've discussed on this siteReplyDelete
1. The mortality rate, not the total mortality is what's important.
2. The US does not have highest corona virus death toll. The US has the highest reported death toll.
Plus, the other lie - what sweatshirt isn't "cozy looking"?Delete
And Donald Trump shamefully says “we’re number one in testing”, when our number of tests per million is in 39th place.Delete
“We only have "the highest death toll" because we're the world's third-largest nation by population, behind only China and India.”ReplyDelete
China, number of deaths: 4,634
India, number of deaths: 3,156
USA, number of deaths: 91,751
Indonesia (world’s 4th largest country), number of deaths: 1,191
China is 4.35 times larger than the US.
India is 4.17 times larger than the US.
The US is 1.2 times larger than Indonesia.
“Deaths from Covid-19 per million population, as of May 18:ReplyDelete
United States: 276”
Belgium is a member state of the European Union. It would be a more apples to apples comparison to look at the deaths per million of the entire EU and compare it to the United States. Within the EU, member states have taken different approaches to Coronavirus mitigation, as is the case for the various US states.
Deaths from Covid-19 per million population, as of May 18:
Another point of comparison: the total area of Belgium is approximately that of Massachusetts.
Deaths from Covid-19 per million population, as of May 18:
Belgium’s population density is more than 11 times larger than that of the US.
The Daily Howler has one logical fallacy and tries to keep applying it to everything. Over and over again. Starting to get a little demented?ReplyDelete
From Political Wire by Taegan Goddard:ReplyDelete
"“It’s been a White House tradition for decades: a first-term president hosts his immediate predecessor in the East Room for a ceremony to unveil the portrait of the former president that will hang in the halls of the White House for posterity,” NBC News report.
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