“The dumbest time to lie is when you know you’re going to get caught.” (great advice from an old mentor)
And yet, that’s the trap that some of our elected officials are falling into, and continuing to dig themselves deeper. They are saying that (a) the pandemic is under control, (b) the spike in new cases is due to aggressive testing, (c) death rates are dropping, and (d) since the people getting infected by COVID-19 in the U.S. are getting younger and younger, there’s less reason to worry. These assertions range from misleading and cruel to downright false. And we have not yet seen the consequences of the latest surge.
To get a sense of what the summer may bring, consider the following graph, showing daily new cases on the left-hand vertical axis, and deaths on the right-hand axis. (Note that the axis scales are set such that at equal horizontal levels, Deaths are equal to 8% of New Cases – e.g., 2,400 vs. 30,000.) Also, the Deaths curve is lagged by 7 days, so that for any New Cases datapoint, its corresponding Deaths datapoint reflects the level of deaths 7 days later.