Thursday Numbers

Quote for today…

Life’s biggest tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late. – Benjamin Franklin

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” In case you are a first-time visitor, this is the weekly column where I look at the numbers in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with sarcasm and humor.

This week’s topics include deaths from coronavirus, fully immunized Montanans, unemployment claims, Sturgis, mass shootings, facemask poll, Cascade County COVID numbers, Biden’s latest approval ratings, TWW poll results, satisfaction poll, Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass. & Rep. Peter Meijer take a trip, college football begins, plus much more!


That is how many people have died in the United States from coronavirus, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. There have been 38,225,849 cases across the country so far. The first death in the USA was reported on February 29, 2020. (Johns Hopkins)

Last week the death total was 624,260.


That is how many Montanans have been fully immunized for COVID-19. That is just 50% of the eligible population. (Source)

Last week the number of fully immunized Montanans was 453,218.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Montana’s estimated population in July 2019 was 1,068,778.

Find COVID-19 Vaccines Near You by clicking HERE.


In the week ending August 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 353,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 348,000 to 349,000. The 4-week moving average was 366,500, a decrease of 11,500 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 377,750 to 378,000. (DOL)

Note: On Thursdays, this column is published right after 6:30 a.m. (Montana time), so I can post the latest unemployment numbers.


Two weeks after the annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, reported Covid infections in the state have risen nearly sixfold. South Dakota counted 3,819 new cases in the past two weeks, including seven deaths, up from 644 cases in the 14 days preceding it. That makes it the state with the largest percent increase in Covid cases in the past two weeks.
Meade County, home to Sturgis, has counted 330 new cases in the last two weeks, up from the 20 reported in the two weeks before the rally, according to Johns Hopkins University’s case count. The 1,550 percent increase comes after the motorcycle rally, which usually draws around half a million people, possibly had its biggest year ever, according to County Sheriff Ron Merwin. (NBC News)

There’s some freedom for you…


This week the U.S. has reached 450 shootings this year where 4 or more victims have been shot and/or killed in a single incident. The country reached this number on September 15th last year. (Source)

So sad. All those deaths.


As the Delta variant surges, about 60% of adults feel both students and teachers should be required to wear face masks while in school as a response to the pandemic, and a majority support a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for teachers (59%) and students age 12 and older (55%). (AP)

The nationwide AP-NORC poll was conducted August 12-16, 2021, using the AmeriSpeak® Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,729 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3.2 percentage points.


The Cascade County (Great Falls, MT) City-County Health Department reports that as of Wednesday only 45% of eligible individuals in the county are vaccinated.

The weekly average COVID-19 case rate is 50.04 per 100K with the positivity rate being 13.5%. Last week it was 55.31/13.0%. (Source)

COVID is running wild in Montana…


For President Joe Biden, the cost of the war’s chaotic end has been steep. His overall job approval rating now stands at 41% who approve versus 55% who disapprove – a big drop in the closely watched barometer of political health. Until last week, national polls generally showed his approval rating above 50%. (USA Today)

The USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll was taken Thursday through Monday when the nation’s headlines were dominated by scenes of desperate families trying to evacuate the Kabul airport and a surge of COVID-19 cases across the United States.


This week’s poll asked readers to “Grade President Joe Biden on his handling of the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.”

Here are the results:

B: 32.5%
C: 25%
F: 17.5%
A: 12.5%
D: 10%

Thanks to all who participated.


Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. has fallen to 23%, the lowest point since President Joe Biden took office. This marks a seven-percentage-point decline from July. At the same time, mentions of COVID-19 as the nation’s most important problem have more than doubled, to 26%. (Gallup)


Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., flew unannounced into Kabul airport in the middle of the chaotic evacuation stunning State Department and U.S. military personnel who had to divert resources to provide security and information to the lawmakers, U.S. officials said. (AP)

They should be reprimanded or censured for taking this trip.


ESPN will kick off its industry-leading coverage of the 2021-22 college football season in week 1 with nearly 60 games, including the highly-anticipated non-conference matchups in the Duke’s Mayo Classic in Charlotte – No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 3 Clemson – and Chick-fil-A Kickoff in Atlanta – No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 14 Miami. (ESPN)

ESPN reports that the opening weekend slate features games on six consecutive nights (Sept. 1-6) and culminates with primetime showdowns Sunday on ABC (No. 9 Notre Dame at Florida State) and on the traditional Labor Day Monday on ESPN (Louisville vs. Ole Miss).

There should be college football from August 28 until January 10.


2 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. Today’s Trib reports that Cascade County is now #1 in active Covid cases in the state, no doubt thanks in part to the county’s 45% vaccination status as compared to the rest of the state’s 50%.

    Finally! In something, We’re #1! We’re #1!

    The county’s residents should be extremely proud of their accomplishment.

    • Terry – I saw that. Makes me nervous being out and about in GF. Thanks, JmB

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