“The models were wrong.”
This is gospel among conservatives and libertarians. In much of the Dissident Right, the line was that it was a “hyped-up flu.” In fact, this virus was nothing compared to swine flu. If you thought the virus was more serious than being struck by lightning, you were being hysterical.
It’s true that Donald Trump’s favorite model – the IHME model – was wrong. He based everything on that particular model because it was the most optimistic one and told him there would only be 60,000 deaths. Even that model assumed that social distancing would last through August.
The MIT model which is based on machine learning is currently projecting 168,455 deaths by August. This model is also updated with new data like the IHME model. It is telling us nothing so far about how the reopening will go this month. As the reopenings play out, more data will come into the model and the projection will be updated. We currently have a 96% chance of 100,000 deaths by August 1. We have a 73% chance of getting there by June 1 and a 89% chance by June 15.
The model says nothing about the fall and winter of 2020/2021. How about this for an October Surprise? The deadliest month in American history was October 1918 when 195,000 Americans died from the Spanish Flu in a single month. Can we surpass that? 53,000 Americans died in April.
Note: Those who are worried about a vaccine should relax. It took like 4 or 5 years to develop the mumps vaccine which was the fastest in history. There still isn’t a vaccine for HIV after almost 40 years.
A month ago: