The statistical and research reporting on Omicron seems so desperate for good news that it is hyping information that may be completely misleading, buries what the researchers say, or ignores the nature of the variant, Let's show a few of today's worst. In today's NYT:.../1
...GREAT news, right? Until we get further into the story, with a paragraph that proves Trump's old adage: Less testing lowers numbers. How much has testing dropped? How much has that contributed to the change? No one says..../2
...Now, probably the worst one. And this one really angers me. When we first had the "Omicron is less severe" articles about the initial research coming out of South Africa, the researchers cautioned that this information was likely inapplicable to much of the world because.../3
...the cohort in South Africa is not like the cohort elsewhere: Very low levels of vaccination, the highest level of Omicron infection among the young who also had a very high level of prior - and multiple prior - infection, thus giving them some level of ability to fight.../4 off. So now, there are two British studies, with seemingly conflicting findings. One finds there is no evidence that Omicron is less severe than Delta. The other finds a lower percentage of hospitalizations compared to the number of people infected. Therefore.../5
..the reporters write, it's less severe. And here's the headline that is being repeated everywhere. Great news! Except...there's another possibility. What if Omicron is SO virulent that it is infecting people with levels of immunity - people with prior infection for instance.../6
...then, we're comparing apples to oranges. You'd have far more people infected, but because of prior infections, a higher percentage of people who would have some ability to minimize the impact of the infection. And once again, deep in the story, that is exactly what the.../7
...researchers are cautioning its going on. The study ISNT concluding it is less severe. It is finding it is more virulent, so that even people with levels of protection are getting infected. So this changes nothing about the actual dangers of Omicron - and in fact could mean../8 is almost the same or the same as Delta. Or not as bad. Bottom line: We do not fucking know! The articles saying "it's less severe!" are not only not supported by the studies, they are not even supported by the articles themselves. It might be less, it might not..../9 might be more. Imperial College of London last week found "no evidence" it is less virulent than Delta. Bottom line: We don't know. We don't have enough data. Data is skewed by the virulence of Omicron and the desperate need for good news. I am not trying to be the.../10
...gloomy guy. I stick with the science. But when the reporters scream "YAY!" in the headlines, then whisper "well, maybe not" in the story," and the researchers say, "ahem, that is not what the study says," people need to know. Don't make decisions about your life based on.../11
...misrepresentations and bad reporting. (Worst of the day is from NPR, but it's so bad I'm not even going to cite the actual report.) Resd epidemiologists tweet. And for reporters, read @edyong209 or @Laurie_Garrett. Because so much of the other reporting is terrible.

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More from @kurteichenwald

23 Dec
The "Omicron is less severe" mantra based on one data point without looking at the rest/possible causes is infuriating, because it leads people to terrible decisions. "Less severe" is based on hospitalizations. Maybe because its less severe. But other factors are skewing data../1
...when Delta hit, we had a significant number of people who were vaccinated and within the period of time in which the vaccines had not waned below strong effectiveness. We know that *now* that is not true. If you are six months out vaccinated, and not boostered, you are at.../2
...much higher risk of being infected by omicron than you were by Delta. Only 80% of Americans are boostered. That is why we are seeing things like 30% of the people reported as infected by Omicron in Philadelphia as being vaccinated. The people have a../3…
Read 5 tweets
22 Nov
The Wisconsin parade massacre brings me to something followers may find surprising: I support the death penalty, but not in the way it is or has been ever applied in America. This is different, and somewhat complex, so please read this all before commenting. There are.../1
...elements of thinking about punishment for crime: One involves the egregiousness of the crime, the kind of crime that shocks the conscience. This crime fits that: The willful murder of children and the elderly during a Christmas parade for what appears to be simply.../2 attempt to escape another crime is abhorrent to the soul. Other than someone having a heart attack at the wheel, it is hard to conceive of anything that would make this less horrific. Then there is the issue of deterrence - not to others, but to the perpetrator. The.../3
Read 11 tweets
22 Nov
Recently, I gave a deep dive why - based on the law & evidence presented at trial - the Rittenhouse verdict was correct, even though he's a miserable punk & the GOP celebration is obscene. Today, a new point: the case shows why open carry laws are a threat to this country.../1 I wrote in the last thread, all that mattered in treaching the verdict was Rittenhouse's state of mind: did he believe he was in imminent threat of bodily harm. Thats the law. The evidence supported his belief of that was reasonable. However, it *also* supported that.../2
...his victims - Rosenbaum, Huber and Grosskreutz - could believe *Rittenhouse* posed an imminent threat of bodily harm *to them.* Eliminate Rosenbaum, because his case is more complex. No doubt, Huber & Grosskreutz were reasonable in seeing Rittenhouse as an active shooter..../3
Read 14 tweets
19 Nov
Rittenhouse is a thug. Right wing hero-worship of him is disgusting. GOP members of Congress rush to offer him jobs is obscene. But this case is not about politics, on either side. What matters is the evidence, WI law, and trial standards. Under that, the verdict was correct../1
...before explaining, the biggest villains here are the Kenosha police, who refused to protect protesters by treating right-wing, gun-toting civilians as adjuncts to law enforcement. THAT is where politics& white-wing supremacy should be most condemned - it's institutional &.../2
...allowed for the streets to be filled with thugs like Rittenhouse, whose mere presence created the potential for this. But the presence of these dangerous people was not a crime.

As for Rittenhouse: The most important moment was the first shooting, of Joseph Rosenbaum.../3
Read 28 tweets
12 Nov
Several lessons for those who've been growling Merrick Garland about bringing an indictment against Bannon, and also about future cases. This didn't take weeks. It took 7 days.

The Justice Department does not bring these kind of charges. The US Attorney for DC District does../1
...the US Attorney, Matthew Graves, signed indictment filing. His nomination reported out of committee on 9/23. On 10/21, House voted to refer the Bannon charges for prosecution. On 10/28, Graves confirmed on voice vote. On 11/5, he was sworn in. *Never* would a politically.../2
...sensitive indictment be brought in the middle of a confirmation by an acting US Attorney, then handed off to the US Attorney after confirmation. All of the necessary work was done - that's why it was done in 7 days (which is fast for any indictment, no matter how easy you.../3
Read 10 tweets
7 Nov
GOPrs freak out about Big Bird & vaccines (I cant believe this is real) because they expect ignorant lunacy to be endlessly *indulged* to the detriment of society. This is not "wokeness"or "liberal." Helping kids to be less afraid of vaccines is kind, is good citizenship, is.../1
...everything the Trump GOP has lost. That the minority expects we have to terrify the majority of children because "the vaccine is a government plot" or "freedumb!" or "Bill Gates is injecting tracking devices" is the ultimate in demanding indulgence of adults' childish.../2
...delusions and nonsense. Notice, they think *they* have the "freedom" to infect everyone around them, to infect your child, to overflow hospitals, because Aunt Mabel has a friend on Facebook with a CIA Friend on Gab who says Vaccines contain microchips. They not only.../3
Read 6 tweets

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