For the record, that was more work than the analysis on r/dataisbeautiful. It was more work than Ben Hunt did (with the exception of writing his life story and essay). I'm not sure where the ambiguity is. I said like 3 people were wrong, not everyone. Which they are.
It's completely insane to run a quadratic fit in Excel and claim that is evidence of anything. It's even worse to see someone with an alleged background in statistics doing it because they're either being intellectually dishonest or they just don't give a fuck. His credentials are not only irrelevant to the discussion, they aren't in the same lane. He studied art for 7 years and taught a stats class? I know people in high school, maybe I'll ask them if they think this is a bombshell. I'll ask my brother, he's like halfway through a community college diploma in tech. Let's see what he says. creeedeennnnnttiiiialaaaaaallllsssss bro. I wrote an essay on why we need FreeMarket(tm).
"2 + 2 = 5" and we haven't redefined addition in this vector space (Old White Guy, Ph.D in Math, Harvard 1904). Damn dude he's in his lane and being totally right! Seems like a joke but I just got back from a talk of a dude with a math degree claiming he had proved the brain is a computer based on some gradient model. It's not proof, it's a contention.
Yes, R0 is a power law. But how is this supposed to work? There's an exponential spread, for how many days? What does it mean by "until measures are taken to bring the disease under control?" Isn't that already happening? People who live thousands of miles away are wearing face-masks on a daily basis. The Chinese grocery around here is in threat of going out of business because people are that paranoid.
Now, using an exponential fit the entire planet would be infected in less than 100 days. So at some point between day 1 and day 100 this thing is going to stop exhibiting exponential behaviour. So is the R^2 value of the exponential fit supposed to move from 0.99 to 0.95 after day 30? What behaviour are we exactly looking for here? I didn't even go as far as to do an analysis of residuals or any of the other BS we could be looking at with least-squares regressions. Not to mention accumulating the number of cases over time and running a regression on that is flaky to begin with.
The R0 for measles is estimated to between 12-18. Under those circumstances any measles outbreak would infect the entire planet in like a week. Does that mean every measles outbreak was fabricated? Maybe if I have unlimited free time I'll run an exponential fit on a measles outbreak in the DR Congo to prove they're fabricating numbers too. By your argument what should be expected is a very rapid exponential rise in cases (remember 18 people from 1 grows insanely fast) followed by a levelling off.
That livescience article you linked mentions the fact R0 isn't exactly known for nCov. And this article by them suggests the WHO estimates are anywhere from 1.4 to 2.5. Other organizations have higher estimates, but this isn't an exact science.
Now because I have to satiate everyone's impulses because this is U.S. vs. China basically - yes it's possible they're making shit up. Yes, people that work for the government in China serve bullshit on a platter. Probably even likely. But shit like this isn't proof, nor is it even a worthy contention. It's garbage. It's worse than what China does, because they don't actively finesse the uneducated when they drop outright bullshit like the president can walk through walls or whatever is hot in communist countries. That Lancet study is actually worth discussing rather than some borderline racist bullshit from Reddit.