COVID-19 Propaganda

This graphic comes from the Facebook page for Medicare for All.

No time frame is given for the new infections, so we do not know if these are new infections for a day, a week, or a month, and we are given no information as to the previous numbers. This data would give us a much clearer picture. The figures are not broken down into cases showing no symptoms, mild symptoms, severe symptoms, and mortalities. Bear in mind that new infections are counterbalanced by previously infected persons whose immune systems have coped with the virus and moved such persons out of the infected population. So far as I am aware, there are no figures for persons who have been infected, but no longer are.

I am by no means an expert on epidemiology or any other medical science, but these are the rates of infection I got after entering the relevant information about national populations and the number of new infections in a LibreOffice spreadsheet. The population figures come from Worldometer.

Italy population: 60,462,625

New infections: 190

New infection rate: .00314

France population: 65,273,611

New Infections: 81

Infection rate: .00124

Spain population: 46,754,778

New infections: 390

Infection rate: .00834

United States 331,002, 651

New infections: 33,399

Infection rate: .00010

As can be seen, the number of new infections in the United States is by far the highest, but by dint of the far larger population of the United States, the rate of new infections (whatever the time frame) is far lower than Italy, Spain and France. Again, there simply is not enough information in this graphic to give us any meaningful picture of what is going on with COVID-19. Raw numbers are given to us without context and therefore with no way to evaluate the numbers in a truly meaningful way. As with Bush Junior’s WMDs which supposedly justified his disastrous invasion of Iraq, we are being stampeded. Someone is lying to us, and their motive can only be political.

Missed the edit window. The graphic is here.

Are you getting the “new infections” number from the Facebook thing? I don’t have Facebook so I can’t/won’t log in to see it.

But if you are, you just said those numbers were unreliable and contextless, so why are you using them?

Ok, I can see it now. Thanks. My question remains the same though.

I have no idea about the raw data, but the arithmetic in the OP is obviously wrong. The infection rates you have calculated for all countries other than the U.S. are missing three zeroes, they are all 1000 times smaller. Based on those figures, the infection rate in the U.S. is at least an order of magnitude larger than any other country.

If you doubt the new infection numbers, look at the hospitalization numbers and the death numbers. That last one really won’t lie. But also realize that the hospitalization numbers will lag the infected numbers and the death numbers will lag the hospitalization numbers.

To be more precise, based on those data:

The infection rate per person (after accounting for population size) in the U.S. is 32 times higher than Italy, 81 times higher than France, 12 times higher than Spain.

Since this is GD I won’t throw the accusation back at the OP, but I will accuse the OP of being rather bad at arithmetic. It’s obvious glancing at the numbers for Spain vs the U.S., for example, that the U.S. population is one order of magnitude larger whereas the number of new infections is two orders of magnitude larger.

The percentage of tests coming up positive is also a good indicator. This has been growing in the states that are spiking also.

Well, I didn’t say they were necessarily unreliable, but unless we know what populations over which these numbers are supposed to be an increase, then we don’t really know what significance the numbers have. Take the number for the USA. Is this an increase over yesterday’s numbers? Last week’s numbers? Last month’s numbers? Is it an increase over the known infected population or over the nation’s total population? If it’s an increase over yesterday’s number of infected, it could be seriously disturbing. If it’s an increase over the numbers for last week’s or last month’s infected, that still wouldn’t be good, but obviously that situation wouldn’t be as dire. Unless we know the baseline, the numbers we’re given don’t really tell us much–but, without providing a sound factual basis, they still make it look like the United States is in a horrible situation.

Look at this way. Suppose someone told you that he increased his income by 35% last year. That sounds pretty impressive, until he tells you he’d only earned two grand the year before that. Context is everything

I, too, think you may have made an error with LibreOffice. (and I also took a look at the facebook page. It just has new infection numbers.)
But you are correct that population size matters. So let’s look at the numbers in terms of Italys (Italies?)

Country Italy France Spain US
Population 1.0 1.1 0.8 5.5
New Infections 1.0 0.4 2.1 175.8
New Infection Rate 1.0 0.4 2.7 32.1

So while the US is 5.5 Italies in population, we have 175.8 Italies in New infections. That’s a lot.

Oh, I understand context just fine. What I don’t understand is why you think using, what you admit to being contexless numbers, in your calculations gives your results any merit.

:grimacing: Well, I don’t know what happened. When I plugged those numbers into the Google Workspace spreadsheet, those missing zeros popped right up. I can only surmise that I somehow didn’t have the LibreOffice spreadsheet on the right settings or I was careless about entering the figures, but it doesn’t matter. It was still an inexcusable and embarrassing mistake.

Even so, my basic point still stands. Yes, the number for the United States looks awful compared to the others, be even so the increase in infections is only slightly above 1 in 10,000. By juxtaposing the large number with the smaller numbers, the graphic makes it seem that our situation is far worse than it actually is. I am immensely skeptical this could possibly justify extending the lock down, nor can it justify the massive damage it has done to our economy and to millions of human lives.

Not when you consider that Italy was already much more infected before the United States, and before it was widely known that there was a serious problem. Thank you, China!

Are you for real? The gross error in the arithmetic of your OP produced numbers that were vastly more misleading in the opposite direction. And you’re doubling down on your “point”, even when it has been shown to you that the U.S. figures are between 10 and 80 times worse than the other countries cited even after adjusting for population size.

If I had posted this OP I’d be so embarrassed that I’d stop posting and just hope it dropped off the page quickly.

No, sir. That graphic is a superb example of the tripe we’re being fed in support of the lock down. I suggest you improve your manners.

I like Riemann’s manners just fine.

I suggest you improve your news sources. Mine always include the context- “compared to yesterday, over a week ago, etc”. Choose unbiased ones. I use NPR, the NYT, the CDC. I am sure other posters could suggest equally accurate, trustworthy and learned information sources. Please don’t choke at the purported ‘liberalism’ of my news sources. They won’t lie about the numbers-they could get called out and lose their reputations. Make your own conclusions from the numbers. I would suggest sitting down with someone who has taken a statistics course as you make those conclusions. You will look and sound the better for it.

I wish you well. Really I do. I also wish the rest of us well.

I have nothing more to add, that would just be divisive in these difficult times.

I just cannot understand you Chumba Wumba - first you bemoan figures from some Facebook page, a source that is not reliable and known for spreading false information, you then back up your assertion by citing a reliable source i.e Worldometer which supports your view of the Facebook page, BUT, you then go on to trash all data from all sources, you use poor maths when the figures are already cited on Worldometers and then you conclude the whole thing is some sort of plot. The information is available and yet you selectively quote or ignore it. Are you one of those people who try to obscure facts by citing bad sources and then trashing all sources? If you are unaware that this is what you are doing, look more carefully at your message and then look at the reliable sources, otherwise you risk damaging your own credibility

Yes, but the point is that you were wrong. Your calculations were incorrect. The US has a much higher infection rate, and that isn’t explained by its population.

The numbers actually ARE much higher, so your complaint that the info was misleading is incorrect.

If I was the author of that OP, I would BEG the moderators to close this thread. You might as well start a Great Debate thread proposing that 2+2=5.