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Questions arise on scope of Johns Hopkins pandemic dashboard

Washington Post: “…Since launching in January, the university’s Coronavirus Resource Center has exploded in scope and popularity, garnering millions of page views and popping up in news coverage and daily conversation. Through numbers, the tracker has told the story of what the virus is doing while the story is still unfolding, offering a nearly real-time picture of its silent march across the globe. But even as data has jumped to the forefront of international discussions about the virus, the Johns Hopkins team wrestles with doubts about whether the numbers can truly capture the scope of the pandemic, and whether the public and policymakers are failing to absorb the big picture. They know what they are producing is not a high-resolution snapshot of the pandemic but a constantly shifting Etch a Sketch of the trail of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. Case counts are consistently inconsistent. Reporting practices differ from country to country, state to state, even county to county. If authorities fail to contextualize the virus with other factors — such as Zip codes, race or Medicaid usage — the hardest-hit communities can go unseen…”

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