Monday, April 06, 2020


The death and hospitalization predictions of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which have been cited by Dr. Deborah Birx, have been revised downward -- and right-wingers are very interested in this revision. One of the more evenhanded reports on the revisions at a right-wing site comes from Hot Air's Allahpundit:
... the new IHME projections for hospitalization in New York are waaaaaay down....

... A new paper published by Jeffrey Harris, an economist at MIT, points to growing evidence that New York has indeed flattened the curve:

Note the dates. Things start to flatten out around March 21.... Harris attributes that partly to Bill de Blasio’s belated order on March 15 to close NYC restaurants and bars.... But Harris sees another factor: Simply put, the more aware locals are of a spreading epidemic, the more they’ll self-isolate without prompting.
There is, however, another strand in the economics literature suggesting that people voluntarily engage in avoidance behaviors once they fully perceive the risks of contagion....
So the numbers are improving because measures urged by people who take the virus seriously are working.

But right-wingers elsewhere are grumbling. Here's Allahpundit's RedState colleague Nick Arama:
While they are still forecasting 81,766 deaths in a range between 49,431 and 136,401 with a peak day of April 16, that’s far less than prior estimates....

Who wants to bet that those revised projections are overestimates as well? ...

These projections are supposedly based off staying under lockdowns until the end of May. By then the economy will be in a shambles. So the question is how can they address the issues without driving the economy under with models that are ever changing and upon which major policy decisions that affect all Americans are being made.
It gets worse when you slide further down the gutter. Here's Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft:
Estimated IHME US Coronavirus Deaths Now at 81,766 or the Same Numbers as the 2017 Flu Season

Last TUESDAY Coronavirus Task Force Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx pushed the talking point that by completely locking down the US economy and American public, the US government and Coronavirus task force “experts” were able to cut the total coronavirus deaths in the United States from 1 to 2.2 million deaths to 100,000 to 200,000 deaths.

This is based on “models” by her chosen scientific “experts” — Chris Murray and the IHME....

Today the IMHE model used by the CDC and Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci estimate the total US coronavirus deaths to be 81,766 by August 4th.

And 81,000 by May 21st....

In 2017-2018 an estimated 80,000 Americans died in the particularly harsh flu season....

The “experts” estimate similar numbers from the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s time to open the economy.
That flu death toll was with no lockdown, no social distancing, and no other alterations to normal life. If we get out of this with a similar death toll now, it'll be in large part because we shut down the economy.

And then there's the real Stupidest Man on the Internet, Bill Mitchell, with his half-million Twitter followers, some of whose responses I post below:

I hope we're really seeing some good news. But if we are, I warn you that the right will use it to proclaim, once again, that the entire crisis was a hoax perpetrated in order to harm Donald Trump and destroy capitalism.

And I guarantee you that Trump will want to fling open the economy at the first sign of good news. So I'm expecting a tremendous push, starting with Trump and echoed throughout the conservative media, to declare this crisis over very, very soon.

That would be disastrous. But it might happen.

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