Time to concentrate

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It’s hard to concentrate right now. If you are working at home (as I have been for the last five years), you may have to deal with noise from neighbors, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and people cutting down trees. You may have children at home who need attention. You may have others in the house … Continued

Was Bob Woodward wrong to keep his book interviews quiet until now?

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The author and former Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward interviewed Trump 18 times for his new book Rage. In a February interview, Trump revealed that he knew how serious a threat there was from COVID-19. Many commentators say Woodward should he have said something as soon as he learned this. I disagree. What Woodward knew … Continued

Is America the best in the world in COVID success, or the worst?

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Donald Trump believes that the US leads the world in successful management of the COVID-19 pandemic. His argument about that with Jonathan Swan, a reporter from Axios, was aired last night. Here’s part of it: Since it’s worth discussing how you measure success with the virus, I took a look at the statistics and how … Continued

Bad data? Fix it, don’t scrap it. Even when it’s about a pandemic.

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Trump now says hospitals should send patient information to a database in the Department of Health and Human Services, bypassing the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This will doubtless be followed by complaints about it being bad data, after which they’ll cut off access to the data — data which at the CDC was publicly … Continued

“Hide” and “ignore” are poor COVID-19 strategies. Let’s invest instead.

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I am frustrated with our national leaders who seem more interested in blaming each other than solving the coronavirus problem. It’s time to consider actual solutions and invest in them. Start with this: the virus is not going away. It’s now expanding exponentially in Arizona, Texas, Florida, and southern California; ICU beds are filling up. … Continued

Passive voice editorials flinch from the truth

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One of the most pernicious of pieces on the opinion pages of our newspapers is the passive voice editorial, which pleads that something must be done — but doesn’t suggest who should do it. That’s particularly worrisome during the current pandemic, because we already know that things are screwed up and people are dying. We … Continued

Because of this terrible chart in Georgia, people could die

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Data is crucial in making decisions about reopening states. So is the visualization of that data. And the state of Georgia may have just published the most misleading and dangerous chart about virus infections ever. Here’s the chart. Take a close look. (You can see it bigger here.) The vertical axis is infections. The horizontal … Continued