New York is making the U.S.’ coronavirus trends look better than they are

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. are going down — but that’s mainly because coronavirus cases in the New York area are going down.

Why it matters: The country’s hardest-hit region is getting better, and while that’s obviously a good thing, it shouldn’t provide a false sense of security for other regions, many of which are seeing new cases rise sharply.

The big picture: Take New York and New Jersey out of the picture, and the U.S.’ coronavirus cases aren’t going down. They’re holding steady, or slightly increasing.

  • The large number of cases in the New York region drove up the national number of cases in the early going, and so it’s no surprise that big decreases in and around New York would also drive nationwide decreases.

Yes, but: The virus is everywhere now. Improvement in New York doesn’t ensure the outbreak is under control anywhere else.

  • Several populated states — including Texas, Arizona and Oregon — that are seeing their outbreaks get worse.

The bottom line: The nationwide trend of declining cases, that’s mainly a reflection of the New York region’s trend, shouldn’t provide a false sense of security elsewhere.