COVID-19 Data Needs Improvement


Dear Editor:

We are bombarded everyday by the grim numbers regarding Covid. I do not think they are presented in the proper context. The state numbers should be presented in terms of cases per thousand of population, hospitalizations per thousand and deaths per thousand. Virginia has many more cases than Wyoming in raw numbers, but Virginia has many more people than Wyoming. That is why using the per-thousand metric presents, in my opinion, a truer measure of how states stack up when compared to each other.

I believe there might be a correlation between state spending and outcomes. Many states like to brag about their “low-tax” environment. This obviously means lower investment in the health and education of their population. It would be interesting to see, using the “per-thousand” metric, if there is such a correlation. After all, you ultimately get what you are willing to pay for.

Another correlation to look at would be how the states that refused to expand Medicaid are doing versus those states that did expand Medicaid in dealing with Covid, again using the “per-thousand” metric.

These results would be purely data-driven, not “blue” results nor “red” results.

Rick Saunders, Chincoteague