Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Record New Covid Deaths In Michigan -- Or In Reality Not So Much

Some statistical sleight of hand and misleading headlines to gin up further fear.

The Detroit News: Michigan sets daily record for COVID-19 deaths

Sounds bad.

 Michigan on Tuesday reported a record 190 deaths tied to COVID-19 and added 5,793 new cases.

Sounds very bad, but then in the very next sentence:

Of the Tuesday deaths, 30 were identified during a delayed records review, the state said.

In other words, there were 160 deaths reported as Covid-19 deaths and then 30 were added after being classified as Covid deaths after they had already died previously.

With the additional records, Tuesday surpassed the previous high for deaths of 164 reached on April 16, at the peak of the pandemic, a day that had no additional reviewed records added.

In other words it did not in fact surpass the previous high as April 16 had 164 deaths without any further being added in.

164 is  greater than 160.  So no, yesterday was not a record.

In short, the headline and lede are rather badly misleading if not outright falsities. 

This seems like part of a push by Gov Half-Whit to extend her 3-week shut down of restaurants and other facilities.

Never mind that the way we count deaths by Covid is misleading in and of itself and different from how other countries do it.  Heck, we've included motorcycle and car crash victims and even people shot to death as dying from Covid 19, causing some rather meaningless comparisons and messy stats.

In short our statistical reporting of this crises has been rather lackluster if not outright garbage at times and rather unreliable.


Pigpen51 said...

I came across this article today, and have wanted to show it to people. It is pretty self explanatory.

Unknown said...

Indiana is doing the same thing with deaths. The latest number goes back to 8/22/20 to get the new total. They show the total as 91, but if you look at the daily information, it was 28.