Seattle Coronavirus Factcheckers

Seattle KIRO-TV has a “factchecker” on coronavirus but a lot of the information is incomplete (kids don’t get corona. yes they do, a 5 uear old in Michigan tested positive. [But widespread symptomless corona among children is widely known.]) or just quirky (e.g., Did the Simposons forecast the Covid-10 epidemic? No.) or a little censored (counterfeit test kits are being smuggled in through Los Angeles airport: but from where? [China]). THis coverage is laced with random factoids: for example, the Mercer Island suburb is one third over 60.

Some just seems wrong. Consider the factcheck claim that 20% of all people hospitalized for coronavirus (when? where?) are aged 20-33. Yet in Washington, the percentage of deaths from coroaavirus for people aged 20-40 is 0% (zero). This factchecker claim cannot be true for Washington state unless the hospitals are grossly misallocating their scarce resources. Consider the data on death by age groups:


Total deaths: 74.

0-39: 0%.
40-49: 3%.
50-59: 5%.
60-69: 8%.
70-79: 85%.

Source: Washington Department of Health, cited in Covid-18 in Washington State: Cumulative Deaths By Age Groups: As of March 19″, in Seattle Times, March 20, 2020. p. A7.


I suppose the point it to frighten millennials to stay home. It is, therefore, surely deliberate disinformation for our own good. It is worth observing that lying is a bad habit for journalists to fall into, for whatever reason.