Consider what Redlener said: How strange a statistic is "cases?" Consider what Dr. Irwin Redlener said to Brian Williams last night.
(We can't give you a link. As we type on Wednesday afternoon, the slacker channel has produced transcripts only through last Thursday's night's TV shows.)
Redlener strikes us as one of the best of the many capable medical specialists currently being glimpsed on cable TV. Here's part of what he said in reply to Donald Trump's recent crazy claims concerning our triumph over the virus:
REDLENER (7/7/20): Anthony Fauci said, just two weeks ago, that we can expect to see 100,000 new, confirmed, tested cases every day, which means that's about a tenth of what the real number is because not everybody gets tested. So we could be seeing a million new cases a day within the next few weeks.Redlener joined Dr. Fauci's recent prediction—100,000 new confirmed cases per day—with Dr. Redfield's earlier statement that the actual number of cases to date may be as much as ten times the current recorded amount.
On that basis, Redlener says we may soon be experiencing one million new infections per day, with 100,000 of those new infections/new cases being confirmed through testing.
Will that actually happen? Will a million additional people be getting infected each day?
We have no idea. But again, just consider how strange a statistic "cases" is! Think of it like this:
Why do we use this statistic at all if the number we're recording and reporting may be off by as much as a factor of ten? Can we make valid comparisons over time if we're missing this many actual cases? Can we make valid comparisons from one state to another? From one part of some state to another part of that state?
If the number of cases we record depends so heavily on 1) the volume of testing being conducted, and 2) the public's interest in being tested, then what are we really recording and reporting?
Deaths are easy, "cases" are hard! If the number we're recording each day may be off by a factor of ten, how valuable is "cases" as a statistic?
We don't know the answer to that question. Also, no one is going to ask!
(Redlener shared time with two non-medical guests as Brian hopscotched around. This is the way "discussion" works in our current version of Short Attention Span Theater.)