‘How Could the CDC Make That Mistake?’

The Atlantic Gets a Clue

If you’ve been keeping up, one of the things I’ve pointed out over and over and over again is that Covid-19 test data is now a mix of antibody testing, “the virus is in your nose” testing and “you’re potentially infected because you have symptoms.” This isn’t a particularly good thing because it becomes less and less clear what the data actually means. As I’ve said, the data has no information.

The Atlantic is shocked to learn this today.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is conflating the results of two different types of coronavirus tests, distorting several important metrics and providing the country with an inaccurate picture of the state of the pandemic. We’ve learned that the CDC is making, at best, a debilitating mistake: combining test results that diagnose current coronavirus infections with test results that measure whether someone has ever had the virus. The upshot is that the government’s disease-fighting agency is overstating the country’s ability to test people who are sick with COVID-19.

Their “upshot” is wrong, of course, because testing never did tell you who was sick with COVID-19! It only told you if you have virus in your nose! And even then, there was a chance it was a false positive. And, yes, it was a not so thinly veiled swipe at Trump.

The next great revelation the MSM will eventually come to is that the data is no longer random and evenly distributed which I’ve also been harping on. States are now focusing on testing of hot spots and doing some amount of contact tracing. What this means is that if you go to where you expect to see positives, the number of positives will almost certainly rise. This is fine except a wrong interpretation of a “second wave” is all but assured.

Here in Idaho, the South Central Public Health District are alerting residents that as organizations undergoing cluster testing for COVID-19 they can expect to see a rise in confirmed cases in targeted counties.

As I’ve also noted, you can clearly see this in the Idaho data now because Hispanics have 26% of positive cases but are only 12% of the population. One interpretation might be that Hispanics are causing a second wave of outbreak by not following the rules. Or, the more likely interpretation, they are being over-sampled because we’re testing farm workers and food plant workers who happen to be Hispanic.

The good news in all of this is that, at least in Idaho, the Health Department people are trying to do the right thing to keep the virus at bay. The bad news is that these people are horrible at messaging to the public about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. And they’re abysmal at managing data allowing “transparency” by publishing data that’s so thoroughly corrupted that it’s practically useless.

Mark Rosneck

Written by Mark Rosneck

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