I had other stuff to write and put out there this week, but it’s been a mess of a week and then this hilarious interview happened and everyone’s talking about it and I feel like I’m the only person who doesn’t get the joke.
I took the Secular Talk take on it because Kyle is generally pretty solid. And to his credit he does acknowledge the possibility I talk about below.
I made the same post / comment on the video above, but … here’s the thing.
IF the US’s superior testing capacity and performance is identifying almost all the Covid-19 cases in the country, and IF most of the other countries are under-testing and thus only finding a small number of their cases … then Trump’s kind of right?
No wait, hear me out.
I don’t believe even this accounts for the full difference between the US and (for example) a lot of European and Asian countries. I don’t think either of the above requirements are met. The US isn’t a testing leader, as far as I know, and other countries are neither hiding test results nor under-testing per capita.
Those two big IFs might account for some of the difference, though, because if you’re not testing as much then the cases are still happening (we know this, I don’t think anyone could honestly believe otherwise), but they’re not being added to the positive cases statistic and if those people die, their deaths are not being recorded as Covid-19 deaths.
When this senile moron says “if we did fewer tests, we’d have fewer cases” he should be saying “if we did fewer tests, we’d identify fewer cases,” and he shouldn’t be using it as an excuse to stop testing, but to continue – and how bad it makes him look be damned. But he is a senile moron, and a sociopath to boot. He wants to be as dishonest as other countries are apparently being (but he doesn’t quite dare to say so).
It IS kind of useful to look at just the confirmed cases and deaths in your own country to get an idea of how survivable it is if you catch it in your country. You’re not going to get to go anywhere else to recover from it, are you? Provided ANYBODY is getting correct data on cases and spread right now, it only helps to look at other countries to point at how much better or worse your country is doing, and that is completely dependent on statistics I just don’t see how we can trust. So what’s the point? The point becomes exactly what Trump is using it for – to fallaciously claim the US is doing great. It’s objectively not.
Some places are more trustworthy than others and I tend to trust the US’s information (ish) because if they were going to lie they wouldn’t be making it seem like such a clusterfuck over there. Swan himself said he wouldn’t put much stock in China’s numbers, for example.
I don’t think “the US is correctly and honestly identifying Covid-19 deaths and that’s why they’re higher” accounts for all of the discrepancy between the US and other countries. But it has to be a factor, doesn’t it?
Ugh, I feel dirty now.