The Miscalculations of Coronavirus Journalism

Yesterday afternoon the United States passed a bleak milestone: it has more confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, than any other country on Earth. As of this morning, more than 85,000 people have tested positive on American soil. At least 1,271 of them have died. New York is now the burning center of the American outbreak, with about 40,000 confirmed cases. But, of course, by the time you read these numbers, they will be out of date. And already, they paint an incomplete picture. The news cycle is a ceaseless ebb of grim statistics, and the fact that we don’t know whether or not they reflect reality is perhaps the scariest thing about them.

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