by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
UNC economist Martin Zelder submits the following commentary:
Roy Cooper and Mandy Cohen keep telling us that they are making coronavirus policy decisions based on “science.” But if the data you use [are] incorrect — and theirs clearly [are] — the conclusions that you reach are not “science,” not at all.
Cohen regularly announces that our positive test rate is a high number: in this graph (below) taken from the NC DHHS Coronavirus Dashboard, the claim is that the positive test rate for June 17 (the last vertical bar in the graph) is 9%. We can check this with DHHS’ own data for June 17: 1,002 new cases, 20,537 new tests. We divide 1,002 by 20,537 and get 0.049, or roughly 5%.
Why would Cohen tell us that the positive test rate is 9% when it’s actually 5%? There are two possible explanations — which both have scathing implications for the reliability of Cohen’s DHHS and its “science.” Option 1 is that she is unaware of the correct number. Option 2 is that she is aware of the correct number but is falsely reporting the incorrect number. Option 1 implies incompetence; Option 2 implies dishonesty. [And there are many other serious problems with the DHHS graph which we can identify.]
We rely as a democratic society on competent and honest “science,” but we are most certainly not getting this from Cohen and Cooper.