Class Warfare Blog

July 2, 2020

The Misuse of COVID-19 Statistics

Filed under: Culture,Reason,The News — Steve Ruis @ 12:25 pm

I know Americans are virtually statistically illiterate but one thing keeps bothering me.

I read today in a local Chicago newsletter that “Illinois saw 828 new confirmed cases of Coronavirus and 30 more deaths in the past day. Both numbers were increases from previous days this week, but are still part of an overall decline since the peak of the crisis in mid-May. The weekend’s deaths were the lowest numbers in three months.”


The deaths recorded today were of people who contracted the virus days or weeks ago. The numbers of cases reported and deaths for any particular day/week etc. are not correlated. If, say, it takes 13 days on average to die from COVID-19, then the deaths of any day are linked to the number of diagnosed cases from 13 days ago.

The US as a whole has seen a recent surge in the number of cases of COVID-19 with the daily numbers reaching record levels. Then people are commenting that the brighter side is that the number of deaths hasn’t gone up. They need to wait a bit to even know what the effect of that rise in diagnosed cases results in.


  1. Reality is a hoax!


    Comment by The Pink Agendist — July 2, 2020 @ 5:07 pm | Reply

  2. A lot of people have been playing fast and loose with the statistics. Wisconsin Public Radio has for some time now been charting the incidence of infection not as the number of new cases per day, but as the the percentage of positive tests per day. The chart is pretty much meaningless for the average person because the number of tests varies wildly from day to day. The chart made it look like the incidence of new cases was going down because the number of tests had increased dramatically and thus lowered the percentage of positive tests, but in fact the number of new cases had gone up significantly


    Comment by grouchyfarmer — July 2, 2020 @ 10:42 pm | Reply

  3. It’s probably the same people who in early March were saying things like, “so what if we have 5000 cases, look, only 5 people died!”


    Comment by List of X — July 3, 2020 @ 5:53 pm | Reply

    • Yeah, much like Trump telling us that if we stop testing the number of positive tests will go down. Brilliant, just fucking brilliant!

      On Fri, Jul 3, 2020 at 5:53 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — July 4, 2020 @ 10:58 am | Reply

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