A “surge” in new COVID-19 cases? Blame the denominator

The administration of Gov. Roy Cooper continues to report a “surge” in new cases, to the point where NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen is starting to talk about having to shut the state down again.

The problem isn’t that COVID-19 is suddenly more viral in North Carolina. It isn’t. The percentage of tests returning positive is remarkably flat going all the way back to late April or early May.

That, if you are possessed of a memory, was also when Cooper and Cohen were already publicly stating that “we have flattened the curve.”

Here is that plot, using a 7-day rolling average to smooth out any reporting irregularities:

But here’s the news today:

The real problem

Did you catch it? New cases are high, but so are new tests.

The percent of tests returning positive is still stable.

That means the problem is, as we’ve already shown before, the denominator.

Actually, the real problem is Cooper and Cohen using a deceptive narrative, especially if they’re trying to scare people and justify forcing another illegitimate shutdown.

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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