Mark Twain is oft quoted as writing: ‘There are lies, there are damned lies, and then there are statistics.’
I follow the Wikipedia page on the Corona Virus outbreak very closely, and I have expressed considerable concern twice about the accuracy of some of the numbers given on that page, particularly in relation to the Peoples Republic of China, where the numbers usually are clearly behind what other public sources publish, giving me cause to be concerned about the motives of whoever maintains that part of that page.
Today, after China revised the death toll upward, the numbers simply do not add up.
The total number of cases recorded on that page for the PRC are 82,367. They also record 4,632 deaths and 77,944 recoveries.
What is wrong with those numbers? Anyone who has passed grade 4 math can tell you that 4,632 and 77,944 add up to 82,576. A 209 person disparity has two possible explanations – one is that whoever is maintaining the numbers of cases in Communist China is not bothering to record them honestly, and the other is that scientists (or necromancers) in Communist China have found some way to raise the Dead, or at least 209 of them.
Not even Dear Leader Kim in North Korea has yet claimed an ability to raise the Dead (although I am hopeful that he will one day), but he does not need to as he has clearly succeeded in keeping the pandemic out of his hermit kingdom. Hence I know what the most likely explanation is for that 209 person discrepancy.
Look, I love Wikipedia. But at times like this, major discrepancies in the publicly available information, due to control of the information being seized by troll like sources with ulterior political motives can have serious consequences.
And whilst on the subject of inaccurate stats, why does Wikipedia say that France has 108,847 cases whilst news.com.au says that it has 134,562? I have noticed the numbers diverging for several days.