March 31, 2020: US Death Toll

Just to keep track of the nonsense that has wrecked our economy and generally made our politicians run around as if their fool heads were on fire, each day I publish the corona virus total death toll in the US based upon the latest data I can find.  A single death is an immense tragedy if you love the person.  However, we are not talking about love, but rather public policy, which should always involve a sober analysis of risk and cost.  Please recall that in a bad normal flu year our death toll in the US can be as high as 90,000.


Note this will be a total death toll since the beginning of this bad farce, and not a daily toll.  As of the beginning of March 31 the death toll is 3,173.  May the Perpetual Light shine upon them.

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  1. Big uptake in first and second differences today. ΔUS: 21576, Δ(ΔUS):3165, no longer negative. Similar for death numbers. No longer negative. Scratch my post of yesterday or maybe it’s all in NY or statistical fluctuations.
    To quote Twain (or perhaps Disraeli–attribution is disputed), “There are lies, damned lies and statistics.”

  2. I think New York city is playing number games. It’s amazing how they suddenly had a massive surge in deaths– and then dropped again.
    And they don’t give any kind of details on the deaths that I can find, just video announcements of numbers.

    Checked again, still all about the same level for folks being reported as dying from kung flu.

    Where is that 500 person surge?

  3. I’ll go out on a limb here (or maybe not): Every government in the history of the world has lied to its citizens whenever those in power believed they should, for whatever good or bad reason. I have no proof other than my imperfect observations over the past 50 years or so, since I started paying attention, but it seems to me that left-wing governments lie more often and about bigger things. Stripped down to the essence of things, there isn’t really much qualitative difference between the “leftness” of Andrew Cuomo’s governance and that of, say, Orwell’s Big Brother. Or China. By that I mean they are guided by the belief that the state is everything, that all rights come from it, and can be taken by it, and whatever the state determines is “for the greater good” is by definition right and proper. In that context, Cuomo has publicly made claims that almost certainly are greatly exaggerated, and he and his minions will make sure their “official” numbers at least don’t embarrass him. Therefore, we should trust New York’s released data only slightly more than China’s and Russia’s. Yes, it’s all we have, but be wary. China and Russia are, if various sources “out there” are to be believed, grossly under-reporting, whereas it would not surprise me one bit to find out NY is and has been inflating theirs. Cuomo now has to find data to support his rant that he needs 30,000 ventilators. One way or another, he will do so.

  4. You know, when I signed up for this newsletter, I was specifically told there would be no math.

    He remarked dryly.

  5. Ernst, I’ll let my wife tell you that I’m incorrigible..
    I’ll state one of my guiding principles: the road to reality is paved with numbers, including the most important one of all: 3 for the trinity.

  6. In the beginning was the WORD and the WORD was with God and the WORD was God.

    You numbers guys are all alike, I wanna tell ya, yada yada grumble yadda!

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