Democrats revel in a fake study tying the Sturgis rally to mass infections

My Facebook page is awash in "I told you so" posts from liberals pointing to a study purportedly showing that the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota was a "super-spreader" event that resulted in an additional 250,000 Wuhan virus cases.  What they don't realize is that there's not a word of truth in that "study."  It's made up entirely of extrapolations from distantly related and erroneous facts.

As of September 2, NPR was reporting that, more than two weeks after an event that attracted almost 500,000 people, there were over 260 cases tied to the Sturgis Rally.  (The phrase "over 260" probably means about 261.)  Sadly, one man who was older than 60, meaning he was in a dangerous demographic, died.  Although NPR managed to sound upset by those data, what it reported was good news: after the two-week incubation period had ended, there was a 0.052% infection rate and an 0.0002% fatality rate from the virus.  Those were the facts.

Just five days later, though, the Democrat media were proclaiming that the Sturgis motorcycle rally was a "super-spreading event," with a $12.2-billion price tag:

The Hill said that more than 266,000 cases came from Sturgis, and The Hill was not alone in saying this.  Similar reports came from multiple media outlets, including, I'm disappointed to say, Fox News.

How in the world did the media get from 260 reported cases to 250,000 cases, a number equal to more than half the attendees?

The media did it by looking to a single study that relied on hypothetical numbers drawn from extrapolated data, all of which were wrong.  Reason.com explains the con:

To get to the astronomical number of cases allegedly spread because of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the researchers analyzed "anonymized cellphone data to track the smartphone pings from non-residents and movement of those before and after the event," notes Newsweek. "The study then linked those who attended and traveled back to their home states, and compared changes in coronavirus trends after the rally's conclusion."

Essentially, the researchers assumed that new spikes in cases in areas where people went post-rally must have been caused by those rally attendees, despite there being no particular evidence that this was the case. The paper, which has not been peer-reviewed, failed to account for simultaneous happenings — like schools in South Dakota reopening, among other things — that could have contributed to coronavirus spread in some of the studied areas.

The researchers also assumed a $46,000 price tag for each person infected to calculate the $12.2 billion public health cost of the event — but this figure would only make sense if every person had a severe case requiring hospitalization.

You can read the rest here.

There are two more points to make: first, this should remind you of the left's passion for false hypotheticals from supposedly "expert" studies.  The entire Wuhan virus lockdown that's devastated vast swaths of the American economy resulted from the claim by Neil Ferguson, a British epidemiologist, and famed hysteric, that 2,200,000 Americans would die from the virus.  And then there's climate change, a fantasy predicated on computer models that perfectly represent the GIGO principle (garbage in, garbage out).

Second, it's important to note that, as best as I can recollect, not a single mainstream media outlet reported on a similar study from the myriad Black Lives Matter protests and riots, all of which occurred when the virus was still peaking in America.  If sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, the opposite is true, too: since the scientific and media establishments aggressively refused even to consider that saucy BLM goose, anything they have to say about the robust Sturgis gander is unacceptable.

Image: Main Street Sturgis 2010, by Catherine Taylor. CC BY-ND 2.0.

My Facebook page is awash in "I told you so" posts from liberals pointing to a study purportedly showing that the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota was a "super-spreader" event that resulted in an additional 250,000 Wuhan virus cases.  What they don't realize is that there's not a word of truth in that "study."  It's made up entirely of extrapolations from distantly related and erroneous facts.

As of September 2, NPR was reporting that, more than two weeks after an event that attracted almost 500,000 people, there were over 260 cases tied to the Sturgis Rally.  (The phrase "over 260" probably means about 261.)  Sadly, one man who was older than 60, meaning he was in a dangerous demographic, died.  Although NPR managed to sound upset by those data, what it reported was good news: after the two-week incubation period had ended, there was a 0.052% infection rate and an 0.0002% fatality rate from the virus.  Those were the facts.

Just five days later, though, the Democrat media were proclaiming that the Sturgis motorcycle rally was a "super-spreading event," with a $12.2-billion price tag:

The Hill said that more than 266,000 cases came from Sturgis, and The Hill was not alone in saying this.  Similar reports came from multiple media outlets, including, I'm disappointed to say, Fox News.

How in the world did the media get from 260 reported cases to 250,000 cases, a number equal to more than half the attendees?

The media did it by looking to a single study that relied on hypothetical numbers drawn from extrapolated data, all of which were wrong.  Reason.com explains the con:

To get to the astronomical number of cases allegedly spread because of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the researchers analyzed "anonymized cellphone data to track the smartphone pings from non-residents and movement of those before and after the event," notes Newsweek. "The study then linked those who attended and traveled back to their home states, and compared changes in coronavirus trends after the rally's conclusion."

Essentially, the researchers assumed that new spikes in cases in areas where people went post-rally must have been caused by those rally attendees, despite there being no particular evidence that this was the case. The paper, which has not been peer-reviewed, failed to account for simultaneous happenings — like schools in South Dakota reopening, among other things — that could have contributed to coronavirus spread in some of the studied areas.

The researchers also assumed a $46,000 price tag for each person infected to calculate the $12.2 billion public health cost of the event — but this figure would only make sense if every person had a severe case requiring hospitalization.

You can read the rest here.

There are two more points to make: first, this should remind you of the left's passion for false hypotheticals from supposedly "expert" studies.  The entire Wuhan virus lockdown that's devastated vast swaths of the American economy resulted from the claim by Neil Ferguson, a British epidemiologist, and famed hysteric, that 2,200,000 Americans would die from the virus.  And then there's climate change, a fantasy predicated on computer models that perfectly represent the GIGO principle (garbage in, garbage out).

Second, it's important to note that, as best as I can recollect, not a single mainstream media outlet reported on a similar study from the myriad Black Lives Matter protests and riots, all of which occurred when the virus was still peaking in America.  If sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, the opposite is true, too: since the scientific and media establishments aggressively refused even to consider that saucy BLM goose, anything they have to say about the robust Sturgis gander is unacceptable.

Image: Main Street Sturgis 2010, by Catherine Taylor. CC BY-ND 2.0.