Fact of the Day: California Is Doing Better Than Most on COVID-19

Here in California, new lockdowns and travel restrictions are the order of the day. This extreme response to rising COVID-19 cases is based on ICU capacity, so it’s perfectly reasonable. However, it’s prompted a spate of articles about how the coronavirus is “raging out of control” in California with an astonishing 22,000 new cases recorded yesterday.

I don’t understand. This is roughly 10 percent of all new cases in the country, and California has a little more than 10 percent of the US population. It’s basically what you’d expect. To test this, I made a chart (of course I did):

This shows two things. First, as goes the country, so goes California. We’re just following the overall trend. Second, for the past couple of months we’ve been substantially below the national average. I suppose you can say that cases in California are “raging out of control” simply because COVID-19 is raging out of control practically everywhere, but that’s pretty deceptive. In fact, California is doing relatively well. As of yesterday, we were about one-quarter below the national average.

So what’s with the news coverage? Can’t these folks do simple division?

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate