It looks like deaths (may) have started to rise!


American carnage in action:
Just in time for deaths to appear to begin moving up, The Atlantic has offered five perfectly decent reasons explaining why deaths keep going down while "cases" keep going up.

After a long decline from a very high point, have deaths begun increasing again? A 3-day holiday weekend can create a significant statistical glitch, but this is where the numbers have stood on each of the past seven Thursday mornings:
Daily deaths nationwide from covid-19
7-day rolling average

May 28: 971.9
June 4: 908.6
June 11: 773.4
June 18: 650.0
June 25: 574.7
July 2: 537.9
July 9: 551.6
A long decline began in mid-April, when the 7-day rolling average exceeded 2000 deaths per day. To appearances, that long decline has leveled off, and may now have started to rise.

Why have deaths been in decline in recent weeks even as "cases" have been rising? The Atlantic offers five perfectly sensible reasons. The essay is well worth reading:
1. Deaths lag cases
2. Expanded testing is finding more cases, milder cases, and earlier cases
3. The typical COVID-19 patient is getting younger
4. Hospitalized patients are dying less frequently, even without a home-run treatment
5. Summer might be helping—but probably only a little bit
We'll guess that there could be other perfectly sensible reasons. (Improved policies regarding nursing homes?)

That said, the oddness of "cases" as a statistic makes this phenomenon a natural puzzler. Remember:

The number of "cases" you see reported each night is only the number of cases which have been confirmed/diagnosed by a coronavirus test. There may be many other new infections (new cases) which haven't been so diagnosed.

Just two nights ago, on MSNBC, Dr. Redlener said the actual number of new cases may be ten times as high as the number you see reported on a daily basis. It's just that all those other new infections haven't been confirmed by a test. Infected parties may have no idea that they're even infected.

In short, no one knows how many actual new cases there actually are at any given time. That makes it hard to compare the number of "cases" with the number of deaths.

In many other countries (not all), deaths have largely been snuffed out. In Donald J. Trump's America, deaths may be back on the rise.

You'll continue to hear every kind of statistical misstatement from the stars of cable news, even at times from experts. But we're involved in a rolling disaster-by-dumbness—a dumbness which started long ago, in large part within the tents of our mainstream press elite.

They pimped The Donald every step of the way, going all the way back to Marla Maples' report of the "best sex ever." To balance things off, they kept calling Hillary Clinton Evita and Nurse Ratched, while tolerating crackpot discussions of the many people she'd killed.

All the idiots gamboled and played, having their fun with these dimwitted themes. In November 2016, the laughter largely faded.

At that point, we geniuses over here on the left decided to start our resistance. We leaped into action, ready for battle, at least thirty years too late!


  1. "It looks like deaths (may) have started to rise!"

    Yeah, there was a bit of a bump yesterday.

    Your dembot comrades are, of course, happy as a clam.

    But I would advise to wait/see, for a few days...

    1. 你是个混蛋

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  2. "You'll continue to hear every kind of statistical misstatement from the stars of cable news, even at times from experts. But we're involved in a rolling disaster-by-dumbness—a dumbness which started long ago, in large part within the tents of our mainstream press elite."

    Somerby provides no support for this statement at all and it arrives as a non sequitur after his discussion of Atlantic's reasonable explanation for decreases in deaths in conjunction with rising cases.

    These sorts of generalizations do little except undermine trust in news reporting during a crisis where we manifestly cannot trust what our President says. Further, this message about the fake news and failing journalists is right in step with Trump's attacks on the media.

    Just as Democrats are supporting Biden, whether enthusiastically or reluctantly, they are hoping he will beat Trump, Somerby, if he is any kind of liberal, should be supporting the press in the face of attacks on them from the right. They may not be perfect, but they are important to a functioning democracy and they are the best we have, and they are definitely under attack by the right. That is reason enough for Somerby to overlook the press's flaws and stop this kind of mindless attack, just as anyone who cares about this country is now supporting Biden and the various candidates down-ballot with D's next to their names.

    1. Somerby isn't qualified to identify a "statistical misstatement" and frequently makes statistical mistakes himself.

    2. No one should support what Democrats refer to as "the press." Enemies.

  3. 'At that point, we geniuses over here on the left decided to start our resistance. We leaped into action, ready for battle, at least thirty years too late!'


    1) Somerby spends 95% of his time attacking liberals and defending DJT, Roy Moore, Barr, Ron Johnson, Jim Jordan

    2) Somerby concern trolls left wingers and somehow his attacks on the press are almost never attacks on Fox et al.

    Somerby's phrase 'we geniuses on the left' is thus a lie. It should be replaced with 'We Malevolent Trumptards dedicated to re-electing DJT, so we can spend the rest of our miserable, pathetic existence bitching about 2000'

  4. They would have stopped testing months ago if Hillary were president and we'd have millions of deaths.

    1. And she would have given each citizen $1 million to pay their rent and bills for the next two years.

      BTW, this is a fun game you invented.

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  7. As a data scientist, I find this post muddled. If the number of tests remain the same and are random, it doesn't matter how many actual infections there are. Unfortunately, test numbers are not the same, and tests are not random, but then there are ways to weigh the results.


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