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Coronavirus Covid-19: What can Benford’s Law tell us about the truthfulness of the reported numbers

Introduction

This article will discuss if there are any rational arguments to distrust any numbers given during the corona virus crisis by individual countries based on Benford’s law.

China is often accused that it forges or manipulates it’s data. That there are possible millions of undetected cases. There are even scientific papers about this (1). But no one seems to look at how other countries fare by this standard. Hence we will have a look at how China’s reporting fares if compared with 6 European countries and the USA via the Newcomb–Benford law.

One can use two data sets to analyse this data, the cumulative data set and the daily reports, not cumulative. The inherent problem with Benford’s law in an ongoing pandemic is WHEN do you take the analysis. The results of the Benford’s analysis can change daily. 

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