Over the past few months, CNSNews.com -- mostly reporter Susan Jones -- has been heavily spinning coronavirus case and mortality numbers, obscuring the summer surge by comparing it to the initial surge earlier this year. The spin hasn't let up.
A Sept. 15 article by Jones carried the headline "COVID-19 Deaths in Last Week of August Down 83.8% From April Peak and touted how "the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 has now declined for at least five straight weeks since late July." Jones shifted her spin in a Sept. 22 article:
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 283,358 new cases of coronavirus in this county in the last seven days -- 37,417 reported yesterday -- for a total of 6,786,352 presumed or diagnosed cases since the first reported cases in February.
Yet based on death certificates submitted so far to CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, have decreased for at least five straight weeks since July 25.
For the final week of August, or the week ending August 29, NCHS recorded 4,306 presumed or confirmed COVID deaths, a 20.71 percent decrease from the 5,431 COVID deaths reported in the prior week; a 45.55 percent drop from the 7,909 deaths in the week ending July 25; and a 74.75 percent decrease from the record 17,055 deaths reported for the week ending April 25.
In another Sept. 22 article, Jones tried to shift blame for the virus in an article headlined "CDC: Adult Obesity, a Risk Factor for COVID, Is Increasing," making sure to highlight that obesity "increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19."
Jones' Sept. 29 article was a bit of a corrective, but still featured her old spin:
As more death certificates are tabulated by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, it now appears that the COVID death toll ticked up, not down, in the week that ended on August 1, by the very smallest of margins.
For the week ending August 1, NCHS counted 7,974 COVID-19 deaths, just two more than the 7,972 recorded in the prior week.
That second COVID death peak of 7,974 is 53.24 percent below the first peak (17,055) in mid-April.
Jones had somewhat less spin and more reality in her Oct. 6 article:
Updated numbers from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that since mid-July, approximately one thousand people have died every day in this country from COVID-19.
That's well below the mid-April peak, when 17,063 people died in the week ending April 18.
But it's an acceleration from the six-week stretch in June and early July, when the number of weekly deaths ranged from 3,777 (week ending June 27) to 5,665 (week ending July 11).
Jones tried to spin harder in her Oct. 13 article, lamenting "new cases in all 50 states and the District of Columbia over the last seven days, with the highest per-capita increases in the upper Midwest/West" but declaring that "at the same time, data based on death certificates submitted to CDC show deaths have been dropping since the week ending August 1."
Patrick Goodenough tried his hand at spinning COVID in an Oct. 13 article by finding a new way to count dead people: "As a proportion of the national population, the United States has accounted for fewer deaths attributed to the coronavirus this month than any other major country in the Western Hemisphere except for Canada, although still more than those in Western Europe."
That's what spinning for Trump is all about.
UPDATE: Jones spins even more in an Oct. 20 article, noting a rise in coronavirus cases but declaring that "while cases are rising in most states, deaths are not rising at the same rate: CDC counts 0.2 deaths per 100,000 people in the last seven days."