One of the main ways we try to understand the COVID-19 pandemic is through time series cross section counts of cases and deaths. Observational studies based on these kinds of data have concrete and well known methodological issues that suggest significant caution for both consumers and produces of COVID-19 knowledge. We briefly enumerate some of these issues in the areas of measurement, inference, and interpretation.
Funding source: Office of Naval Research
Award Identifier / Grant number: N00014-19-1-2491
Funding source: Charles Koch Foundation
Our thanks to the Center for Peace and Security Studies and its members, and to the Office of Naval Research [N00014-19-1-2491] and the Charles Koch Foundation for financial support. Thank you to all who provided feedback on the early draft, including two anonymous reviewers.
Author contributions: Conceptualization, R.W.D., T.L.S., and E.G.; Investigation, R.W.D.; Writing–Original Draft, R.W.D.; Writing–Review & Editing, R.W.D. and T.L.S.; and Funding–E.G.
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