In politicizing the coronavirus, partisans are cherry-picking the data

By Kent R. Kroeger (July 19, 2020)

My family visiting Mount Rushmore on July 6th (Photo by Kent R. Kroeger)
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s graphic poster of New York’s efforts to control the coronavirus

The Republicans are not innocent

Of course, the Donald Trump administration and the Republicans are no better.

Contracting the coronavirus is not necessarily a bad thing

The American public is bludgeoned with daily updates on new coronavirus cases and deaths. What the news media rarely does, however, is put those statistics in their proper context.

How do the U.S. coronavirus numbers compare to other countries?

Accordingly, I will dispense with the standard recitation of the current coronavirus case and death totals (per 1 million people) relative to other countries. The current numbers can be found at RealClearPolitics.com; and, based on those topline metrics, the U.S. is doing no better or worse than most economically developed countries. But those metrics offer little context or insight.

Politicizing the coronavirus is counterproductive

The Democrats can legitimately cite the growing number of cases and deaths in the southern half of the U.S. as evidence that state and federal governments are not pursuing effective policies. Conversely, the Trump administration can rightfully claim the coronavirus (and its associated disease, COVID-19) is increasingly survivable, as seen in the falling case fatality rate.

Wear a mask, keep your distance, wash your hands, and stop touching yourself

The news continues to be optimistic for the development of a coronavirus vaccine to be available by the end of this year or early next. Three labs, including the U.S. company Moderna, are currently in Phase 3 testing of possible vaccines. The other two labs are in China and the UK.

APPENDIX: The Linear Models for Explaining Worldwide Coronavirus Cases and Deaths (n = 41 countries)

Figure A.1: The Linear Model for Explaining Worldwide COVID-19 Cases (n = 41 countries)

I am a survey and statistical consultant with over 30 -years experience measuring and analyzing public opinion (You can contact me at: kroeger98@yahoo.com)

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