Ross Clark: Boffins Cherry-Picked Data to Frighten Us

Ross Clark has done a demolition job on Witless and Unbalanced’s slides in the Mail.

Take the heat map, for instance (see above). Ross points out that only 29 hospitals are shown on the slide, but the full dataset, published by NHS England, actually includes 482 NHS and private hospitals in England – at least 232 of which (and probably more as some entries were left blank) had not a single COVID-19 patient on October 27th. Hardly surprising since official figures showed there were 9,213 patients in hospital with the disease on October 31st, compared with 17,172 at the spring peak.

Here’s what the map would have looked like if it had included all 482 hospitals.

Ross continues in the same vein, showing how the data were manipulated in nearly all the charts.

Worth reading in full.

Stop Press: As Boris Johnson was trying to quell the rebellion in his own ranks in the House of Commons yesterday, the news broke that the UK had recorded the fewest daily infections in a fortnight. Department of Health figures showed 18,950 people tested positive for the disease on November 2nd – down 9.3% in a week and the lowest since Monday, October 19th (18,804). The UK also saw another 136 coronavirus deaths yesterday, down from 326 on Saturday.