Vaccination lies, damn lies, and statistics |

Vaccination lies, damn lies, and statistics

Early in my career I taught statistics to economic students. It was a great way to strengthen knowledge imparted in graduate courses through which I tended to sleep. Chase McWhorter brought back all of the material I had mastered years ago in a letter published Aug. 9, “Those narrow-minded vaccine advocates.”

Mr. McWhorter wrote that over 90 percent of the hospitalizations in Israel were “among the fully vaccinated.” The numbers are correct. He might have added that hospitalizations in Israel are only one-sixteenth of those at the time of January’s peak, according to the Washington Post.

Mr. McWhorter also asserts that 74% of those contracting COVID-19 in Massachusetts were fully vaccinated. The state’s dashboard reports an uptick in hospitalizations, confirming his comment. Three-hundred and 14 are hospitalized with the disease on Aug. 9. In early January, 10 times the number were hospitalized.

In the ideal world where 100% of the citizens were vaccinated, it is the case that the state would report 100% of those who contracted the disease were vaccinated. But who cares about details? Many of my friends have troubles with numbers and facts.

Meantime, hospitalizations for the disease are at record levels in Austin, Texas. The governor of the state has even called on hospitals to delay elective surgeries.

Mark Twain is credited for the line “statistics do not lie but statisticians do.” Mr. McWhorter joins a long line of those who lie with statistics. This virus is unforgiving. Hopefully he will be ignored. Millions of lives have been saved by the vaccine.

Philip Verleger


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