Monthly Archives: April 2020

30/4/20: No, Healthcare Systems are Not Lean Startups, Mr. Musk

A tweet from @elonmusk yesterday has prompted a brief response from myself:

For two reasons, as follows, it is worth elaborating on my argument a little more:

  1. I have seen similar sentiment toward authorities' over-providing healthcare system capacity in other countries as well, including, for example in Ireland, where the public has raised some concerns with the State contracting private hospitals for surplus capacity; and
  2. Quite a few people have engaged with my response to Musk.
So here are some more thoughts on the subject:

'Lean startups' is an idea that goes hand-in-hand with the notion that a startup needs some organic growth runway. In other words, it needs to ‘nail’ parts of its business model first, before ‘scaling’ the model up. ‘Nailing’ bit is done using highly scarce resources pre-extensive funding (which is a ‘scaling’ phase). It makes perfect sense for a start up, imo, for a startup.

But in the ‘nailing’ stage, when financial resources are scarce, the startup enterprise has another resource is relies upon to execute on a ‘lean’ strategy: time. Why? Because a ‘lean’ startup is a smaller undertaking than a scaling startup. As a result, failure at that stage carries lower costs. In other words, you can be ‘lean’ because you are allowed to fail, because if you do fail in that stage of development, you can re-group and re-launch. You can afford to be reactive to news flows and changes in your environment, which means you do not need to over-provide resources in being predictive or pro-active. Your startup can survive on lean funding.

As you scale startup, you accumulate resources (investment and retained earnings) forward. In other words, you are securing your organization by over-providing capacity. Why? Because failure is more expensive for a scaling startup than for a 'lean' early stage startup. The notion of retained and untilized cash is no longer the idea of waste, but, rather a prudential cushion. Tesla, Mr. Musk's company, carries cash reserves and lines of credit that it is NOT using at the moment in time precisely because not doing so risks smaller shocks to the company immediately escalating into existential shocks. And a failure of Tesla has larger impact than a failure of small 'lean' startup. In other words, Mr. Musk does not run a 'lean startup' for a good reason. Now, in a public health emergency with rapid rates of evolution and high degree of forecast uncertainty, you cannot be reactive. You must allocate resources to be pro-active, or anticipatory. In doing so, you do not have a choice, but to over-supply resources. You cannot be ‘lean’, because the potential (and highly probable) impact of any resource under-provision is a public health threat spinning out of control into a public health emergency and a systemic shock. ‘Lean’ startup methods work, when you are dealing with risk and uncertainty in a de-coupled systems with a limited degree of complexity involved and the range of shocks impact limited by the size of the organization/system being shocked. Public health emergence are the exact opposite of such a environment: we are dealing with severe uncertainty (as opposed to risk) with hugely substantial impacts of these shocks (think thousands of lives here, vs few million dollars in investment in an early stage start up failure). We are also dealing with severe extent of complexity. High speed of evolution of threats and shocks, uncertain and potentially ambiguous pathways for shocks propagation, and highly complex shock contagion pathways that go beyond the already hard-to-model disease contagion pathways. So a proper response to a pandemic, like the one we are witnessing today, is to use an extremely precautionary principle in providing resources and imposing controls. This means: (1) over-providing resources before they become needed (which, by definition, means having excess capacity ex-post shock realization); (2) over-imposing controls to create breaks on shock contagion (which, by definition, means doing too-much-tightening in social and economic environment), (3) doing (1) and (2) earlier in the threat evolution process rather than later (which means overpaying severely for spare capacity and controls, including - by design - at the time when these costs may appear irrational). And (4), relying on the worst-case-scenario parameterization of adverse impact in your probabilistic and forecasting analysis and planning. This basis for a public health threat means that responses to public health threat are the exact opposite to a ‘lean’ start up environment. In fact they are not comparable to the ‘scaling up’ start up environment either. A system that has a huge surplus capacity left in it, not utilized, in a case of a start up is equivalent to waste. Such system’s leadership should be penalized. A system that has a huge surplus capacity left un-utilized, in a case of a pandemic is equivalent to the best possible practice in prudential management of the public health threat. Such system’s leadership should be applauded.

And even more so in the case of COVID pandemic. Mr. Musk implies something being wrong with California secured hospital beds capacity running at more than double the rate of COVID patients arrivals. That's the great news, folks. COVID pandemic carries infection detection rates that double the population of infected individuals every 3-30 days, depending on the stage of contagion evolution. Earlier on, doubling times are closer to 3 days, later on, they are closer to 30 days. But, utilization of hospital beds follows an even more complex dynamic, because in addition to the arrival rates of new patients, you also need to account for the duration of hospital stay for patients arriving at different times in the pandemic. Let's be generous to sceptics, like Mr. Musk, and assume that duration-of-stay adjusted arrivals of new patients into the hospitals has a doubling time of the mid-point of 3-30 days or, close to two weeks. If California Government did NOT secure massively excessive capacity for COVID patients in advance of their arrival, the system would not have been able to add new capacity amidst the pandemic on time to match the doubling of new cases arrivals. This would have meant that some patients would be able to access beds only later in the disease progression period, arriving to hospital beds later in time, with more severe impact from the disease and in the need of longer stays and more aggressive interventions. The result would have been even faster doubling rate in the demand for hospital beds with a lag of few days. You can see how the system shortages would escalate out of control.

Running tight supply chains in a pandemic is the exact opposite to what has to be done. Running supply capacity at more than double the rate of realized demand is exactly what needs to be done. We do not cut corners on basic safety equipment. Boeing did, with 737-Max, and we know where they should be because of this. We most certainly should not treat public health pandemic as the basis for cutting surplus safety capacity in the system.

Australian Politics 2020-04-30 15:29:00


Total virus cases in Australia fall below 1000, only one new case in 24 hours as UK toll soars

Senior officials from the Department of Social Services have told a parliamentary committee the number of people on JobSeeker rose by about 500,000 from February to April, with another 400,000 expected to apply by September. The estimates haven’t changed despite the government announcing its wage subsidy program since projections were made.

The government has doubled the JobSeeker payment - formerly known as Newstart - and expanded eligibility to income support for the period of the coronavirus pandemic.

But the department’s secretary Kathryn Campbell remained tightlipped on whether the government would consider maintaining the higher rate after the pandemic is over.

She said all options were on the table but the department was in the early steps of creating advice for the government.

Ms Campbell said the disability pension was ineligible for the boost because it was designed for people who were in the workforce.

Almost 600,000 businesses have applied for the JobKeeper wage subsidy - a payment of $1500 a fortnight - to support more than 3.3 million workers. The figure is well under the estimated six million workers over a six-month period when the policy was costed at $130 billion.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the emergency measures have a set lifespan and a wind back will be needed to ensure the federal budget does not blow out further.

“Labor has serious concerns about the impact this will have on the hundreds of thousands of Australians whose jobs remain uncertain, and the impact this will have on the economy when or if the government suddenly snaps back the payment,” Labor senator Katy Gallagher said.

The number of active coronavirus cases in Australia has fallen below 1000 for the first time in more than five weeks.

And in the 24 hours from Tuesday to Wednesday, only one new case was reported Australia-wide as the number of COVIDSafe app downloads passed three million.

A total of 986 people were confirmed to have the deadly virus as of Thursday morning, with 5670 of the 6744 cases recovered. Ninety people have died.

The remaining 13 cases identified on Wednesday were close connections to other known carriers, meaning Australia is successfully tracing the virus and limiting its reach in the community.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt described the statistic as possibly “the most important” in the fight against COVID-19 so far.

“There was only one case from an unknown source, only one case of community transmission across Australia,” he said.

“That is perhaps the most important figure I have had the privilege of raising since coming into this role and dealing with the coronavirus issue.”


Coronavirus Queensland: Zero new cases recorded

Queensland continues to smash the coronavirus curve with zero new cases again recorded on Thursday and just four cases this week. The state’s tally still sits at 1,033 with 943 of those sufferers now recovered.

There have been 13 new cases since last Thursday and four since Monday.

Tragically, six Queenslanders have died from the virus during the pandemic. More than 108,000 tests have been conducted.

Just one new case was recorded on Wednesday and that was from a person returning from an overseas trip.

It comes as Queensland scientists lead the world in edging closer to a vaccine with UQ researchers confident millions of doses of the cure could be in mass production within months.


Australia has successfully flattened the curve of coronavirus infections, but is it too soon to re-open the country?

Australia’s deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth says random testing is not the answer to controlling coronavirus.

Dr Coatsworth said there were now 6746 cases across Australia, with only eight new cases recorded in the past 24 hours.

“There have been 90 deaths due to coronavirus, and in our intensive cares at the moment, there are 36 patients with coronavirus, and 25 of those are having their breathing supported with a ventilator,” Dr Coatsworth told Today on Thursday morning.

But he said the idea of testing random members of the public was not a way to bring the virus under more control in Australia.

“Random testing of the public, while it may seem a good idea, does have problems associated with it,” he said.

“If you test very, very large numbers of people, you can get what’s called false positives, so results where the person didn’t actually have the virus.

“Where we test people with no symptoms, in the first instance, it is more likely to be in areas where we know there might be transmission - so, in the health care, the residential aged care setting we have just spoken about.

“But really what we want people to do at the moment is if they have got symptoms, any symptoms of a cold, go and get a test. That’s the first priority at this point in time.”


Stokes calls for Canberra to back down on China

China bashing is moronic.  You might as well bash a brick wall

Media mogul Kerry Stokes has used the front page of The West Australian newspaper to call on the Prime Minister Scott Morrison to appease China's anger at Australia's push for an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Stokes, who controls the paper's publisher Seven West Media, also mounted a defence of the exotic animal wet markets where the virus is believed to have broken out.

"If we're going to go into the biggest debt we’ve had in our life and then simultaneously poke our biggest provider of income in the eye it's not necessarily the smartest thing you can do," his newspaper reported him saying.

Mr Stokes is the second Western Australian billionaire to attempt an intervention in Australia's relationship with China this week.

Yesterday, iron ore billionaire Andrew Forrest was accused of ambushing the Australian government after he parachuted one of China's top diplomats into an official event, blindsiding Health Minister Greg Hunt.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

29/4/20: Surprising Effects of COVID19 on U.S. Labor Force

Mid-run COVID pandemic effects on U.S. employment, unemployment and labour force participation rates via:

The striking collapse in estimated participation rate is down to several factors, some expected, some less so. Per authors:

"Why do so many unemployed choose not to look for work? ... Prior to the crisis, most respondents out of the labour force claimed that it was because they were retired, disabled, homemakers, raising children, students, or did not need to work. Only 1.6% of those out of the labour force were claiming that they could not find a job as one of their reasons for not searching. At the height of the Covid-19 crisis with a much larger number of people now out of the labour force, we see corresponding declines in the share of homemakers, those raising children and the disabled. However, we see a large increase in those who claim to be retired, going from 53% to 60%. This makes early retirement a major force in accounting for the decline in the labour-force participation. Given that the age distribution of the two surveys is comparable, this suggests that the onset of the Covid-19 crisis led to a wave of earlier-than-planned retirements. With the high sensitivity of seniors to the Covid-19 virus, this may reflect in part a decision to either leave employment earlier than planned due to higher risks of working or a choice to not look for new employment and retire after losing their work in the crisis."

This is interesting and far-reaching. If true, such changes provide some - rather substantial - clearing of the path to promotion and career advancement by the older generation of GenX-ers. But it also might be a feature of the COVID-relted layoffs that could have been accompanied by the longer-term jobs destruction in sub-occupations and sub-sectors that tend to simultaneously attract senior or in-retirement workers and be associated with higher degree of person-to-person contacts, e.g. in basic services.

Either way, the implications for the younger generations of the COVID19 crisis remain highly uncertain, but for older generations, earlier retirement and forced retirement is usually associated with lower income in retirement. After all, people in retirement age were not working for purely social reasons before COVID19 pandemic hit.

Australian Politics 2020-04-29 16:30:00


Australia could get 90% of electricity from renewables by 2040 with no price increase

On windy nights only, presumably.  What do you do when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine? They talk blithely of pumped hydro and batteries but omit to mention that the costs for both are vast while the output is trivial

Australia could get 90% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2040 without an increase in power prices, according to an analysis by the energy and carbon consultancy RepuTex.

Under current government policies, the country is on track to have 75% of its electricity generated by renewables within 20 years, but the analysis suggests a weak federal policy framework would lead to wholesale prices rising for a period after 2030.

RepuTex’s latest outlook for the national energy market finds investment driven by state policies, including renewable energy targets in Victoria and Queensland, will help keep wholesale electricity prices down throughout the 2020s.
Zali Steggall calls for investigation of Coalition plan to underwrite gas, hydro and coal power
Read more

But it says wholesale prices would rise again in the 2030s without federal policy to encourage investment in new clean energy generation before ageing coal-fired power stations close.

RepuTex examined two scenarios, one that forecasts wholesale electricity prices under current government policies, and another that forecasts prices under the Australian Energy Market Operator’s more ambitious “step change” scenario that uses a carbon budget in line with the Paris agreement. It has made a summary of its report and methodology, but not the full report, available on its website.

Under current policies, Australia would reach 50% renewable energy by 2030 and 75% by 2040, despite the absence of a federal policy framework beyond the underwriting of new generation investment scheme.

The report finds new investment would be driven by state-based policies and renewable energy targets, which RepuTex forecasts would bring about 17 gigawatts of new capacity by 2030, along with 4GW of rooftop solar and 3.5GW of new storage capacity.

The falling costs of clean technology would put pressure on coal and gas generation and lead to 18GW of thermal capacity exiting the market by 2040. It forecasts wholesale prices would remain at roughly the current level, between $50 -$70 a megawatt hour, over the next 10 years. Wholesale electricity prices have fallen by nearly 50% over the past year.
Energy companies will face pressure to lower prices as wholesale costs tumble
Read more

“As new renewable energy and storage projects such as Snowy 2.0 are commissioned, along with the continued uptake of small-scale resources, traditional volumes for black coal and gas-fired capacity are likely to be eroded,” RepuTex’s head of research, Bret Harper, said.

But the report finds that a disorderly closure of coal-fired power stations would push wholesale prices up in the 2030s in the absence of federal policy to guide investment.

RepuTex found that an increase in wholesale prices could be avoided under the more ambitious scenario, forecasting that average annual prices in the 2030s would remain below $80/MWh. The step change scenario sets out an emissions budget for the electricity sector that would lead to decarbonised energy systems by 2050, in line with the Paris agreement commitment of keeping global heating below 2C.

RepuTex forecasts this scenario would lead to Australia reaching 70% renewable energy generation by 2030 and 90% in 2040, and that the combination of more renewable energy, improved storage technologies and a carbon budget would be “fatal” for coal-fired power.

“The most interesting thing is we can have this decarbonised energy system and it won’t cost any more,” Harper said.

“In fact, it costs slightly less. Just in the last year even, energy storage costs have really come down, whether it’s battery or pumped hydro.”


Coronavirus in Australia: Eased restrictions ‘not too far away’, Scott Morrison says

Eased coronavirus restrictions are “not too far away”, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says, adding there is one thing all Australians need to do to speed up the process.

So far, more than 2.8 million people have downloaded and registered with the government’s COVIDSafe app.

Morrison likened having the app to applying sunscreen when being in the sun, saying millions more need to download it. “I would liken it to the fact that if you want to go outside, when the sun is shining, you have to put sunscreen on,” the PM said on Wednesday. “This is the same thing.

“If you want to return to a more liberated economy and society, it is important that we get increased numbers of downloads when it comes to the COVIDSafe app,” Morrison added.

“This is the ticket to ensuring that we can have eased restrictions and Australians can go back to the lifestyle and the many things that they previously were able to do, and this is important.”

The PM said he wants Australia to become “COVIDsafe” - which means “we can release the pressure”.

“We can release some of the stress which is in families and individuals across the country from isolation, and ensure they can get back to work, school, back to normal, get back to sport,” he added.

Morrison said he couldn’t see international travel “occurring anytime soon” but looks forward to when life in Australia goes back to normal. “The risks there are obvious,” he said of international travel.

“The only exception to that, as I have flagged, is potentially with New Zealand, and we have had some good discussions about that. “But I look forward to the time when Australians can travel again within Australia.”

He said mass gatherings wouldn’t be happening soon either, but flagged places of worship could open for private prayer.

“I look forward to the time where they can see, whether it is the AFL, the netball, the NRL, or whatever code they support, and being able to watch that again.

“But I can’t see them going along to a game for a while, those larger mass gatherings. “I can see, I suppose, the opportunity for those seeking private prayer in a place of worship, I can see that happening.

“I can’t necessarily, though, see the larger services occurring again.”


Coronavirus Australia: Deal could hold key to PM’s own kids returning to school

In a dramatic escalation of the fight to get teachers back into the classroom, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce a plan to put some “sugar on the table” and allow private schools to bring forward up to 25 per cent of their annual funding.

And the deal could hold the key to his own daughters Abbey and Lily returning to their Sydney private school after the Prime Minister complained he could not send them back until normal classroom teaching resumed.

The Prime Minister has insisted he would send his kids back to school “in a heartbeat’’ this term as long as the school was offering proper classroom teaching.

“I mean, they were sitting in a room looking at a screen, that’s not teaching, that’s childminding,’’ he said. “And schools aren’t for childminding. Schools are for teaching and they’re for learning.”

Sources have told that the NSW Government could be plotting a course towards a similar June 1 deadline for a majority of kids back at school, with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirming: “We will see a return of face-to-face teaching from 11 May, and then will consider accelerating a full return to school as soon as possible.”

Education Minister Dan Tehan wrote to private schools on Tuesday night, noting recent claims that some private schools could be forced to close as cash-strapped parents fall behind in fees or switch to the public system. He is proposing to allow private schools to bring forward funding they would otherwise secure in July.

Schools can use the cash to purchase COVID-19 supplies including hand sanitiser and ‘deep clean’ classrooms.

In the letter obtained by, Mr Tehan insists that the medical advice is clear: it is safe for students to return to classes.

“There is very limited evidence of transmission between children in the school environment and … on current evidence, schools can remain fully open,’’ he writes.

“The purpose of this payment option is to financially assist … schools in their response to COVID-19, while also encouraging them to re-engage with their students in a classroom-based learning environment.”

To be eligible for the first payment of 12.5 per cent, private schools must comply with the condition of approval imposed on 9 April 2020 to be open for physical campus learning in term 2 and to have a plan to fully re-open classroom teaching by 1 June 2020.

For the second payment of 12.5 per cent, schools need to commit to achieving 50 per cent of their students attending classroom based learning by 1 June 2020.

NSW Catholic Schools CEO Dallas McInerny said for those schools that had offered parents fee relief the offer could prove attractive.  “There are educational and economic reasons why we want kids back in school. I think from week 3 you will start to see more of our schools heading back to full tilt,’’ he said.

“The main constraint is the availability of staff. Some Catholic schools have responded very generously with fee relief for families affected by COVID-19 and for those schools, this could prove attractive.”

Independent Schools Association CEO David Mulford said increasingly parents wanted children to return to classes. “I think there’s a growing sense parents want children back at school now,’’ he said.

“Noone has ever said it’s going to be the best solution, online learning. Some people thrive and others don’t. Some subjects thrive on it and others don’t.”

But the proposal is set to spark a furious backlash from teachers’ unions, who warn the rush back to classes is “risky” and could spark a second wave of COVID-19 cases.

According to the Independent Education Union representing teachers at private schools in Queensland and the Northern Territory, the current case to reopen schools to all students is a high-risk strategy.

Dr Adele Schmidt said current calls for schools to reopen ignored established research regarding the potential for students to infect scores of contacts with a disease in a given day.

“So much is still unknown about this disease and a shift back to ‘business as usual’ in our schools is a fraught and dangerous one – relying on claims that have not been well tested nor peer-reviewed about the infectivity of COVID-19 in students and students themselves as infection agents,” Dr Schmidt said.

“While early data on transmission of COVID-19 in New South Wales schools would appear to confirm that transmission among children is less common than for influenza – we don’t yet have robust data on virulence of the coronavirus in question.”


Australia Post hires hundreds, puts posties into vans to deliver parcels

Australia Post has put hundreds of its posties behind the wheels of delivery vans in an effort to keep up with a huge surge in demand as self-isolating Australians are buying more online.

The national postal service will also hire 600 casual workers across its network and call centres to manage the surge, which has led to "significant" delivery delays across the country.

Parcel volumes have been at Christmas-like levels for weeks, averaging almost 2 million a day since just before Easter. This marks a 90 per cent increase compared to the same time last year, acting chief operating officer Rod Barnes said.

"For the last four weeks, we have been operating our processing and delivery services seven days a week, with our dedicated staff working on rotation over the 24-hour period, each day," he said.

"We appreciate that delays can be frustrating and want to reassure that our people are working hard to get customers' parcels to them safely and as quickly as possible."

The company has also repurposed 15 sites across the country and turned them into processing facilities to sort parcels, and has chartered an additional eight freighter flights as the shutdown in commercial aviation limits access to passenger plane deliveries.

Australia Post has received regulatory relief from the federal government, which has lifted parts of its community service obligations to allow letter deliveries every two days in metro areas. Letter demand has halved in recent weeks.

Two thousand letter-delivering posties will now be retrained to deliver parcels, which the postal service hopes will reduce strain on the broader delivery network.

"In the last weekend alone this additional staffing allowed us to accept and process an unprecedented 3 million parcels into facilities from ecommerce customers," Mr Barnes said.

"To assist in getting these parcels to customers' doors, we have refocused 700 of our people, a mix of posties and drivers from our StarTrack business, to provide additional van deliveries across the country."

Mr Barnes asked for compassion in this unprecedented time and warned abusive behaviour towards employees would "not be tolerated".


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

Seven Weeks and One Million Coronavirus Cases Later…

The seventh week of the global coronavirus epidemic in the U.S. has come to an end. Over 1 million Americans have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection, with 52,525 deaths as reported by the COVID Tracking Project through 28 April 2020.

Those are big numbers, yet there are increasing signs the spread of COVID-19 is decelerating, though some states are still seeing growing numbers of cases. Here's what the daily progression of cumulative coronavirus testing, confirmations, hospitalizations, and deaths look like when tracked at the national level in a tower chart over the seven weeks from 10 March 2020 through 21 April 2020.

Daily Progression of COVID-19 in the United States, 10 March 2020 through 28 April 2020

Starting from 22 April 2020, the volume of testing in the U.S. has kicked up into a higher gear, with anywhere from 190,000 to 314,000 tests results now being recorded per day. In the last week, the overall 'test positivity' rate of daily testing has dropped below 15% for the nation, confirming the expansion of testing beyond those suspected of having been infected by the coronavirus that originated in China.

The following chart shows the number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths attributed to COVID-19 reported within the U.S. each day during the seven weeks since 10 March 2020 when time series data became available.

Number of Newly Confirmed Cases and Deaths Attributed to COVID-19 in U.S. per Day Since 10 March 2020 (through 28 April 2020)

A sudden transition from exponential to relatively steady growth appears to have taken place on 4 April 2020, with the number of new cases showing noisy day-to-day volatility in the weeks since, with since of further slowing in the past week. The number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 each day has lagged behind the overall case count, with a peak having been reached on 21 April 2020.

The changes affecting the national pattern are actually taking place at the state and local level, where a more mixed picture continues to be present in the pandemic's seventh week in the U.S. Those changes may be seen in the following skyline tower charts, where you can start to see some of the improvements that have begun to take place. Each of these charts span the same period of time and the width of each corresponds to 2.0% of each state or territory's population, making it very easy to see which states and territories have been most impacted and which have been the least impacted through the first seven weeks of the coronavirus epidemic in the U.S., especially since we've ranked them from the highest percentage of infection within the state's population to the least as you read from left-to-right, top-to-bottom.

Progression of COVID-19 in the United States by State or Territory, 10 March 2020 through 28 April 2020

This is the first weekly update for which we haven't needed to adjust the horizontal scale of the charts.

If you look at the top row of the chart, you can see the growth in cases in the state of New York continues to slow, though they are still at a level that puts New York at the top of the list for states and territories most impacted by the coronavirus. The other state we highlighted last week, Louisiana, is considerably further along in showing a trend of improvement, which is allowing it to drop down to fifth place in our skyline chart rankings. Both states are now reporting much higher numbers of recovered coronavirus cases among their populations.

The highly ranked states of New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut however continue to show a widening base of coronavirus cases, though not at the level that the state of New York experienced. We've been updating New York's situation separately on a daily basis, where you can catch up with the latest analysis here. There has been some very disturbing news about Governor Andrew Cuomo and his administration's management of New York's coronavirus epidemic in the news during the past week, which goes a long way to understanding why the state's death count has been so much higher than what other states and many countries have experienced.

Previously on Political Calculations

Here's our series of articles featuring the data visualization we developed to cover the story:

Meanwhile, if you prefer your data in the form of tables presenting numbers and percentages, we also have you covered!