FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2020
Also, The Project speaks: It's astounding to see what has happened to various nations in Europe.
Two months ago, they seemed to have Covid beat. As of today, even Germany has reached the point where its weekly death rate is approaching our own.
Weekly death rates in France, Italy and the U.K. substantially exceed our own. The change has been astounding.
We've been amazed by the lack of journalistic interest in this disastrous change. We see where the New York Times has now posted a report on this topic, though we haven't read it yet.
The data shown below are also amazing. They come to us from this data base, but also from a different part of the world:
Covid deaths in the past seven days:
United States: 23,275
South Korea: 35
Australia: 1New Zealand: 0
We haven't adjusted for population. Do we really need to?
Japan's population is roughly one-third the size of our own—a little bit more than one-third. The lack of interest in data like these also strikes us as amazing.
We offer one more point, this time concerning "reported deaths."
Yesterday afternoon, we mentioned an obvious fact which no major cable star knows. There's no way to know how many people have died of Covid on any given day.
That isn't the way our reporting systems work. Unless you watch CNN or MSNBC, where the stars spend little time examining data and instead serve you storyline.
Yesterday, we cited Rachel Maddow's report from Wednesday night. In fairness, her error has been echoed all over CNN and MSNBC. These people are extremely well paid, but they just aren't super-sharp.
A few hours after we posted, so did The Covid Tracking Project. In a late afternoon report for The Atlantic, they discussed the same statistical artefact we had discussed. Along the way, they said this:
COVID TRACKING PROJECT (12/3/20): Reported deaths were very low for several days through the holiday weekend and on Monday. They have risen sharply since—again, a pattern we expected to see and may see more of as reports finally roll in. It is not possible today to understand which increases in reported deaths are related to backlogs and which are related to actual rises in deaths—which we also expect to see, given that reported deaths follow cases and hospitalizations up (and down) the curve, several weeks behind.
Official reporting of Covid deaths routinely slows over a weekend. This is especially true in the case of a four-day holiday weekend.
That doesn't mean that people stopped dying over the weekend. It simply means that bureaucratic reporting slowed. The "backlog" gets made up during the course of the subsequent week.
For these reasons, the weekend numbers are artificially low. The subsequent midweek numbers are artificially high. There's no record of deaths on a given day. That isn't the way it works.
Your cable stars don't know such things because they focus on storyline and on little else. In the end, this lack of interest and curiosity works out very poorly.
One last point:
You won't hear about European or Australian death rates on our top-rated cable news programs. You won't hear discussions of the way those Pacific nations have seemed to lick the virus.
That won't happen on cable news. Reason? Aside from simple-minded storyline, your top cable stars don't care.