March 21, 2020

"De Blasio’s senior staff in near revolt over his coronavirus response."

The NY Post reports.
When Mayor de Blasio dragged aides and members of his NYPD security detail to his Brooklyn YMCA Monday morning amidst the coronavirus outbreak, fellow fitness enthusiasts were coughing and sneezing — and a mentally ill person was walking around touching the equipment, a gym source said.

“It’s crazy that he made his staff and detail come with him to the gym and expose them like that,” the source said.
That scene lends insight into this: "Majority of NYC’s coronavirus cases are men between 18 and 49 years old."

But wait a minute. That headline is not right. The majority of cases are men (59%), and the majority of cases are people between the ages of 18 and 49 (54%). You can't combine these 2 facts that way! That's some serious innumeracy!

51 comments:

tim maguire said...

Is de Blasio’s staff the only people who care? What about the other people at the gym, who are there by choice? Both healthy and sick?

Why is the gym even open?

Browndog said...

Why is the gym even open?

The gym is open so De Blasio can stay healthy and lead his people to victory.

J Severs said...

Re "The majority of cases are men (59%), and the majority of cases are people between the ages of 18 and 49 (54%)." Agree that it is not well expressed, but I see no contradiction. A person can be both male and 18-49.

William said...

I live in NYC. I like Cuomo's appearances. He seems humane and down to earth. DeBlasio is striking fresh new records of douchedom.

Fernandistein said...

The senior staff are revolting!

Amexpat said...

Andrew Cuomo seems to be the responsible adult here. He's been taking appropriate actions and working well with the Federal government, even praising Trump for being helpful, creative and energetic. Sort of what Christie did in NJ with hurricane relief, praising the positive things that Obama did to create a good atmosphere for cooperation. He got some blow back for that just as Cuomo will for saying some positive things about Trump. But saving lives is more important than scoring short term political point

narciso said...

summing up

Darrell said...

Andrew Cuomo said he will order prisoners to dig mass graves. Yeah, he's really solid.

Fernandistein said...

Agree that it is not well expressed, but I see no contradiction.
The the NY Post headline was false, not contradictory.

It should say something like "About 30% of NYC’s coronavirus cases are men between 18 and 49 years old".

The death rate reported in the article is 0.56%

tim maguire said...

J Severs said...
Re "The majority of cases are men (59%), and the majority of cases are people between the ages of 18 and 49 (54%)." Agree that it is not well expressed, but I see no contradiction.


One can be both. That’s not the issue. The issue is that just because a majority are men and a majority are between 18 and 49, it does not follow that a majority are men between 18 and 49. In fact, based on the numbers given, it is nearly impossible for that to be true.

tim maguire said...

Amexpat said.... He got some blow back for that j

He got blowback because it wasn’t true. Bloomberg was doing all the hard work while Obama posed for photographs. Christie chose Obama over Bloomberg because he wanted to be in those photos.

Big Mike said...

That's some serious innumeracy!

@Althouse, you are probably right, but if it turns out that 93% or more of the 18 to 49 year olds who have presented with COVID-19 are male then it would be true that a majority are males between the ages of 18 to 49 and the headline writer would be correct. Seems a bit against the odds.

narciso said...

Yes its about 31% to get that figure.

MayBee said...

I know this is about "exposing" DeBlasio's staff.....but we are 5 days out from the St Patricks day celebrations in Chicago. It would be interesting to know if we are seeing (or will see in the next few days) any spread from that.

MayBee said...

And yes, I like the much less politicized, kind of riffing everyman that Andrew Cuomo has become.

Curious George said...

"Blogger J Severs said...
Re "The majority of cases are men (59%), and the majority of cases are people between the ages of 18 and 49 (54%)." Agree that it is not well expressed, but I see no contradiction. A person can be both male and 18-49."


That's not the headline. That's althouse's rebuttal. The headline is above that, "Majority of NYC’s coronavirus cases are men between 18 and 49 years old."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You can't combine these 2 facts that way! That's some serious innumeracy!

No one has claimed that the reporters and media are smart or honest.

Now we are learning that they really really aren't. Throw in malicious, venial, and evil and we have the whole picture.

Chris N said...

At Peace Pavilion West, our Leader has retired to his quarters above the Human Pagoda. Is he sick? Did anyone see him coughing? We are crestfallen.

Meanwhile, Starchild and Dove Warrior are battling it out for leadership duties through Council Administration. Bi-weekly meetings to ration bug-paste and we must chant Earthsong and Un resolutions, alone, in our ecopodments.

One People. One Community. One Empathy.

Fernandistein said...

Does this sound scarier?

"70% of NYC’s coronavirus cases are not men between 18 and 49 years old".

Dust Bunny Queen said...

narciso @ 6:43

The Powerline link. LOL.

Never lose our sense of humor in a crisis. This gives me hope!

Fernandistein said...

By coloring an entire country red for a single case, their nifty map makes it seem like 99% of the world is infested.

Chris N said...

Dr.Frankenstein conducted many experiments. Some prototypes made their way onto City Councils, stumbling and clawing their way to authority. It’s said such beasts are inspired by the Nicaraguan revolutionary doctrine the good doctor had lying around the lab during his ‘Red’ phase.

These poor, ungainly creatures possess the strength of many men, but the ignorance and foolishness of small children. Do not feel sympathy for them nor let them come to lead your City.

Fernandistein said...

The death rate reported in the article is 0.56%

I didn't mean to imply that that value is correct, it's probably far lower than that because of which people are, or are not, tested.

The first, and therefore perhaps the most important (to them, not to you), statement from the NYC Dept of Health:

Outpatient testing must not be encouraged, promoted or advertised

So only inpatient testing, which ignores all the people with minor or no symptoms.

Temujin said...

The only remaining constituency that liked DeBlasio was his staff. He's lost them now. He managed to make NYC dumpy and dangerous again, and now he'll be done. When this is over, maybe New Yorkers can take more pride in their city again and look for someone with some sense on how to get it back on track.

A Giuliani type person. Yes. I said that.

Fernandistein said...

NYC Dept of Health falsely states (same link as above):

"There is no reason to test asymptomatic persons or mild-to-moderately ill persons who are not hospitalized, including HCW or first responders."

Bay Area Guy said...

New York has 19 Million people. NYC is a crowded place. Lotta crowds in Times Square. Lotta crowds in Madison Square Garden. Simon & Garfunkel had a concert in Central Park with over 100,000 people.

The average daily ridership on NYC subways during the workweek? 5.4 Million (not a misprint).

No. of Coronavirus deaths in NY: 56

To compare: NY has about 146,000 deaths per year from all causes..

Interpretation?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"There is no reason to test asymptomatic persons or mild-to-moderately ill persons who are not hospitalized, including HCW or first responders."

There are probably not enough test kits right now. Hopefully soon.

Nevertheless, you would think that they would test those who are in the most contact with others LIKE HCW and first responders.

rcocean said...

46% are over 50? That's surprisingly high. I'm assuming the numbers under 18 are much lower.

rcocean said...

Do the math. 54% are 18-49. 59% are male. 54 + 59 = 113. If we divide by 2, that means 56.5% are men between 18-49. simple.

rcocean said...

A mentally ill person wandering around in a Gym.

That's NYC in a nutshell.

Sebastian said...

"That's some serious innumeracy!"

Sure, it looks like a bunch of MSMers are innumerate.

But they are innumerate with a purpose.

Anything to fuel the insanity.

Ann Althouse said...

Gah. I can't believe people are disagreeing with me about the math!

The headline is "Majority of NYC’s coronavirus cases are men between 18 and 49 years old." No. You have a male majority in category 1 (sex) and an 19 to 49 majority in category 2 (age).

But if you put 2 factors into a new category, where there's a set called men between the ages 18 and 49 years old, this cannot be a majority. 59% of the 54% isn't more than 50% of the total number of NYC’s coronavirus cases!

Come on. This is making me sad. Even if that age group is even more skewed male than the total set of NYC cases, you're still going to have enough females in the 18 to 49 group to take that number down from 54% into the less-than-a-majority category.

Fernandistein said...

Gah. I can't believe people are disagreeing with me about the math!

One guy misread the post and agreed with what you said, thinking it was the headline; rcocean is kidding. I hope.

Francisco D said...

Come on. This is making me sad.

I am trying to come up with a Venn diagram that would illustrate your point, but I have not yet finished my first cup of coffee.

narciso said...

Its scary out there, they want to focus on the 31% instead of the older cohort.

Robert Cook said...

"Why is the gym even open?"

It's a business and must be open to make money.

It won't be open henceforth.

SteveBrooklineMA said...

It’s possible mathematically. Multiplying the percentages works if you have independence, but not always. Fir example, you could have 54 men 18-49, 5 older men, and 41 older women.

Ann Althouse said...

"I am trying to come up with a Venn diagram..."

Yes, this is exactly what a Venn diagram is useful to illustrate.

Lurker21 said...

Math is hard, but I think I finally understand.

Yes, this is exactly what a Venn diagram is useful to illustrate.

Or maybe a pie chart.

I'm hungry. Should have stocked up on pie before the epidemic.

What to do when the muffins run out?

Ann Althouse said...

"It’s possible mathematically."

I agree that it's possible. But it is not accurate to make the statement in the headline based on the percentages given in the article. There is missing information — the percentage of affected males in the 18-49 age group — and it is possible that the statement in the headline is true. But newspapers shouldn't write headlines to say unlikely things that just *might* be true! Insert cynical comment about the press.

narciso said...

How did biden get in to that gym.

Big Mike said...

What to do when the muffins run out?

But hot cross buns. It’s the season.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Your Castro-wanna-be isn't working out?

Stop voting for it. idiots.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, thank you. For the benefit of those of you who don’t see why it is possible, suppose there are 100 patients total (any number works as long as you can calculate 59% and 54% without dividing a patient into two pieces). To simplify things we will divide into two disjoint sets of 54 people who are aged 18 to 49 and 46 who are older than 49. Again, you can have as many disjoint sets as you’d like, as long as the union of a collection of some of these sets sets is equal to all people between 18 and 49, and the union of the remaining sets are equal to the set of all people older than 49.

We also know that 59 of the 100 are males and thus 41 are females. Can we divide the 59 so that the cardinality of the set of people between 18 and 49 is 51? Yes, we can do that easily. We can put 51 males and 3 females into the set of people aged 18 to 49, and 8 men plus 38 women into the set of patients older than 49. That is contrary to our intuition that males and females should be roughly equally represented in each age-based set, but it is not at all impossible for the disease to hit younger men and older women harder than older men and younger women.

Phidippus said...

Bill DiBlasio: putz.
Media: stupid.

Perfect together.

Fernandistein said...

The headline would be true if at least 94% of the cases between 18 and 24 were men.

Here's their chart.

Yancey Ward said...

"Outpatient testing must not be encouraged, promoted or advertised

So only inpatient testing, which ignores all the people with minor or no symptoms."


Sure, it serves the political purpose of maximizing the "fatality rate", but it also makes good sense to not have sick people showing up en masse at emergency rooms and clinics, with or without COVID-19. I also think it makes no sense for all these people to show up at drive-thru testing centers that are basically drive through COVID-19/Flu pickup areas, but that is just me.

Fernandistein said...

Not 94%, 92.59% = 93% to two digits.

Yancey Ward said...

rcocean wins the internet for the day!

Marc said...

The Angelic Doctor writing on social distancing is much more readable and enlightening than anything I skimmed at the Times/Guardian/NYPost/DM this morning.

Nichevo said...


Gah. I can't believe people are disagreeing with me about the math! --Lawprof Barbie