According to Mark Twain’s taxonomy there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. Right now about all we have are in the last of these categories under the most statistical administration in history. Still, if we want to get out of the house once in a while we need to look for some facts. I keep coming back to the World Health Organization daily situation report here. That’s because I trust WHO. It’s an ethical, international organization not in the rear pocket of the self-proclaimed genius that puts that pocket beneath his holy posterior in the Oval Office. In fact, just this week said genius threatened to make the United States’ contributions to WHO disappear forever unless they met his demands. China, on the other hand, upped their contribution by a couple billion.
I don’t have the time, or certainly the numerical capacity, to read the entire report daily. Nor to internalize all the vast numbers of cases and deaths worldwide. It’s too much. Still, I stop to check the places I know, including the one in which I happen to live. There may be a time delay here since I check the reports early, and since the data from which I’m drawing came from yesterday, but still I have to wonder. According to the stats provided by our grand ole US of A, there were no new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. We went from 1,477,459 to zero in one day. Actually, the day before (Tuesday) we reported 31,967 cases. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and check; I’ll wait.
Not born yesterday (not by a long shot), I know that numbers sometimes have to be adjusted. I receive a salary, so I know that well. At the same time, we have a statistician-in-chief that had only days before threatened—blackmail is what we used to call it, if the other party had actually done something wrong, which doesn’t really apply—to remove all funding in saecula saeculorum. Can I get an amen? Many of us, perhaps even most, learned early in life that you don’t get what you want by throwing a tantrum. Of course, most of us didn’t grow up filthy rich. Most of us can’t afford to buy the presidency. Heck, most of us have trouble making the rent or mortgage. So we have this great statistical anomaly whereby one spoiled kid says if you don’t play by my ruse, I’ll take my marbles and go home. And I’m not lying.