Figures do not lie … but liars figure
Although he did not coin it, American author Mark Twain popularized the adage that there are “lies, damn lies and statistics.”
Part of the Democrat left-wing attack on President Trump relies on all three forms of prevarication. For this purpose, we examine the use … er … misuse … of statistics. In the warped thinking of progressives, Trump is exclusively responsible for the high rate of cases and deaths in the United States. There are a LOT of reasons why we have been hit hard, and anything Trump did or did not do is only a minor factor, at best.
Trump was not alone in believing that the virus may not hit America as hard as it did. He is not personally responsible for the initial screw-up in testing by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). He is certainly not responsible for the cultural mobility of the American people and the immigration policies that bring folks from all over the world streaming into America. He is not responsible for the internal mobility of the American people – such as all those New Yorkers fleeing to Florida from the Big Apple and adding to the Sunshine State numbers.
Still, the left computes the statistics as an indictment of Trump and his entire administration. They calculate that while the United States has four percent of the world population, we have almost one third of the cases.
In one of his high-volume pontifical political rants, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough waxed eloquent about American Exceptionalism. He bragged how America has the very best medical professionals. The best scientists. The best doctors. The best technology. Of course, he is correct. But Scarborough somehow reasons that with all these advantages, we disproportionately suffered because of Trump. How – in God’s name – could Trump do anything that would have overcome all the alleged advantages America enjoys. Of course, he could not – and did not.
In hindsight, we can reflect on how things could have been handled better by almost everyone involved – including some governors, mayors, hospitals, etc. etc. etc.
The hypocrisy of the left comes screaming through when you look at how they treat Trump and how they treat Democrats like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has been in high praise for the outstanding job his fellow New York Democrats have been doing.
If you apply the same standard and look at the statistics in New York, you will see how the data is skewed to create inconsistent political narratives. Big outbreak in America. Trump’s fault. Big outbreak in New York. Cuomo and de Blasio are heroes. And it is not only Schumer’s state-of-the-art hypocrisy. It courses throughout the Democrat leadership and the elitist east coast media.
New York has suffered the greatest outbreak in America. Was that due to any failed leadership on the part of Cuomo or de Blasio? Was Cuomo’s order to return COVID-19 patients from hospitals back to senior nursing homes – and triggering outbreaks and deaths — a mistake? When de Blasio refused to close the schools when other mayors and governors were doing so, was that a mistake? He even encouraged New Yorkers to go about business as usual in March. Was that a HUGE mistake.
New York City’s health services were unprepared for the pandemic. They were woefully short of ventilators, masks and protective gear. Did de Blasio’s longstanding feud with the previous head of his own Health Department play a role?
When police on the frontline requested such gear, New York City’s current Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot responded, “I do not give a rat’s ass about your cops. I need them for others.” De Blasio defended her.
Keep in mind that this virus came in from the Far East – hitting hardest on America’s west coast. If you make the sort of statistical analysis for New York as the left computes in making a case against Trump, you again see the hypocrisy.
At the height of the pandemic, New York had 5.9% percent of the American population and almost 50 percent of the cases. Even as the number goes down, New York has had more than 360,000 cases – more than double the second-place state of New Jersey. And it is virtually certain much of that was spill-over from New York City. De Blasio presides over more than three and a half times the cases of the next three states – Illinois, Massachusetts, and California. And California has twice the population of New York State.
New York and Florida have approximately that same populations – with a slight edge for the Sunshine State. And yet, New York has eight times more cases and 14 times more deaths. And it is not unreasonable that Florida’s number rose on the backs of a lot of so-called “snowbirds” who deserted the Empire State for the warmer and safer climes of southeast Florida.
Even Cuomo could fairly say that the tragic state statistics were largely driven by New York City. He is already opening upstate New York as the state’s biggest city remains shut down.
So, what explains the enormous number of cases in New York City? The fickle finger of fate? A genetic weakness in the population? Or was it gross government incompetence? Take your pick.
If you look at the statistics in order to affix blame on public officials, the data suggests that de Blasio – and even Cuomo – may be more responsible for the exceptional outbreak in their venues than Trump is for the United States in general. The two New York Democrats certainly should not be singled out for high praise.
So, there ‘tis.