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calendar   Tuesday - July 14, 2020

Lies, Damn Lies, And Statistics

CDC appears to be fudging the COVID death numbers AGAIN

“New to us” is not the same as “new”. There can be quite a bit of lag time in collecting the COVID death data because it comes from so many sources. It looks like the CDC is taking recently received death data from some weeks ago and adding it to their “new” death count, instead of adjusting the old numbers. This creates an artificial, misleading spike, or at least amplifies any recent spike considerably.


image

my very rough and hypothetical graph that illustrates the situation



image

the accurate and more complex graph



Twitter user Kyle Lamb put together a chart showing the number of deaths reported by the Coronavirus Tracking Project linked to the China coronavirus.
The results of his work show that the CTP is adding deaths each week from prior periods that make the current period death totals appear greater than they really are and some of these additions are very suspect.
The number of deaths reported publicly come from the Covid Tracking Project.
...
In a typical mortality table you should see a few deaths being reported in week one and many more in the following few weeks but then the number of deaths reported that occurred during a specific week decrease as time goes by.  After a few weeks this lag in reporting diminishes and eventually all deaths are reported.  This is typical in the insurance industry where the industry accounts for deaths being reported on a consistent rate over time with very few claims reported after a few months from the date of event (i.e. the date someone died).  This may seem morbid to those not in the insurance industry but this is how it is done.  Rarely are there jumps in reporting in prior periods unless something odd is going on (e.g. fraud).

What Kyle Lamb shows in his analysis is that the CDC is reporting deaths on a weekly basis.  Many of the deaths are reported in the first few weeks after the death occurred

Another individual took the data from the CDC used by Kyle Lamb and created a chart showing anomalies in CDC reporting.  During this past week, the number of deaths reported included deaths from April which were suddenly reported this week.

Data reported by the CDC indicates that the China coronavirus reached its peak in mortality in April.  The number deaths reported this past week included thousands of deaths from April.  The CDC doesn’t share that the deaths reported in a given week include deaths from months ago.

There are several other charts at the link, but unless you’re a spreadsheet wizard they are difficult to understand. While there may be some kind of death spike going on right now, tacking on old numbers that you just got hold of as if they were new numbers is disingenuous. The CDC should know better. Doing it this wrong way smells like politics.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/14/2020 at 09:33 AM   
Filed Under: • pandemic and epidemic diseases •  
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