Cases are Not Deaths

by Don Boudreaux on June 24, 2020

in Current Affairs, Data, Media

Until very recently the Washington Post, on the first page of its website, tracked, using a bar graph, the daily number of U.S. covid deaths. It has stopped doing so. Now it tracks, on its front page, daily new covid cases.

I have no idea what motivated the WaPo‘s decision to shift from prominently tracking daily covid deaths to tracking, instead, daily new covid cases. But because the former – daily deaths – continues to fall while the latter – daily new cases – is rising, this shift in reporting serves to keep covid fears higher than these would likely be had the WaPo continued to prominently report the daily number of covid deaths.

This biased impression is further worsened by the WaPo‘s practice of reporting, in addition to daily new covid cases nationally, also daily new covid cases of a handful of states – those states that are experiencing especially large increases, relative to other states, in daily covid cases.

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