Trump: 'We have more Cases because we do FAR more Testing than any other Country!'

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/08/18/trump-we-have-more-cases-be.html

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This claim is 100% bullshit, right?

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This, of all things he ever says, is the most telling feature of his character. If people don’t know, it doesn’t exist. If you steal millions, and no one knows, it didn’t happen. If a thousands of people a week die of Covid, and you get them to call it “pneumonia”, it isn’t Covid.

Most people grow out of this before their age reaches double digits. Normal, non-sociopathic people understand the consequences of their actions matter, so much so that the cause needn’t be known for it to be a wrong.

It’s only slightly offset by his infantile need to brag about everything he gets away with…

Yes.

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There’s this.

half truths are hard to sort through, though.

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Not terribly hard. One problem is we are fixated on total cases. We look at per-capita total cases of smaller countries and say “Wow, we aren’t so bad!” but if you look at the cases that are actually ongoing, and not the cases from months ago that have resolved, we don’t look so great at all.

Germany has had over 200,000 total cases, but their ongoing, active cases are less than 10% of that.

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I’m sorry, it hasn’t been one week - but we need you to repeat the question:

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This, from fortnight ago, is still relevant

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plus, there’s this

New York City (NYC) has emerged as one of the epicenters of the current severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. To identify the early transmission events underlying the rapid spread of the virus in the NYC metropolitan area, we sequenced the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in patients seeking care at the Mount Sinai Health System. Phylogenetic analysis of 84 distinct SARS-CoV-2 genomes indicates multiple, independent, but isolated introductions mainly from Europe and other parts of the United States. Moreover, we found evidence for community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 as suggested by clusters of related viruses found in patients living in different neighborhoods of the city.

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The statement is that it is because we do more tests that we have more cases. There’s no half truth or truthy-ness to that, whatsoever. Many countries could test every single person and not match our per-capita numbers.

Per capita death is no indication either. Our deaths are way low because of purposeful corruption of the numbers, and cheering that we aren’t number one in that is unfair to countries whose healthcare systems are not able to deal with the problem.

We have no excuse on any side of the question, other than wanton, politically-motivated apathy, and backward ignorance.

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Aye. File that under “leaving all the other borders open”.

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Don’t you have a wall you need to go argue with?

Calling-Bullshit-smaller

I mean, it’s not just bullshit, it’s bullshit on multiple levels. We’re not doing great with testing - there’s poor access and huge waits - both to get one and to get results (to the point where it can actually be pointless to get tested, as the virus will have run its course by the time the results come back). We compare well, in terms of numbers of tests, to countries that were doing a lot of tests earlier in the pandemic - but only because they got the virus under control and no longer need to do high volumes of testing. And, of course, the number of people getting sick and dying compares poorly to other countries, so it’s not like we’re just detecting asymptomatic cases. We have more cases because the virus is out of control here, period.

It’s almost funny he keeps trying to take credit for it, because he didn’t even do that! He closed it to those who weren’t American citizens/residents. American citizens/residents who were infected were free to fly back. Also, by that point, infections were coming from Europe, and he did nothing in response. It was all driven by his political feelings for the country. He kept borders open with the UK long after they became a major hot spot, for instance. When he finally closed borders with Europe (again, not for US citizens/residents), he fucked it up so badly that it caused huge problems and unnecessarily exposed a lot of people to the virus.

Trump’s favorite statistic is the deaths per number of cases, which is a hilariously meaningless stat, especially when comparing with other countries. First of all, deaths lag new case numbers by at least 2-3 weeks, so the statistic isn’t accurate for new cases. Comparing it to countries that their outbreaks earlier in the pandemic but now have it under control becomes misleading in two ways: treatments have improved recently, increasing the survival rate (for all countries with access to modern health care), but also, again, US statistics don’t yet count the people who are currently sick but not yet dead, whereas the statistics for those other countries do.

Also Trump wants to have it both ways: complain about cases detected by testing, but also brag about low death-per-cases numbers that are reduced by having more testing.

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We also don’t count people who die before being tested. With a disease that kills the elderly and weak, in a time when people are dissuaded from going out and asked to only go to hospitals in emergent situations, that ends up being a lot of people.

In April in New York City, for example, a reported 200 residents died at home each day, compared with 20 such deaths before the pandemic, a spokesperson for the city’s medical examiner told WNYC, the local public radio station.

They are pretty optimistic about that changing, too. It’s a matter of policy to keep the numbers low, and freeing up tests for the living is too good an excuse. Some places may be testing the dead, but I doubt many.

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Yes. We need to be looking at total mortality and hospitalization rates - not just those associated to positive diagnosis from initial screening.

That’s where we will see spikes in Renal failure, respiratory disease - all of which are pretty hard to ignore and easy to correlate.

And I can’t even begin to address the ‘more cases due to more testing’ baloney as any reasonable middle schooler would respond with ‘more cases is due to more people getting infected’.

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In an effort to build a case to get the VA to give me a continuous blood sugar monitor, I’m currently testing at least four times a day, whereas I usually test three most days. (These are minimums, as I will sometimes test before and/or after a run, for example.) Who knew that I could just stop testing completely and thereby no longer have low (or high) blood sugar levels? I mean really, why has my doctor never suggested this option?

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Luxembourg has made a similar claim but in their case, unlike the US, it’s actually believable. They have carried out 730 tests per 1000 inhabitants, more than 3 times as many as the US.

A statement like this is perfect for Trump, though. It has just enough of the feel of truth that his believers can latch on to it and continue holding on to their feels. Of course it doesn’t hold up to the tiniest bit of scrutiny, but that’s fine. The people whom the statement serves won’t be scrutinizing it. This is how faith works. It will repeated around reddit and pasted on memes and many libs will be presumed owned in the echo chambers.

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Why has no one in his administration pointed out how stupid this sounds? It’s like saying less pregnancy testing leads to less births. It makes no sense.

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Did he open his mouth?

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