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New Paper Documents CDC's Data Errors
A new paper by Kelley Krohnert , Alyson Haslam , Tracy Beth Hoeg , and Vinay Prasad was just published today. It documents CDC’s history of exaggerations, errors, and outright misuse of statistics- particularly about Covid’s risk to Children.
Now for the shameless plug- Kelley Krohnert’s “Check your Work” is an indispensable resource of all of her fact-checking and data analysis she’s done over the pandemic. Subscribe :-).
Now, to the paper. You can find the paper here:
Here are their results:
“Our mixed method identified 25 instances where CDC statements had numerical or statistical errors. We present all these errors, their context, and explanation in the Table. Twenty (80%) of these instances exaggerated the severity of the COVID-19 situation, 3 (12%) instances simultaneously exaggerated and downplayed the severity of the situation, one instance was neutral, but was false, nonetheless, and one instance exaggerated the risks of the COVID-19 vaccines. 16 (64%) pertained to children alone, and 9 (36%) pertained to both children and adults. Of the 16 cases that included data pertinent to children alone, 15 (94%) enhanced the perceived risk of COVID-19 in children, and one exaggerated their risks from the COVID-19 vaccine. Of the 3 instances where the direction of the error was “mixed”, all 3 (100%) exaggerated risks to children and understated risks to adults. Errors included basic vital statistics such as the number of deceased children. Thirteen (52%) involved mortality statistics. An error made in four instances pertained to comparisons of different causes of childhood death. The CDC compared COVID-19 deaths, where COVID-19 was one of multiple causes listed on the death certificate, to other causes of death in children, which were listed as the single underlying cause of death. This error exaggerated the risk of COVID-19 death. The sources where the errors were originally reported were: CDC COVID Data Tracker (n=8; 32%), ACIP meeting (n=4; 16%), CDC Twitter page (n=3; 12%), COVID-19 website (n=3; 12%), White House press briefing (n=2; 8%), MMWR reports (n=2; 8%), CDC slide deck (n=1; 4%), CDC Excess Mortality Dashboard (n=1; 4%), and CDC COVID Data Tracker and testimony (n=1; 4%).”
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Here’s a table format for quick reference or print-out as a way to win arguments with friends :).
See the author’s twitter summaries below:
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