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During a coronavirus press conference on Monday, President Donald Trump took a swipe at earlier modeling from so-called experts who were predicting millions of deaths in the U.S. alone, hinting that they were responsible for decisions to shut down the economy.
Asked by a reporter what he intended to do about ongoing infections and deaths, even though most Americans are social distancing, Trump noted that the number of new cases was falling.
“The numbers are way down from what they were two weeks again,” the president noted. “The numbers are really coming down, and very substantially.”
Trump noted that over the past weekend, numbers of cases and deaths continued to fall “rapidly,” and that appears to be the direction we’re now headed — which ought to be considered a good thing by most Americans.
However, the reporter pressed on, asking the president if he agreed with current models projecting tens of thousands more cases and deaths.
Well, the models haven’t been exactly accurate. These are models done by a lot of think tanks, a lot of universities. You look at some of the models, they’ve been way off. A few of the models have been accurate, but as far as the models are concerned, if you go by the model, we were gonna lose 2.2 million people.
And because we took…we mitigated, we did things that were very tough for our country to do, frankly. We had to turn off our whole magnificent economy. … We’re at the lowest of all the models.
The president then noted, as he has in the past, that even losing a single American to COVID-19 is a bad thing. But overall, the outbreak in the county could have been much worse and was predicted to be by a number of people and institutions that were just flat-out wrong.
“But if you look at the models, we’re at the low end” of all previous projections, Trump continued. “But the models weren’t done necessarily by the White House. They were models done by many people all over the world.
“And if you take the most respected of those people, many of those models were wrong,” the president added.
In point of fact, the president is right on each point.
Early on, in mid-March, a model/report published by Imperial College London predicted the U.S. would see 2.2 million deaths and Britain would experience at least 510,000 unless extreme measures were taken to mitigate the disease. That report led President Trump and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to change course and implement the economy-killing ‘extreme measures’ called for in the model.
By April, the Trump administration’s experts were largely relying on a model from the Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI), which was created with input from ProPublica, a ‘non-partisan’ media organization in which Leftist socialist billionaire George Soros is a board member.
Their modeling — which predicted a nightmare scenario for the U.S. — was also wrong because the study on which the model was based was flawed.
Throughout last month, key models that experts were using in addition to the Harvard study were being revised downward regularly — again, because they were grossly overstating the death and disease rates, to begin with.
The president’s two key health advisers — Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx — convinced him to engage in the extreme mitigation measures, by Fauci’s own admission.
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) April 13, 2020
At this point, we don’t know whether his advice really mitigated much in terms of disease and deaths. But we do know two things.
One, Sweden did not implement the kind of extreme social distancing and economic shutdown that Fauci and Birx recommended, and based on data, infection and death rates are comparable to the U.S. And Sweden’s health ministry had access to the very same projection models.
Two, not all U.S. states implemented the strictest of lockdown measures, and the virus is not running rampant through them.
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