The Washington Post‚Äôs Philip Bump has a new piece out that defends the IHME model‚Äôs downward shift saying it‚Äôs not ‚Äúexperts were wrong!‚ÄĚ but the experts actually got it right, or something:
A notable shift downward in projected deaths from coronavirus is already being spun as "experts were wrong!!" instead of "hey, the thing experts said would drive down deaths might be driving down deaths."https://t.co/HpUPAyc5tx pic.twitter.com/XLPD39dQfF
‚ÄĒ Philip Bump (@pbump) April 9, 2020
Except, the IHME model assumed social distancing when it was used to sell American on closing the economy for another 30 days. As we‚Äôve seen around the country, we really haven‚Äôt been doing a great job social distancing and since it was already in the model, there has to be something else going on:
The IHME models assumed ‚Äúfull social distancing,‚ÄĚ including school closures, business shutdowns, and stay-at-home lockdowns from the beginning. It requires abject stupidity or outright dishonesty to claim ‚Äúsocial distancing‚ÄĚ caused the model revisions. https://t.co/8tsFzlNVIN
‚ÄĒ Sean Davis (@seanmdav) April 9, 2020
We deserve an explanation:
"The modelers were SO RIGHT they were actually wrong" is a hellofa take.
(Full social distancing was included in their models, Philip. These models set policy, Philip. That policy has put 15 million Americans out of work and shuttered hospitals and small businesses, Philip.) https://t.co/kk03YSBg34
‚ÄĒ Amanda (@AmandaPresto) April 9, 2020
Why can‚Äôt they just admit it was wrong then?
Time to start using more straightforward language and calling out people who don‚Äôt tell the truth, like @pbump. The original model explicitly accounted for the effect of lockdowns. It was wrong in real-time, embarrassingly so; that‚Äôs why it‚Äôs been updated. (It‚Äôs still wrong.) https://t.co/4KcjswcDWO
‚ÄĒ Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) April 9, 2020
There are other models out there, like this JP Morgan one that‚Äôs coming true:
It is still very, very early, .. but JPM's model for NY state (which got flamed in my timeline earlier this week) is on a path to being correct. https://t.co/gF84k3rGgr
‚ÄĒ Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) April 9, 2020
And it‚Äôs not just our side calling out Bump. Here‚Äôs National Journal‚Äôs Josh Kraushaar:
Didn't the UW/IMHE model referenced here account for extensive social distancing through May 1? https://t.co/OPtEV0deLg
‚ÄĒ Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) April 9, 2020
And we‚Äôll end it with this:
We'll be arguing about these coronavirus forecast models for years to come, and it's clearly important to refine them as much as possible so they are more accurate next time. It's strange that anyone would still be trying to argue the models were right this time. They weren't.
‚ÄĒ John Hayward (@Doc_0) April 9, 2020
Yes. Yes. Yes.