Saturday , July 11 2020
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A Very Strange White House Indeed…

Summary:
Some very, very, very strange things went on inside this White House. Perhaps the strangest was how American Enterprise Institute “economist” Kevin Hassett persuaded Donald Trump and his coterie that COVID-19 deaths would be less than 100 a week starting May 15—or so Hassett’s enemies and ill-wishers inside the White House and their tame journalists are now claiming it went down: David Anderson: Cubic Fits & Department of D'OH https://www.balloon-juice.com/2020/05/05/cubic-fits-and-department-of-doh/: ‘The first thing a data analyst trainee should learn is that playing with Excel’s functions and tools is a great way to get into trouble when you don’t have an underlying understanding of the fundamental data’s behaviors AND don’t understand the functions and tools core assumptions.

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Some very, very, very strange things went on inside this White House. Perhaps the strangest was how American Enterprise Institute “economist” Kevin Hassett persuaded Donald Trump and his coterie that COVID-19 deaths would be less than 100 a week starting May 15—or so Hassett’s enemies and ill-wishers inside the White House and their tame journalists are now claiming it went down:

David Anderson: Cubic Fits & Department of D'OH https://www.balloon-juice.com/2020/05/05/cubic-fits-and-department-of-doh/: ‘The first thing a data analyst trainee should learn is that playing with Excel’s functions and tools is a great way to get into trouble when you don’t have an underlying understanding of the fundamental data’s behaviors AND don’t understand the functions and tools core assumptions.  This is important.  The second or third lesson a data analyst trainee will learn is to not use Excel but that is advanced training. Why does this matter? It seems like the White House is using Excel and not understanding the phenonomenon they are trying to model. Eyeballing the data, there sure as hell seems to be a day of the week seasonality. But let’s go beyond that. If we were to assume that a cubit fit is an appropriate choice to model the data, and that we can project out of the current data to the near future so that there are almost no deaths on May 15th, that requires a ‘What the Hell’ response… #coronavirus #incompetence #moralresponsibility #orangehairedbaboons #publichealth #2020-05-29

Bradford DeLong
J. Bradford DeLong is Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was Deputy Assistant US Treasury Secretary during the Clinton Administration, where he was heavily involved in budget and trade negotiations. His role in designing the bailout of Mexico during the 1994 peso crisis placed him at the forefront of Latin America’s transformation into a region of open economies, and cemented his stature as a leading voice in economic-policy debates.

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