jBy Matt Rooney
Governor Phil Murphy took us down to a 10 person indoor limit on Monday, Save Jerseyans, just in time for the most delicious day of the year: Thanksgiving. We’re not supposed to hug, sing, or play loud music. We all live in that little town in Footloose now, and Kevin Bacon isn’t coming to save us.
There’s no doubt COVID-19 is on the upswing this fall; everyone expected a second wave of sorts when colder weather drove Americans indoors to breathe and cough all over one another. There’s a reason the flu and common cold thrive this time of year! But is the “surge” we keep hearing about as pronounced as it’s being reported? And are the solutions narrowly tailored to the purported problem?
No and no.
– The Numbers –
While New Jersey’s test positivity rate is on the rise, the raw number of cases continually cited by the Murphy Administration to justify restricting our liberties is extremely misleading.
Why? We’re testing many, many times more people than we were back in the spring months. More tests equals more positive tests, but as a percentage of total tests, positive tests are proportionately in the basement compared to March and April 2020. Check out these two charts tweeted by a NBC New York producer:
— Steven Bognar (@Bogs4NY) November 17, 2020
Will Phil Murphy provide the context necessary to digest these numbers with the proper perspective?
No. Of course not. He ducked the issues twice at Monday’s COVID-19 presser in Trenton:
You cannot say he's not asked.
The Governor got two questions today about providing testing context to case numbers. In the first, he goes on a tangent that is off topic. In the second, he doesn't try. #stillwaiting pic.twitter.com/fzTbX7xgPT
— Kurt Siegelin (@kurtsiegelin) November 16, 2020
And then there’s the other caveats.
PUI’s in the totals (e.g. hospitalized individuals presumed positive until their tests return a negative result). Cases deleted after excluded, and additions from weeks or MONTHS ago which distort the numbers. Just today, the reported cases haul spans 193 days, and 1,397 of the 4,060 “new” cases are older than 7 days:
DoD Change: 4026
So many additions today, i had to add another column. 193 days of adds, most ever. 2651 cases are 7 days or newer. 1397 are older than 7days /1 pic.twitter.com/gcEl3NJZ31
— Woke Zombie (@foogatwo) November 18, 2020
– The Restrictions –
Governor’s latest round of restrictions is allegedly designed to combat the questionable data discussed above.
Is that really true?
It seems unclear. Last week, the woman who needs an introduction (Judith Persichilli) ran through the latest contact tracing information in an attempt to shed light upon the environmental sources of viral infection.
According to Persichilli, the celebrations targeted by Governor Murphy’s new guidelines represented only 6% of new cases:
The global “experts” still aren’t sure where COVID-19 is coming from. The state’s contact tracing program isn’t working. Phil Murphy is throwing stuff up against the wall to see if anything sticks.
Rising cases but with no context provided and a flat mortality picture.
Extreme restrictions lacking a firm correlation to identifiable leading sources of spread.
Power politics? Tyrannical excess? A shrewd political operator making the best of a bad situation? Far-left social experimentation?
Call it what you will, folks. Just don’t call it science. It’s not.