Wolf Blitzer gets a Covid stat right!

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2020

New York gets a Covid stat wrong: The youthful analysts' youthful cheers rang loudly through our halls. 

Last evening, at 6 P.M. Eastern, Wolf Blitzer did the highly improbable. Somehow, he managed to get a Covid statistic right!

He even managed to make it look easy. In fairness, it pretty much is:

BLITZER (12/7/20): Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer in The Situation Room. We're following breaking news.

Seventy-nine years after 2,400 Americans died in the attack on Pearl Harbor, Covid-19 is now killing almost as many people on average in the United States each day. More than 1,000 have already been reported today, and the toll has now surpassed 283,000 people, as the country is rapidly approaching 15 million confirmed coronavirus cases.

Those numbers will get worse and worse in the coming weeks...

It isn't hard to do! Blitzer didn't lead with the number of people reported dead on some particular day. Instead, he stressed the average number of deaths each day over the course of the previous week.

(According to the numbers at the Washington Post, the average number of daily deaths for that week was 2,215. Technically, that's the average number of deaths which were reported, or recorded, during that seven-day period. Most likely, it's very close to the average number of Covid deaths which actually occurred.)

Blitzer didn't cherry-pick the number of deaths for some particular day. Because reporting delays occur on weekends, doing so tends to be grossly misleading, with weekend numbers artificially low and the subsequent weekday numbers artificially high.

Not long ago, the endlessly gruesome Kayleigh McEnany was cherry-picking (low) weekend numbers to try to con us into thinking the pandemic wasn't that bad. Just last week, cable stars like Rachel Maddow were reporting an (artificially high) weekday number right after the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, producing the story we prefer—the pandemic is worse than we thought.

So it has gone as performers have played dueling reindeer games with this gruesome pandemic. (Do they know they're cherry-picking? We have no idea!)

Last evening, Blitzer was thoroughly competent. He led with the only death count which is journalistically respectable—the average number of daily deaths over a 7- or 14-day span. 

Though shocked, the analysts lustily cheered. Shortly, though, alas!

Within the next hour, we read this report in New York Magazine.  In the main, Robin Lloyd was describing the major shortcomings of another commonly cited Covid statistic. We refer to the so-called "positivity rate"—the percentage of Covid tests in some jurisdiction which turn out to be positive.

All year, we've been puzzled by the widespread use of that statistic. In her piece, Lloyd was describing some of the problems with the statistic—problems which had long struck us as obvious.

To our ear, Lloyd was rolling along reasonably well. But then, ohourgod—she wrote this:

LLOYD (12/7/20): [M]ost researchers avoid relying on any single number such as the positivity rate to understand the status of a community’s outbreak, preferring to examine it alongside other statistics, such as the number of and trend direction for positive coronavirus cases in a community...

For instance, it would be misleading to base policy on South Dakota’s 448 new infections reported on December 1 without also looking at its eye-popping positivity rate of 42.5 percent. Together, these numbers start to paint a picture of a runaway outbreak and insufficient testing. By contrast, New York state on the same day reported over 16 times more new infections (7,413). In the context of the state’s 3.7 percent positivity rate that day, it could suggest a more controlled outbreak and enough testing to inform efforts to control or respond to transmission. 

"By contrast, New York state on the same day reported over 16 times more new infections?"  

Why would a journalist write something like that, and why would an editor publish it? Needless to say, the analysts were now weeping and howling, and tearing their hair once again.

One hour earlier, Blitzer had the youngsters cheering. But as we've told you, Covid statistics are amazingly hard for our upper-end press elite! 

This is an anthropology lesson. More on this matter to follow...


17 comments:

  1. "Wolf Blitzer did the highly improbable. Somehow, he managed to get a Covid statistic right!"

    Somerby implies that TV hosts rarely get stats right, but every time he has made a criticism, he has acknowledged that whoever he is criticizing is "technically accurate". His nitpicks are usually just his own preference for which stat to use, not mistakes made by those on TV. But he pretends they are all idiots and only he, Somerby, knows how to talk about covid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, I am Theresa Williams After being in relationship with Anderson for years, he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to my friend and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him. That was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made a promise that anybody I know that has a relationship problem, I would be of help to such a person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem. His email: {drogunduspellcaster@gmail.com} you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or any other Case.
      1) Love Spells
      2) solution and cure to all sickness
      3) Herbal Cure for any disease/sickness
      4) Marriage Spells
      5) Pregnancy spell
      6) Breakup Spells
      7) Death spell
      8.) You want to be promoted in your office
      9) want to satisfy your lover 
      10) Lottery
      Contact this great man if you are having any problem for a lasting solution
      through {drogunduspellcaster@gmail.com}

      Delete
    2. Omg I Finally Got Helped  !! I'm so excited right now, I just have to share my testimony on this Forum.. The feeling of being loved takes away so much burden from our shoulders. I had all this but I made a big mistake when I cheated on my wife with another woman  and my wife left me for over 4 months after she found out..  I was lonely, sad and devastated. Luckily I was directed to a very powerful spell caster Dr Emu who helped me cast a spell of reconciliation on our Relationship and he brought back my wife and now she loves me far more than ever.. I'm so happy with life now. Thank you so much Dr Emu, kindly Contact  Dr Emu Today and get any kind of help you want.. Via Email emutemple@gmail.com or Call/WhatsApp +2347012841542

      Delete
    3. HERBAL DR EMU WHO PREPARE HERBAL MEDICINE TO CURE ALL KINDS OF DISEASES INCLUDING HERPES DISEASE.   
       I have been battling this Herpes disease for almost 3 years now....I tried all possible means to get cure from my Herpes Disease but all to be in vain until i saw a post in a health forum about a herbal Dr Emu who prepare herbal medicine to cure all kind of diseases including Herpes Disease, at first i doubted if it was real but decided to give it a try...when i contact Dr Emu via his email (emutemple@gmail.com)  write him and reply me explain how the process work so after ordering for the medicine I got it within 3/4 working days through DHL Delivery and I took it according to the way Dr Emu instructed, I was so happy after 2 week I took the medicine there was very big change in my health when I was done with the process I go for test, I found out I am negative...Herpes patients should also get in touch with this herbalist Dr Emu to get rid of these Herpes Virus forever his whatsapp number +2347012841542. Website: https://emutemple.wordpress.com/ 

      Delete
  2. "Instead, he stressed the average number of deaths each day over the course of the previous week."

    In a pandemic with a steeply increasing curve, the most accurate predictor of what to expect is not the average over the last 7 days. It is the last day's figure because the deaths are increasing. If you didn't know that you were in a pandemic, you wouldn't make that assumption -- you would let the data tell you what was happening. But we ARE in a pandemic and the purpose of the numbers is to tell us what to expect.

    Somerby never thinks about what the stats represent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who could argue with that well reasoned logic?

      Delete
    2. Apparently not you 1:36.

      Delete
  3. Statistics 101: Step 1 -- collect data on lots of things, Step 2 -- interpret the statistics in the context of what is already known about the situation. Somerby skips step 2 most of the time (or mocks those who do it) and now he objects because Lloyd says you should use several measures, not just one (step 1).

    Somerby doesn't know what he is talking about when he tries to discuss statistics.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Why would a journalist write something like that, and why would an editor publish it?

    Because the journalist and the editor are trying to educate people that it is necessary to look at more than one number if you want to get the true scope of the issue.
    If you just look at that map in the background on many newscasts that shows the number of cases or deaths per state, it tells you nothing. Just like the fact that South Dakota had 448 new infections and New York had 7,413. It is hard to believe, but there are people who would look at that and determine that South Dakota is doing much better than New York – The South Dakota Governor probably would tell you this.
    When you add another metric like the test positivity rate, however, you get more of the entire picture.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Omg I Finally Got Helped  !! I'm so excited right now, I just have to share my testimony on this Forum.. The feeling of being loved takes away so much burden from our shoulders. I had all this but I made a big mistake when I cheated on my wife with another woman  and my wife left me for over 4 months after she found out..  I was lonely, sad and devastated. Luckily I was directed to a very powerful spell caster Dr Emu who helped me cast a spell of reconciliation on our Relationship and he brought back my wife and now she loves me far more than ever.. I'm so happy with life now. Thank you so much Dr Emu, kindly Contact  Dr Emu Today and get any kind of help you want.. Via Email emutemple@gmail.com or Call/WhatsApp +2347012841542

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fuck off Jason Dr. Emu is a quack con man.

      Aziba is the official spellcaster of the Daily Howler.


      Off topic...
      David how's that treatment coming, remember to insert the ostrich egg as far up your anus as possible.
      Rinse and repeat

      Delete
  6. "By contrast, New York state on the same day reported over 16 times more new infections?"  

    “Why would a journalist write something like that, and why would an editor publish it? Needless to say, the analysts were now weeping and howling, and tearing their hair once again.”

    Is Somerby kidding? The journalist is trying to get the reader to understand why a larger number of new reported infections isn’t necessarily worse than a smaller number.

    The journalist is doing precisely what Somerby keeps demanding journalists do: explain the statistics and the idea of rate.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I appreciate the detail you went into [topic that was covered]. I am grateful for the amount of time and effort you put into this helping us.
    https://bhiwadisatta.com

    For more info click below 👇

    bhiwadi satta

    ReplyDelete
  8. Am here to testify what this great spell caster done for me. i never believe in spell casting, until when i was was tempted to try it. i and my wife have been having a lot of problem living together, she will always not make me happy because she have fallen in love with another man outside our relationship, i tried my best to make sure that my wife leave this woman but the more i talk to her the more she makes me fell sad, so my marriage is now leading to divorce because she no longer gives me attention. so with all this pain and agony, i decided to contact this spell caster to see if things can work out between me and my wife again. this spell caster who was a man told me that my wife is really under a great spell that she have been charm by some magic, so he told me that he was going to make all things normal back. he did the spell on my wife and after 5 days my wife changed completely she even apologize with the way she treated me that she was not her self, i really thank this man his name is Dr Odion he have bring back my wife back to me i want you all to contact him who are having any problem related to marriage issue and relationship problem he will solve it for you. his email is wisdomspiritualtemple@gmail.com he is a man and his great. wish you good time.
    He cast spells for different purposes like
    (1) If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dream
    (3) You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4) You want women/men to run after you.
    (5) If you want a child.
    (6) You want to be rich.
    (7) You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever.
    (8) If you need financial assistance.
    (9) HIV/AIDS CURE
    (10) is the only answer to that your problem of winning the lottery

    Contact him today on:wisdomspiritualtemple@gmail.com or whatsapp him on +2348136482342

    ReplyDelete
  9. I want to thank Emu Temple for the accurate readings he gave me and for also helping me bring back my lover.. If you are here and you are having any relationship problem please Contact Emu Temple on Via Email: emutemple@gmail.com OR Via WhatsApp +2347012841542 and result is 100% guarantee and He do lot more as:*Love Spells*Lost Love Spells*Divorce Spells*Stop Divorce Spell*Marriage Spells*Binding Spells*Breakup Spells*You want to be promoted in your office*Want to satisfy your lover*Death Spell*Gay/Lesbian Love Spell*Court case Spell*Politics Spell*Good-luck Spell*Bad Luck Remover Spell*Do as i say Spell*General cleansing Spell*Herbal remedy for all kind of disease    
    *Lottery Spell*Pregnancy Spell*Peins enlargement 

    ReplyDelete
  10. This year 2020 has been so blissful to me for God has given me a reason to live happily again after been heart broken for 6 years when my husband neglected me and went back to he's mistress. I suffered and went through all types of emotional tortures for i couldn't get any help to get my man back not until i was refereed to Dr. Iyaya by my co-worker who gave me her full assurance about him that he can be of help to me. I got in touch with Dr. Iyaya and i hearken to his words and followed the instructions given to me by him. Could you believe that my husband got back home within 48hours as said by him and today, my marriage is restored & i'm so thankful, appreciative & grateful to God for using Dr. Iyaya to get my man back after 9 months of broken marriage. Is there anyone out there who needs to get back to he's or her lover back or needs any help of any kind? Then, i suggest that you get in touch with Dr. Iyaya now through his Email: doctoriyaya@gmail.com Call WhatsApp +2347032756397 for more information, visit his website you may found your solution there www.https://dr-iyaya-herbal-remedy.webnode.com God bless you sir.

    ReplyDelete
  11. My husband and I have been having lots of problems living together, he never gives me attention or makes me happy because he has fallen in love with another woman outside our marriage. I tried my best to make sure that my husband leaves this woman but the more I talk to him about it the more he makes me feel sad and unhappy, My marriage started leading to divorce because he no longer gives me attention. I wanted to forget him but i love him and didn't want to lose him. We have been married for years and he is all I could call a true best friend and best in all, the man that handles my problems perfectly, the man that makes sacrifices for ,my happiness. I wanted him back in my life badly and I was so confused. My Friends told me to buy books about relationships, so I went online for relationship books while I came across a spell caster called Dr Emu. I read testimonies and reviews about him so I contacted him immediately, explained my problems to him. Same day , he casted a spell for me and assured me for 2 days that my husband will return to me and to my greatest surprise the third day my husband came knocking on my door and begged for forgiveness. I am so happy that my love is back again and not only that, we are about to get married again, he proposed. I wouldn't stop talking about him. Contact him today if you need his help via email: emutemple@gmail.com and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay. Website: https://emutemple.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete