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I have been manipulating statistics professionally for decades. It’s all been harmless fun, really, because I have been blessed to work in the candy store of life — sports television. One thing I learned over many decades of practice is that through omission and qualifiers, I can pretty much conjure up any number — positive or negative — to back up any argument you wish to make. And that is why I look at all the stats the media and governments throw out at us on the current pandemic with a bit of a jaundiced eye.
Take a look at the following from Google:
What does “-” mean? Does that mean a number is unknown or does that mean no one ever, ever recovers from COVID-19? The one thing I do know is that it means any number under “cases” never, ever goes down. Just up. And up. And up.
Those sites that do provide “recovery” information admit that the numbers are largely made up. In most jurisdictions physicians are required to report infections but they’re not required to report recoveries. And too many authorities at all levels aren’t pursuing that option, either. They’re too busy making their case to build new huge bureaucracies of “tracers” empowered to compel the citizenry to report their every move and every meeting. So while we’re having this debate about continuing, ending, or modifying lockdowns, the one question we’re not asking is “How many active cases have we had or do have at any given time?”
While people are talking about “following the science” and watching for statistical trends, I would like to remind them that good science is more than just asking questions. It’s just as important to ask the right questions to get the right answers. Unless, of course, that’s not what you’re looking for in the first place.Published in