Reasons to Wonder
Model Based Projections
The IHME Model
The discrediting of the Imperial and associated Act Now models (plus perhaps U.S. national pride) led to the selection of a new model as the authority on COVID-19 infections and deaths. That model is the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model. However, given the experience of the Imperial model numerous journalists decided to take a more critical look at these models in general, and the IHME model in particular.
For example Sean Davis has carefully watched as the IHME modelers repeatedly significantly reduce their predicted deaths over just a few days. In addition to debunking the dishonest excuse that these reductions were due to the success of “social distancing” he has commented on the implications for current policy (emphasis added).
We can not remain locked down another full month because the damage to the economy will be unbelievably deep and harmful to the average Americans. What we need to do now is not be afraid to reevaluate why these models were so inflated and whether that means we can start to transition back to normal life sooner rather than later.
Yes, there are risks, but there are also profound risks to essentially destroying the economy. That includes deaths that could be prevented by finding a middle ground that still promotes social distancing yet allows people to go back to work in most cases. Our leaders need to start coming up with some hard data about what aspects of our mitigation are actually working and what’s unnecessary. Right now, it feels as if we are flying blind, with very little rationale for some of the things we are doing. For example, would social distancing and masks be just as effective as a total lock down? These are the kinds of questions that must be answered soon.
Another journalist who has dug deep into the COVID-19 modeling scandal is Alex Berenson (emphasis added).
… what Berenson is claiming is simple: the models guiding the response were wrong and that it is becoming clearer by the day. …
“I’ve been paying incredibly close attention to the modeling and trying to figure out whether it lines up with what we’re seeing in reality — and the answer is it hasn’t lined up at all,” he said.
Recently he’s been focusing on discrepancies within the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model. That model has come under renewed scrutiny as it has revised its metrics multiple times. It once predicted more than 90,000 deaths by August but recently issued a new estimate that has the figure closer to 60,000. Government officials say it’s a model that’s moving with what the country is doing. …
But Berenson argues that those models have social distancing and other measures baked into them. As for further proof, he says that outside of places like New York there has not been a national health crisis that was predicted — nor are there signs that the level of lockdown in various states has made a difference.
“Aside from New York, nationally there’s been no health system crisis. In fact, to be truly correct there has been a health system crisis, but the crisis is that the hospitals are empty,” he said. “This is true in Florida where the lockdown was late, this is true in southern California where the lockdown was early, it’s true in Oklahoma where there is no statewide lockdown. There doesn’t seem to be any correlation between the lockdown and whether or not the epidemic has spread wide and fast.”
If we eventually realize that we destroyed major sections of our economy in over response to this virus then a major cause would be use of these deceptive, inaccurate models. For it is these models that our political and cultural leaders have used to justify their power grabs.
How can we tell the difference between politicians who were misled as opposed to those who enthusiastically sought unconstitutional power? We can differentiate by their response to exiting this current social and economic lockdown. Those who support a return to normalcy can be forgiven and trusted. Those who demand indefinite continuation must be opposed and rejected.