President Trump claims that the number of new cases is determined only by the number of tests.
Counterpoint #1: He wants a testing slowdown. So, I guess, if we stopped testing entirely, the COVID–19 infections would disappear. That’s just fvckin’ stupid coming from a man whose only concern is looking good.
Counterpoint #2: The data show that the rate of new infections is higher than can be accounted for by testing alone. Here’s my analysis of data from Pima County Arizona.
I start by correcting the number of cases by dividing the number of new cases by the number of tests. I computed the 7-day moving averages of these proportions. This tells you that of all the people tested the proportion that tested positive. Starting June 7, the 7-day averages of proportions were 0.068, 0.076, 0.066, 0.063. That’s what you would expect if the number of cases is determined just by the number of tests. But then, a few days later, those averages started increasing: 0.098, 0.088, 0.105, 0.121, 0.124, 0.125, 0.146, 0.163, 0.171, 0.156. So, early in June about six to seven percent tested positive. Most recently, those percentages climbed to 15 to 17 percent. Thus the number of infections is increasing at rates more than what would be expected just from the numbers of tests.
Trump should stop talking.
Here is the bigger picture: US virus cases near an all-time high as governors backtrack.
The coronavirus crisis deepened in Arizona on Thursday, and the governor of Texas began to backtrack after making one of the most aggressive pushes in the nation to reopen, as the daily number of confirmed cases across the U.S. closed in on the peak reached during the dark days of late April.
While greatly expanded testing probably accounts for some of the increase, experts say other measures indicate the virus is making a comeback. Daily deaths, hospitalizations and the percentage of tests that are coming back positive have also have been rising over the past few weeks in parts of the country, mostly in the South and West.
In Arizona, 23 percent of tests conducted over the past seven days have been positive, nearly triple the national average, and a record 415 patients were on ventilators. Mississippi saw its daily count of new cases reach new highs twice this week.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, whose state was among the first to reopen, put any further lifting of restrictions on hold and reimposed a ban on elective surgeries in some places to preserve hospital space after the number of patients statewide more than doubled in two weeks. Nevada’s governor ordered the wearing of face masks in public, Las Vegas casinos included.
The U.S. recorded 34,500 COVID–19 cases Wednesday, slightly fewer than the day before but still near the high of 36,400 reached on April 24, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University. The daily average has climbed by more than 50% over the past two weeks, an Associated Press analysis found.
Several states set single-day case records this week, including Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas and Oklahoma.