AZDHS Daily Data 6/17/20-7/7/20: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics
We've discussed at length the near-universal problems plaguing COVID-19 reporting. For the second time in a week, the media has acclaimed an "all-time high" of deaths in Arizona.
They are blowing the story.
AZDHS reported 117 deaths statewide for COVID-19 on 7/7/20 (I could only verify 115 in their graphical dashboards). As is typical, that figure became the story. Here's the issue: AZDHS counted a total of 6 deaths the prior two days. The rampant increase wasn't reflective of a "normal" single-day tally, but instead the followup to a long weekend, where nobody was counting much of anything.
If AZDHS simply didn't do their job for a week, and then after seven days had passed, found that 150 people had died of COVID-19 in the intervening period, it would be covered as though the world were ending. We would hear doom and gloom about the massive spike: 150 deaths reported in a single day. There seems to be no will or desire to report the facts on a consistent basis, much less to contextualize figures.
We saw this exact same pattern of behavior when NJ reported about 1800 "possible" COVID-19 deaths (at the time, this was more than the cumulative COVID-19 mortality total for AZ). The 1800 deaths were simply lumped into a single day's records and that was that.
Incite Analytics will continue to describe the data as it really is. We will continue to tally and release the changes in the statistics throughout the pandemic, rather than looking for an over-simplistic, distorted facade that allows us to pretend that the world is simpler than it truly is. The current state of most of the pandemic coverage is nothing short of insulting to its audience, treating them more like livestock to be managed than citizens to inform.
Note: I have compressed the file slightly, hiding the data from 3/3/2020-4/3/2020, so that everything fits on one page.