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The Dead Don't Vote

Not a 'direct' election story.

You would think for such an "exceptional nation," we could tally the dead and what the cause of death was. Alas, there is no national standard and there are reasons not to count the dead too accurately. 

See this short YouTube segment on counting the dead in disasters, The Dead Don't Vote But They Do Float.

The issue of transparency is uppermost in what organizations say they value, right behind integrity -- with both of those values being aligned. Yet, people get mixed up about transparency when the numbers don't tell the story they want told. Their integrity is the next thing to go out the window -- but, I don't think they recognize that it is gone. They are just "playing the game" as others do, or that is what they tell themselves to justify their actions. 

The YouTube speaker highlights this information:

I will continue to advocate for accuracy, transparency and honesty in our management of the crises of 2020 and the years of impact we've yet to endure. The data we collect today, our actions today, matter for the generations and century that follows.

This week, the United States is reporting we're crossing 2 million people infected with COVID-19 with over 112,000 deaths. Yet, as the video explores, the source of the reporting is suspect. The numbers state to state are based on different methods. Complete, standardized reporting is not a new problem. We've faced similar problems in 1918 and in 2017 and today.


Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.