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No. of Recommendations: 64
The Quacks told us 2.2 million people were going to die.

Out of curiosity, have you considered skimming the Imperial College study, the source of the 2.2 million figure?
It predicted a total 22,400 deaths in the US.

What?! You didn't know that?! I'm shocked. Shocked, I say.

Of course that number doesn't get nearly as much press, because it doesn't make an exciting tweet or rant on the internet.

May I draw your attention to Table 4 on page 13, which shows the detailed estimate of total deaths for 100 different combinations of mitigation strategies.
None of them is a prediction of what will happen, because the authors make no assumption of what strategy will be taken.
Each of them is an best-guess prediction of the number of deaths if you follow that one of the 100 strategies.
(technically there are 4 different treatments of each of 25 different strategies, based on lack of precision on R0, but it amounts to the same thing: 100 outcome estimates.
As a baseline, one of the 25 strategies considered was "do nothing")

The detailed figures in that specific table are for the UK, but it notes the US estimates are similar so we can just turn them into percentages.

The peak number was (yes) 550,000 deaths in the UK and 2,200,000 for the US.
With strategy PC_CI_HQ_SD and "On trigger"=60 and R0 assumption 2.0, it forecasts a death 1.108% of peak.
So it is exactly as true to say that the famous Imperial College paper forecast a total of 22400 deaths in the US as it is to say that it forecast 2.2 million deaths in the US.

The truth is it didn't forecast either of those.
It didn't forecast *any* number of deaths.
It merely estimated what would happen in a whole bunch of different mitigation strategies, with, yes, "do nothing" as the baseline for comparison.
The country leaders are the ones that then picked the strategy to follow. Some picked "do nothing".

As an aside, the median figure of the 100 scenarios is 8.63% of the peak number.
So, to the extent that this famous Imperial College paper be thought of as a prediction at all, it would have been a prediction of about 190,000 US deaths.
That's in total, not just first wave, unlike the IHME (University of Washington) model which currently forecasts 61,545 deaths by August 4.

Overall, it seems to me that the Imperial model paper is pretty good given how long ago it was done.
It was published 26 days ago--a lifetime ago in terms of data availability.
Many lifetimes ago, in terms of needless deaths due to policy mistakes.
The test of its quality is the degree of match between actual total deaths and the forecast from
the scenario out of the 100 that most closely matches what actually gets implemented.

A well respected person here made a a bold prediction that 1,000,000 deaths were possible in US alone.

Yup.
Not probable, but possible. (full impact, not just first wave)

The first news which has changed my estimation of the likelihood is the study by Silverman and Washburne.
Even so, Covid-19 is now the leading cause of death in New York state.
The usual #1 cause of death is ischemic heart disease, at around 460 per day.
New York state reported 777 Covid-19 deaths yesterday.
We all hope that situation won't last long and that New Yorkers can get back to keeling over from heart attacks.

Jim

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