I agree with the objection regarding Seattle. But I don’t think that a situation as bad as in Iran or Italy would go under the radar, the hospitals there are flooded with COVID patients that show the same symptoms over and over and even in the extremely censored China this kind of information eventually leaked.Spain is only x2 compared to the US right now and this could easily be explained by under testing and proximity to Italy.
Why Iran and Italy and not Thailand and the Philipines?
I think it’s too soon to say “not Thailand and the Philippines”; three days ago there were 10 reported cases in the Philippines, then 33, then 49. Italy’s trend at a comparable level was steeper--3 then 9 then 76--and then here we are, two and a half weeks later.
As for “why Italy and Iran first”, there’s both the possibility of “lower spread rate” and the possibility of “weird founder effects.” If a careless Italian healthcare worker made a mistake three weeks ago, and a careless Philippine healthcare worker made a mistake one week ago, we’d see two additional weeks of growth in the Italian numbers and not the Philippine numbers.
The rate of change being exponential is an extremely important point. The original rate of spread in Wuhan was a doubling every 2 days. If we set another area follows the same rate, then the difference between 32 cases and 4096 cases is just waiting 2 weeks.
Brazil looks like it’s also rising pretty quickly, but is especially interesting because both the president and his communications director seem to have it. [Edit: Probably not?]
Note that Bolsonaro does not have the virus.
Looks like he tested positive and then negative? Hopefully that means he doesn’t have it, but I seem to recall these tests can be inaccurate in both ways.
My understanding is that he never tested positive; rather, it was reported that he tested positive, and then that he tested negative. (The link you provide says otherwise, but Telesur is not a reliable source.)
Update: it now appears that Bolsonaro may have tested positive, though the situation is still unclear, at least to me. The main evidence in favor of the hypothesis that the Brazilian president has tested positive, according to this London Review of Books article, is that (1) Fox News claims that this is what his son Eduardo initially told them, that (2) Bolsonaro has refused to make the results of his tests public, and that (3) 25 members of his entourage are confirmed to have the virus.
Note that the article shows some signs of bias, such as calling the impeachment of former president Dilma Rousseff a “coup” and describing Bolsonaro’s economic minister as having studied “at the University of Chile under Pinochet” (Pinochet was the president of Chile, not the president of the University of Chile). So I’m updating only slightly and would like to see this confirmed by more neutral sources.
Ah, good to know!