Predictions four to eleven times higher than actual COVID-19 hospitalizations


Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


 

Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


 

If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
 
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Garbage in, garbage out: The computer models being used by hospitals and government authorities to justify the shutdown of the entire American economy have routinely been way too high, four to eleven times higher than the actual numbers.

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which owns HealthData.org and has been cited by the Trump administration, is getting called out for promulgating COVID-19 projections that turn out to be far too high. The institute’s projections are treated as the gold standard by several American hospital systems and state governments, according to its website, which warns that the demand for “ventilators, general hospital beds, and ICU beds” are “expected to exceed capacity.”

Yet it overestimated by four times how many hospitalizations would happen in New York State on one day this week, already accounting for the “lockdown” in the state, according to former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson

For example, the Institute predicted that on April 1 New York would have 50,000 hospitalizations. It only has 12,000. Similarly,

The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis noted similar overestimation on a national level, saying the UW model is using New York and New Jersey data – the epicenter of the epidemic – “and applying it to the rest of the U.S.”

This “garbage” model estimated 121,000 hospitalizations Wednesday, about four times higher than the actual number, he said, delving into more wild divergences between projections and results state-by-state. Tennessee and Texas projections were particularly off, at 11 and nine times higher than actually resulted, while Virginia’s was the closest at only two times higher. [emphasis mine]

For any model to be that badly off in only a week indicates it is total garbage, entirely divorced from reality and more a political document expressing the desires of those who wrote it.

But we’re all gonna die! We’ve got to do something! We’ve got to assume bad things so we can justify our actions!

Share

37 comments

  • David

    While you’re probably entirely correct that the fear mongering is over the top, and a country-wide shutdown may have been an overreaction, I’m finding you’re entirely dismissive attitude hard to take. This isn’t just the flu. It’s highly contagious, it’s putting a very large number of people in the hospital, and a large proportion of those aren’t coming back out again, and have permanent damage if they do.

    I’m personally acquainted with one of the earlier confirmed Seattle cases. Her husband got it by riding an elevator with a recent traveler to Taiwan, he was in the elevator for him for two floors and doesn’t recall any coughing, but he and his whole family spent two very unpleasant weeks being sick. Two other people got it in that same building from the same person and and one died.

    Almost every day this week has been a report of some idiots earning Darwin awards for themselves and a bunch of people around them by continuing to go about business as usual, and infecting a whole community.

    Oregon has gotten off incredibly lightly so far because we shut things down so very quickly. If testing had been available, we probably could have just tracked down the carriers early, and let the state at large go about business as usual, repeat any time there is a new breakout. But without that early testing, there are just too many carriers out there that nobody knows about.

    I would say that we should be opening things back up city by city, county by county by now, but there’s been too much fear-mongering for that to be possible now, it’s definitely over the top, but I’d rather see more balance in your commentary as opposed to the total disdain that seems to lump you in with the people that are getting their churches, golf clubs, etc killed.

  • David: I am sorry you feel this way, but if you go back through my posts, you will find that I repeatedly have said we should take this virus seriously, but apply the right treatment to the real scale of the problem. We have not, and what we have done is beyond horrible, causing far far more harm than the virus ever will. It is this that disgusts me.

    The virus is like the flu in one critical and very important way: It is only a serious threat to the older already ill population. People under 60 almost routinely shake it off, with those below 40 having no problems with it, in almost all cases. With the flu we recognize this reality, and allow society to function while trying to protect our older population (which includes me by the way). If anyone in that older population shows signs of flu, it is immediately taken seriously.

    For younger people, we have always simply shrugged it off. Yes, it will be miserable, but we all know you will get through it. For our society to function and prosper, this is a risk we must take.

    We have abandoned this common sense approach, and the result is probably a complete collapse of the economy, bankruptcies galore, ruined lives, increased suicides, uneducated children, and probably in the long run many more deaths and poverty, all of which could have been avoided.

    So I will not apologize if I seem harsh. I am appalled by what I see happening. In less than two months we are abandoning all the values of freedom and limited government that made this country such a glorious place to live, and replaced them with a socialist fascist state, where everything is controlled by politicians whose only real talent is acquiring power and making speeches. This decision is going to end far worse than had we faced the virus with a little courage, as we have done in the past.

  • Edward

    David,
    I’m finding your entirely dismissive attitude hard to take.

    This isn’t just a developing depression, which is bad enough, it is the loss of our liberties — everyone’s liberties. How many American’s have died — paid the ultimate price — in order to protect these liberties, yet you would throw away these liberties because one person in your building died of a flu? How many people in that building died in World War Two, for instance, protecting your liberty? Should we have saved all those lives by not entering that war?

    Did you complain that we didn’t shut down our economy in past years in order to save lives from the flu? If not, why not? Just what is the price that we should pay in order to save a life, ten lives, last year’s 60,000 lives lost to flu, or this year’s projected 200,000 lives potentially lost to the Wuhan flu?

    There are plenty of everyday examples in which our freedoms cost lives. For example, we lose about 100 people every day in order to have the freedom that we get from automobiles. Are those lives too much to pay for freedom?

    Instead of having our liberty, our governments (federal, state, and local) are directing us as to how to live our lives, preventing us from being productive, eliminating our incomes and destroying our savings, and restricting our travel even within our buildings and neighborhoods. Some people are even banned from walking their dogs. What a tyranny we live in. Would we have accepted such tyranny two decades ago?

    Welcome to Obama’s America, land of the formerly free.

  • David

    Edward,

    Wow, talk about misinterpreting someone’s words so you can argue the extreme strawman. Nowhere did I dismiss the valid concerns, and in fact I didn’t discuss the whole issue of whether the state is overstepping it’s bounds here or not. The whole point I was trying to make, is that there are good substantive points to be made here, I generally agree with how things are viewed here. It’s the dismissive tone that’s putting me off. When the people who I nominally agree with start sounding like they’re about to step off the edge, it reasonably makes me wonder if there’s something I’m missing. There’s got to be a ground between “Oh my God we’re all going to die, surrender all our liberties to the government, shut everything down!” and “this is just the flu, and the government and corporations taking advantage of panic to grab power and shut us up.”

  • Andrew_W

    Mr. Zimmerman, the sources you use misrepresent the claim.
    The claim was not that there would be 50,000 “hospitalizations”, the claim was that 50,000 hospital beds would be needed to meet the demand. If 50,000 people go to a store each wanting to buy a loaf of bread, but the store only has 13,000 loaves to sell, the failure of the store to sell 50,000 loaves is not evidence that there was no demand for that number. If there are only 13,000 hospital beds available pointing out that 50,000 beds were not used is to point out that the impossible did not actually happen. So the question is, were people turned away from hospitals that under normal circumstances would have been admitted? I understand that that has indeed been happening, though I do not know the numbers.

  • Lee S

    I came across an article that might be of interest to you guys outlining why Sweden is taking the path it is, and more importantly, and interestingly, how the separation between scientific agency’s and government works.
    I’m interested to hear your opinions.
    https://www.thelocal.se/20200330/whos-actually-in-charge-of-swedens-coronavirus-strategy

  • Lee S

    I will pull this little gem out of the article for those without the time to read the whole thing. This sums up the attitude to government here than anything I have clumsily tried to explain previously.
    “There is a very high level of confidence among Swedish citizens towards authorities and the government, and I think this shown very clearly now because people’s behaviour is still affected even though it’s not legally enforced,” says Li Bennich-Björkman.

    “And it’s important to underline the confidence from the government and authorities towards the citizens. It’s important for the trust to go both ways, because if authorities start to be more harsh in pushing people to do things, you could see citizens respond by having less trust and confidence in them in future. It’s not just about the model of ministries and government, it’s also about safeguarding the confidence we have between individuals and the government.”

  • Cotour

    Lee S:

    I think the Swedish way of dealing with this situation may only be viable because you are a country of 10 million. Where as some place like Wuhan China or NYC is 8 million people within a dense city. And while city densities may be similar per cities, the general ability for the Swedes to be more generally dispersed may prove to be an effective strategy.

    It will certainly be interesting to see what the reality of this experiment will be.

    Wishing you all the best of course.

  • Lee S: The quotes express a very fundamental point. Trust in government is earned. The Swedish government has trust because in the case of the Wuhan virus it respected its citizens better judgment. It has allowed them the freedom to choose, to do what make sense.

  • Andrew_W

    It does not look like Sweden is doing enough to flatten the curve, comparing that country to Norway: Both countries passed 50 cases on the 4th of March, Sweden did better early on, but recently Sweden continues to follow exponential growth in the number of cases new cases rising from 250 to 620 over the last 4 days, while Norway has kept it to about 200 new cases a day for the last couple of weeks. The rise in deaths in Sweden is also worrying.
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/norway/
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/sweden/

  • Andrew_W

    I really need to make sure I only put 1 link per comment to avoid “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

  • James Street

    Total U.S. coronavirus deaths
    Source https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/
    3/31/2020 U.S. Deaths: 3,182 (+777)
    4/1/2020 U.S. Deaths: 4,099 (+917)
    4/2/2020 U.S. Deaths: 5,140 (+1041)
    4/3/2020 U.S. Deaths: 6,099 (+959)

  • Max

    I heard it announced this morning that all flu death’s are now considered coronavirus. They quit making the distinction February 16? It has the unfortunate affect of inflating the numbers.
    When I saw the logarithmic scale of infection rate on a graph, it looked suspiciously like Michael Man’s hockey stick.
    We’re hearing rumors they’re going to force everyone to wear masks in public. I believe I found the reason why an article I was reading.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/04/01/do-lockdowns-work/

    Scroll to the bottom and look at Japan. The only measures there taking are the facemasks besides checking everyone who enters the country. There infection rate stands out lower than any one else by far.
    I’m reasonably certain that everyone complies with this simple order, the entire nation can go back to work… If it’s not too late.
    The government will continue with their mandatory programs/resolutions because they have already spent the money.

  • James Street: What is significant about these numbers is that the rate of growth per day appears to have stabilized. It is of course still too early to say this is certain, but if it is happening, than the number of deaths from this disease are going to tiny in comparison to the over-the-top predictions.

    Keep your fingers crossed.

  • Lee S

    @Bob, ( and everyone else who has argued this point with me for months and months), it’s not just the viral situation, the government is trusted here, due to good governance, and total transparency of government. And being a democracy, if they don’t meet the high expectations the citizens, they get voted out.
    It’s a sign that the world is changing in a very fundamental way, when Sweden appears more “free” than not just you guys, but 90% of the planet. ( I NEVER would have expected that 2 months ago!)
    @Andrew_W…. There will still be a spike in deaths, ( I’m not defending or condemning here… Time will do that all by itself ..) but Sweden is working in the principal of herd immunity, and the point which Bob has made several times, that a lockdown can cause more hardship than it saves… Possibly.
    I’ve mentioned before that domestic violence is the Nordic countries “dirty little secret”, along with statistically high suicide rates… Especially in the north where it is all or nothing regarding night and day. I have an idea that increases in cases of both during a lockdown might have some bearing on decisions taken.

  • Lee S

    @Andrew…. Regarding the statistics of Norway Vs Sweden… I have no idea of the criteria for getting tested in Norway is… Here you only get tested pretty much if your in need of hospital treatment, so I would expect the percentage of deaths to confirmed cases to be higher than countries with wider testing…. Which basically it the problem in drawing up any meaningful statistics.

  • Andrew_W

    James Street Deaths lag diagnosis by about 2 weeks, as the rate in the number of diagnosis currently continues to rise unfortunately deaths will certainly do so for a while yet.

    Lee S, Wiki has a page with a table on the test rates by various measures, Sweden is testing a lot less that Norway, I don’t think Sweden will be the poster boy of how to tackle Covid-19, I’m looking to SK for that. My expectation for Sweden is that deaths will get into the tens of thousands with her populations current practices.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_testing#Testing_statistics_by_country

  • Lee S

    A boots on the ground report, from the UK.
    My father, (82 years old) is in hospital, recovering from an operation for a perforated bowel. He was recovering fairly well until this morning when he had a fever and cough… He has been moved from the recovery ward to the plague ward…
    It’s impossible to contact the hospital right now, so I messaged a friend who is a nurse in the same hospital. She tells me they all have decent hazmat protection, but are working on the basis that all inmates are infected, and that her and her workmates are going to get infected. When I say “on the basis”, she says it’s common wisdom that everyone IS infected, and all the nurses and doctors will be infected.
    My opinion on this situation changes with the wind… Every report, either boots on ground, or from the media, or from the scientists changes the big picture from hour to hour.
    The heartbreaking thing is there is no way to travel from Stockholm to Birmingham (The original one) right now…. And if there was, the hospital is in lockdown.

  • Lee S

    Just an absolutely tangential question, does anyone else here listen to “The no agenda” podcast? ( If not, I can recommend it… They discuss everything in the news, from mainstream thru to conspiracy, with very litteraly no agenda)

  • Lee S

    @Andrew_W ….Thanks for the link to the wiki page…. Something to keep an eye on for sure! As I have said earlier… I’m not sure I want to be stuck in the control group of all nations… But it is what it is, I don’t think society here will collapse, I’m sure I’ve had the little virulent bugger, ( my kids, my ex and her boyfriend also) and come out the other side, but society ain’t just me.

  • Lee S

    I just watched Trump’s speech, along with Pence after….. I don’t blame Trump for giving him the speaking roles! Donald is good for ad-libs, but he’s not great at getting his message across… I know listen to the message rather than the words.. and I kinda like his attitude. ( I’ve always said I would have voted trump over Hilary… Go figure) .
    Your president is doing a not so bad job, given all the circumstances… Some policy’s I have problems with, but hey… Your Americans ;-) but seriously… I try and give credit when due, and criticize when needed… Trump seems to be doing a good job in difficult times…. He’s crap at doing speeches, with or without a telipromt, but parse thru his babbling, and I see a hard but reasonable businessman.
    ( That doesn’t mean your all right over there… It does mean I think your president gets more crap than he deserves…)

  • wayne

    Lee–
    The Task Force holds lengthy briefing’s almost every single day and Trump is one of the few people who could handle such long briefings contemporaneously.
    (Obama never said one little word that wasn’t on his teleprompter, 8 years of pure scripted lies.)

    Obama National Anthem
    2008
    https://youtu.be/l46t_nrySg4
    1:26

  • Cotour

    Getting more interesting:

    “Shi — a virologist who is often called China’s “bat woman” by her colleagues because of her virus-hunting expeditions in bat caves over the past 16 years — walked out of the conference she was attending in Shanghai and hopped on the next train back to Wuhan.

    “I wondered if [the municipal health authority] got it wrong,” she says. “I had never expected this kind of thing to happen in Wuhan, in central China.” Her studies had shown that the southern, subtropical areas of Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan have the greatest risk of coronaviruses jumping to humans from animals — particularly bats, a known reservoir for many viruses.

    If coronaviruses were the culprit, she remembers thinking, “could they have come from our lab?””

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/04/coronavirus-china-trail-leading-back-to-wuhan-labs/

  • wayne

    Cotour–
    Mark Levin is currently discussing Shi on tonight’s radio show.

    Under the “Never attribute to conspiracy what can be explained by Incompetence,” File:
    For my money– low level technicians at the weapons lab, sold off contaminated animals, and here we are.

  • commodude

    Still sitting in amazement that our Constitutional rights have evaporated because of media hype and a bad model.

  • Andrew_W

    The lag between symptom onset and death needs to be looked at:
    From the Research Letter below:
    Symptom onset to pneumonia average: 5 days
    Pneumonia to ICU admission: average: 6 days
    ICU admission to death: average 7 days

    So average days between symptom onset and death: 18 days.

    In theory that would mean going back 18 days from death to date should give us a case mortality rate, if we do that sum for NYS we get: deaths April 2 divided by number diagnosed on March 15 = 2373/729 = 325% fatality rate.
    Well that’s a bit awkward.

    What can resolve that problem?
    1. A lot of cases of infection in NYS on 15 March were undiagnosed.
    2. The time between diagnosis and death in NYS is much shorter than 18 days.

    Currently nearly 39% of Covid-19 tests done in NYS are positive, to me that suggests that there’s a lot of cases not being diagnosed, and I think it likely that if tests are being used to confirm Covid-19 infections rather than locate people with infections that the time gap between such a “diagnosis” and death could be much shorter than 18 days, perhaps the 13 days between onset of pneumonia and death is what we’re actually seeing.

    So if we go back 13 days instead of 18 days our case fatality rate becomes: 2373/8310 = 28%.

    Looking at counties like Iceland and SK I think give us the best available information on what the actual fatality rates are in typical populations, both countries have low positive test result rates (Iceland 6.3%, SK 2.3%) with SK being able to keep infection and death rates down to about constant levels without a lock-down.

    Crunching the numbers for those countries I get actual fatality rates are between 0.9 and 1.9%.
    I doubt NYS will have quite such low fatality rates if diagnosis is being delayed and the health system is being stretched in NY, so I’m going to plug a 3% fatality rate and that 13 day lag between diagnosis and death and the 2373 deaths on 2 April.

    Using that equation I get 33.3 x 2373 actual infected people on 20 March = 79020, so only 79020/8310 = 1 in 9.5 existing cases on 20 March actually diagnosed.

    If that were at the same rate of diagnosis on 2 April, actual infections on that date would be 9.5 x 92506 = 878,807.
    if we stick with the 3% fatality rate with deaths lagging diagnosis by 13 days we get projected deaths in NYS up to 15 April of 26,364.
    If by 15 April health services are overwhelmed deaths would likely be higher.

    https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/6/20-0320_article

    https://coronavirus.app/tracking/new-york?mode=infected

  • Cotour

    I think what the article implies is that the virus was manipulated and was accidently released as a result of carelessness or negligence, a failure in proper protocol / security. But what were they modifying the virus for? I do not think any bat trading was going on.

    It appears to have happened before with the SARS virus.

    “The bat researcher that Xiao’s report refers to is virologist Tian Junhua, who works at the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control. In 2004, the World Health Organization determined that an outbreak of the SARS virus had been caused by two separate leaks at the Chinese Institute of Virology in Beijing. The Chinese government said that the leaks were a result of “negligence” and the responsible officials had been punished.”

    China, a growing and very ambitious liability that has proven over and over that they are not to be trusted for one second. A growing liability that has done before, either through incompetence or agenda what is on going right now throughout the entire world. China kills wholesale.

    It works so well to their advantage, why would they change anything.

  • Andrew_W

    Sorry Mr. Zimmerman, another comment in moderation. Thanks.

  • Andrew_W: There is no need to post comments mentioning you have a comment in moderation. I will see it and deal with it, when I can.

  • mkent

    Lee S.: Best of luck to your father. I hope he pulls through this OK.

  • Lee S

    @mkent…. Thank you for your kind words… I hope so also.

  • Lee S

    @Cotour , if I recall correctly, ( and this is kinda murkey, and I have no evidence) there were/are several facilities working on mutating viruses to see how deadly pathogens could pass into the human population. Using stotes or ferrits if my memory serves me. There was the usual media outcry and then nothing.
    While I disregard completely the idea this pandemic was planned, and I think it’s nothing other than nature doing what nature does, I cannot completely discount that this is an accidental release of something from somewhere.

  • Lee S

    On a side note…. I cannot recommend watching the low budget, yet excellent English Zombie movie “28 days later” if you wish to feel reassured…. As we would say in these parts “watched it last night, and it fair put the Willie’s up me”!!!!

  • Cotour

    Lee S:

    “While I disregard completely the idea this pandemic was planned, ”

    Be careful about what it is that you choose to not WANT to believe.

    Your subjective choice and inability to believe what some ambitious dark entity for what ever reason, usually related to the acquisition of or the retention of power or treasure, and the lengths that they are willing to go, or not willing to go, only strengthens their position if indeed it is a planned event.

    Your inability to believe the potential depths of pure strategy a dark entity is willing to go becomes their cloak of invisibility.

    At this level of play, IMO, ALL potentials exist.

    The world order has been rearranged, conveniently: (In a very timely manner I might add and where it migrates from here at this moment in time is a bit of an unknown. And I suggest that you begin rooting for America to prevail, because if you are wrong I strongly suspect that you will not like your Chinese overlords in the future who will without doubt rule your world)

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-coronavirus-pandemic-will-forever-alter-the-world-order-11585953005

  • Cotour

    PS: At this point in time I think it is becoming very apparent that this Covid19 bug was being worked on within the bio lab in Wuhan. Do you agree with that?

    If so how does this virus become introduced into the public?

    1. Either through miss handling / poor lab protocol related to how things of this nature are controlled I.E. human error. For example the woman who was working on it or an associate accidentally became infected and before she / they realized it she spread it into the community and at that point its just a matter of time as to when it reaches the rest of the world. (Probably the more likely cause for me at this moment in time. But that could change.)

    Or

    2. There was a calculated / strategic release of the virus with the projected result being to disrupt the worlds current power structure and to disrupt the American presidential election to replace Trump with a more Chinese compliant (Read: weak) Democrat. And that may be a bit too ambitious to think that some entity within the Chinese government with the use of a quantum computer could confidently forecast such an outcome. But who knows? That is IMO depending on whether they already had developed a cure for the virus that is. If that is true than the entire situation must be recalculated.

    Or

    3. Someone in the course of their life ate a bat or was exposed to the virus through selling a bat. And the bat from what I can put together was not native to that area and it was not sold in that market in Wuhan.

    So Lee S, we are really only one step away from a strategic release, I think it has been established that we can eliminate the “Natural” vector.

    And so #3 in my estimation is a non starter here, and we are left with human manipulation of some sort. The only question remains: By accident or by agenda?

  • pzatchok

    Lee S

    Good luck to the family and your father.

    I find it refreshing that you actually still think the Swedish government is transparent.
    If they have a military that is anything more than a police force or home guard they have secrets. And one secret leads to millions more.
    And if the government hires contractors for anything money is involved and thus secret deals for friends of the politicians. More secrets.

    And for those who think this C19 virus was lab manipulated then intentionally released.
    All viruses are lab tested and then manipulated, unless they just popped up today and are not yet detected.
    And I really try to not blame something like this on malice when its far more likely a case of incompetence.
    No nation would release something like this on their own population first unless they had a perfect cure. We all agree that China is fudging their numbers so obviously they do not have a cure. And if they had a cure and did not let the rest of the world in on the secret it would be tantamount to an act of war. A war China has no chance of coming out ahead in.

  • Cotour

    China, in the short run anyway, has already come out ahead.

    And are now on their 2039 trajectory goal for world domination.

    The Chinese play the long game.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *