Since the early days of the Presidents COVID-19 Task Force, I’ve had a lot of questions of the statistics that are presented during these daily briefings. I’m not implying that I disbelieve them but they’re not presenting the complete story and what’s interesting is that I have never heard one reporter ask about any details within those numbers. I use this site for quick updates about the number of confirmed cases, etc. As of this writing, there are 586,941 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 23,640 deaths. A lot of mortality and note that that number is a lagging indicator: expect it to go higher, somewhat, before it slows down or even stops. But that’s one number I don’t want to talk about right now.
It’s the former number. what do we actually know about the spread of the virus based on just under 600,000 cases of infection? What I’m getting at is how many are asymptomatic, mild, moderate, and serious? The asymptomatic number, if they have it, is probably low. Why? We’re told to not be tested unless we present with some symptoms as fever, cough, or shortness of breath. But then if a person has come into close contact with someone that has been diagnosed positive, they probably should and have been tested even though they do not have any symptoms. How many present as mild, people that test positive that don’t feel well, but they’re not in need of hospitalization? 10%? 20%? I think that’s something that if they don’t know, they should. I think they actually do know this and I wonder why it’s not broken down during the daily briefings? Also, how many of those have an underlying condition? Remember what they’ve been saying: most serious cases and deaths have a co-morbidity.
The final number we keep hearing about, actually, it’s the one that is touted the most, are the amount of tests for the virus that have been completed. Again, as of this writing, it is around 3,000,000. So positive cases versus the total number of tests completed means…some 80% of people tested do not have the virus, right? As more tests are completed that percentage may change – in either direction, but isn’t the fact that 80% tested do not have the virus a positive, more so than just the tests themselves? Of course there may be some false negatives just as there may be some false positives. Seriously, are any of these tests for anything 100% accurate? We have to take the word of the task force that these are very accurate, but that leaves room, at least a little, for error.
These are the easy things, I believe, that those reporters in the room could be asking or even better, Dr. Birx could just present if not daily, then how about weekly? The other thing that could happen is the media, instead of having political reporters in the room, use those that have at least some background in science or math. I know it’s probably difficult to find any that’ve had any math class since high school – or earlier, but they should at least make the attempt. Maybe have someone that understands the basics of mathematical models so that the team is forced to explain how, since the beginning, the model used has been so wrong. We can’t get information if it’s not given to us and having a few people there that understand some of it would at least help ensure were not being given poor information. I understand that models can change, based on the data, as well as the assumptions input. One thing I think they did poorly was to give out these scary estimates of total deaths while their data was mostly incomplete. What were they basing these early estimates on? “Mitigation” versus “no Mitigation” isn’t an actual answer. It’s a dodge. See? A question that someone on the podium should be able to answer. But, if the question isn’t asked, then we’re never going to receive the full picture.
That we’re all under some level of forced quarantine (that’s a subject I’ll take up soon), then shouldn’t we be getting th e most detailed, accurate information available?