A Model Disaster

April 26, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette announced that there were 104 hospital beds in the state currently occupied by Covid 19 patients.  The same article revealed that the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, a group that has been doing much (most?) of the modeling for government agencies during this pandemic, had predicted on April 2 that by the 26th Arkansas would have 2,000 Covid 19 patients occupying hospital beds.  Thus the IMHE overstated Arkansas’ need for Covid 19 beds by a mere 1,823%, or if you prefer, by a full order of magnitude, and then double that number.

From a statistical perspective, this means that the IMHE’s numbers are pure garbage, having no relation in any shape, form or fashion to objective reality.  Yet these numbers are being used nationwide to set public policy, without debate, through unilateral executive action.  We have seen millions of our countrymen lose their businesses and their employment, we have seen our fundamental civil liberties curtailed or stripped altogether, we see the supply chains for even basic necessities of life beginning to snap, all on the basis of these models.  One wonders, when these models prove to be completely wrong, will the modelers be held to account?  So far it seems unlikely.

Now many of our luminaries tell the populace that we should not expect to re-open until a vaccine is available for Covid 19, a process they assure us will take “only” 12 to 18 months.  Yet in only a little over a month we see an all time record level of new unemployment and our farms grinding to a halt.  We have not seen the exponential growth viral deaths that we were warned of; we are seeing an exponential explosion of poverty and a rising specter of famine.

And about that 12-18 months for a vaccine…. SARS, a virus very closely related to Covid 19, came on the seen in 2002, followed by MERS, another corona virus, in 2012.  Scientists have been searching for vaccines for both of these viruses since they appeared, so far without success.  The government agents that promise a vaccine in 18 months have so far offered no answer as to why they will be more successful this time.

Which is to say we are entering a period of civil unrest, possible mass starvation, growing authoritarianism… and all in the name of following allegedly scientific models that have proven wrong every single time they have been measured against real world outcomes.  Perhaps we should re-consider our approach.




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4 responses to “A Model Disaster

  1. Nice post. I especially like how you described the enormity of the miscalculations.

    “Thus the IMHE overstated Arkansas’ need for Covid 19 beds by a mere 1,823%, or if you prefer, by a full order of magnitude, and then double that number.’

    Close enough for government work.

    To the question, “will anyone be held accountable?” When was the last time a government actor was actually held accountable?

    One thing I find interesting is that there seems to be a lot of activity still in finding alternate cures/therapies for Chinese Virus-19 patients. I thought the anti-malarial + zinc drug combo had already been shown to do the job quickly and cheaply. I guess maybe the “cheaply” aspect is the problem?

  2. There are lots of agendas in play. If you figure out the agendas, you are way ahead in the game

  3. One wonders if many of these decision makers have thought things through

  4. thedeti

    I don’t know who to believe anymore.

    At some other sites on the fringes of the ‘sphere, which I also read, there are Chicken LIttle predictions everywhere.

    Some of us are saying “the worst is behind us we need to get back to normalcy”. Others of us are saying “OMG OMG OMG we are nowhere near done with this it is going to be the Black Death of the 21st Century 200 million people are going to DIE we need to lockdown until God knows when”

    I’m still thinking about this

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