Coronavirus

No, British Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson Has Not 'Drastically Downgraded' His Worst-Case Projection of COVID-19 Deaths

But he has raised his estimate of the virus's reproduction number, which implies a lower fatality rate than his research group initially assumed.

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Contrary to what you may have read or heard, British epidemiologist Neil Ferguson has not suddenly reduced his worst-case projection of COVID-19 deaths in the U.K. by a factor of 28. To the contrary, he says the policies adopted by the British government, which are in line with the aggressive control measures recommended by a highly influential March 16 paper that Ferguson and other researchers at Imperial College wrote, should keep the number of deaths below 20,000.

"We assessed in that report…that fatalities would probably be unlikely to exceed about 20,000 with effectively a lockdown, a social distancing strategy," Ferguson, who is himself recovering from COVID-19, told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday. "But it could be substantially lower than that."

In other words, it is not true that Ferguson "is presenting drastically downgraded estimates," as The Daily Wire claimed, or that he "just walked back the apocalyptic predictions," as The Federalist asserted. But Ferguson did revise one of his key estimates in a way that suggests a lower case fatality rate (CFR) than his group assumed in their modeling.

"What we've been seeing in Europe in the last week or two is a rate of growth of the epidemic which is faster than we expected from early data in China," said Ferguson, who testified from his home via video link. "So we are revising our central, best estimate of the reproduction number [i.e., the number of people the average carrier can be expected to infect] to something on the order of 3 or a little bit above rather than about a 2.5 level." In his view, that revision "actually adds more evidence to support the more intensive social distancing measures applied this week, because the higher the reproduction number is, the more intensive the controls need to be to achieve suppression of the epidemic."

A substantially higher reproduction number implies that the COVID-19 virus can be expected to spread more quickly than the Imperial College group imagined. But it also means that many more people in the U.K. already have been infected, which implies a bigger gap between known cases and the actual number of infections. That, in turn, implies that the true CFR is lower than the 0.9 percent rate that Ferguson and his colleagues used in their projections.

The Imperial College CFR estimate is far lower than the crude CFR for the U.K., which is currently about 5 percent. The difference reflects the understanding that the true number of infections is bound to be much larger than the official numbers reflect, because many people with mild or nonexistent symptoms (as is typical of COVID-19) will not seek medical treatment or testing. The size of that group is a crucial question in estimating the true CFR.

Ferguson believes the number of undocumented infections is not nearly as high as a recent estimate by researchers at Oxford University, who suggested that half of the British population is already infected. If that were true, the CFR for COVID-19 in the U.K. would be something like 0.002 percent, making the disease much less deadly than the seasonal flu, which has an estimated CFR of 0.1 percent.

"I don't think it's consistent with the observed data," Ferguson said of the Oxford estimate, citing the results from comprehensive testing of Italian villages and the Diamond Princess cruise ship's passengers and crew. Raising the reproduction number from 2.5 to 3 or more nevertheless implies that the number of undocumented infections is higher than Ferguson's group originally thought.

In last week's paper, Ferguson and his co-authors, writing on behalf of the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team, projected COVID-19 deaths in the U.K. and the United States based on a range of policies and a range of reproduction numbers. In their worst-case scenario, which assumed a reproduction number of 2.6 and "the (unlikely) absence of any control measures or spontaneous changes in individual behaviour," they projected 550,000 deaths in the U.K. and 2.2 million in the United States. Although those horrifying numbers got a lot of attention, they were never plausible, as the paper itself said, because they were based on the clearly unrealistic premise that "nothing" is done to contain, suppress, or mitigate the epidemic.

In Ferguson et al.'s best-case scenario—based on a reproduction number of 2 and isolation of people with symptoms, home quarantine of everyone else in their households, and early implementation of school closures, coupled with "social distancing of [the] entire population"—they projected just 5,600 deaths in the U.K. But when they raised the reproduction number from 2 to 2.6, the number of deaths more than doubled. They projected 12,000 deaths in that scenario.

Ferguson now says the reproduction number is probably "a bit above" 3, nearly as big a change as the shift in assumptions described in the paper. Yet he thinks the number of deaths is "unlikely to exceed" 20,000 and "could be substantially lower than that." Although it certainly seems that Ferguson has become more optimistic about the fatality rate, he denies that. "Our lethality estimates remain unchanged," he said on Twitter yesterday.

Another difference between last week's projections and Ferguson's testimony this week is the expected peak of COVID-19 cases in intensive care units. The report projected that those cases would peak in late November or early December if the U.K. adopted the combination of policies that the authors deemed most effective. But on Wednesday, Ferguson said he expects that the peak will be reached by mid-April.

"If the current measures work as we expect them to," Ferguson said, "we will see intensive care demand peak in approximately two and a half to three weeks." Because of those policies and increased ICU capacity, Ferguson said, he is "reasonably confident" that British hospitals will not be overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases, although their capacity will be strained in some parts of the country. He emphasized that the main goal of the suppression strategy favored by his group is to avoid a hospital crisis that "will have unintended consequences on health for the entire nation."

Ferguson also seemed to take a different stance this week on the question of how long aggressive COVID-19 control measures should remain in place. The Imperial College projections assumed that enforced social distancing of the entire population, which the British government is trying to achieve by ordering everyone to stay home except for essential purposes, would be maintained "for 5 months or longer," although it could be turned off and on based on trends in ICU cases. The authors added, rather alarmingly, that "to avoid a rebound in transmission, these policies will need to be maintained until large stocks of vaccine are available to immunise the population—which could be 18 months or more."

On Wednesday, Ferguson acknowledged that such a policy is not feasible. "We clearly cannot lock down the country for a year," he said. Even with a lockdown of relatively short duration, he observed, "we'll be paying for this year for decades to come."

The question, Ferguson said, is how the government should "allow the economy to restart," a process that "is likely to rely on very large-scale testing [and] contact tracing," along the lines of what South Korea has done. "We are looking at that as a model," he said. "The U.K. does not have the testing capability to replicate South Korea right now, but I think it's likely in the next few weeks we will." Widespread testing would also help clarify the lethality of COVID-19.

The Imperial College paper acknowledged that "the social and economic effects of the measures which are needed to achieve this policy goal [of suppressing the epidemic] will be profound." But the authors expressly did not "consider the ethical or economic implications" of choosing an aggressive "suppression" strategy rather than milder measures aimed at "mitigation."

In his testimony, Ferguson conceded that the economic impact of a nationwide lockdown is "a very important consideration"—"one that the government and scientists are grappling with." And he noted an important aspect of the epidemic that should inform any attempt to weigh costs and benefits.

"We don't know what the level of excess deaths will be in this epidemic," Ferguson said. In other words, we don't know the extent to which COVID-19 will increase annual deaths above the level that otherwise would have been expected. "By the end of the year, what proportion of those people who've died from COVID-19 would have died anyhow?" Ferguson asked. "It might be as much as half to two-thirds of the deaths we're seeing from COVID-19, because it's affecting people who are either at the end of their lives or in poor health conditions. So I think these considerations are very valid."

Although a cost-benefit analysis that considers not just deaths but years of life lost "sounds very utilitarian," Ferguson said, the issue is obviously relevant. An epidemic that primarily kills healthy children, teenagers, young adults, and middle-aged people will result in a much bigger loss than an epidemic that primarily affects the elderly and people with serious pre-existing medical conditions.

Pace New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, that observation does not mean the lives of the people who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 are "expendable" or that "we'll just sacrifice old people." But it does, or at least should, figure in policy decisions that may be economically ruinous, imposing severe burdens on millions of innocent people who are vulnerable for different reasons.

NEXT: Attorney General Expands Home Confinement for Some Federal Inmates Facing Coronavirus Threat

Coronavirus Epidemics Quarantine Public Health Economy Economics United Kingdom

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124 responses to “No, British Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson Has Not 'Drastically Downgraded' His Worst-Case Projection of COVID-19 Deaths

  1. He is waffling. He need to maintain the panic in order to prove how important he is, but he noticed the projections are way off of reality. So he stated with the fixes he recommended the projections drop from 500k to 20k. And now he wins no matter the actual death numbers.

    This isnt science at this point

    1. Indeed. The 20,000 number does not appear in the narrative of the report. You have to squint really hard and unpack a poorly formatted chart to see 20,000 as being remotely realistic in his report. Stop covering for this guy. What the narrative report said was writes that the “most optimal” combination of strategies is “ONLY predicted to reduce peak critical care demand by two-thirds and halve the number of deaths.”

      1. The 20,000 number does not appear in the narrative of the report. You have to squint really hard and unpack a poorly formatted chart to see 20,000 as being remotely realistic in his report

        LIE

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    2. His model was FALSIFIED. Just as the Climate predictions from the 90s were falsified. As Dr Birx said last night, Italy followed the whole “Do Nothing” model at first. Italy is about 1/5 the size of the US, and based on the IC model, they would have around 40,000 deaths. But they aren’t anywhere near that.

      Likewise, Ferguson’s model informed the alarmist website Covidactnow.org. To this day you can go look at expected hospitalizations for different states that did or did not enact social distancing vs lock down, and they are way off.

      Why is Reason Magazine carrying water for a “modeler” who refuses to hold to basic scientific method?

      1. They love their technocrats
        Progress uber alles

    3. The hysteria needs to stop.

    4. His changed to a lower estimate BECAUSE the Prime Minister ordered the SEVERE lockdown he wanted. sheeesh

      The PM authorises police to fine Britons who leave their homes for nonessential reasons, closing all shops selling nonessential goods, and banning weddings and all other public gatherings of more than two people.

      People are only be allowed to leave their homes for one of four reasons: to shop for basic necessities, to take one form of exercise a day, for any medical need, such as providing care for a vulnerable person, or to travel to and from work “if absolutely necessary”

      Umm, it’s communicable. This will slash the number of cases and deaths.

      Temporary, until they get adequate testing up and running. Their testing is as way behind as ours …. while Trump did nothing.
      England has a leader!

      1. Death rate is different then total number dead. The death rate will have nothing to do with any measures and will be consistent regardless what is done. So them admitting that he lowered the fatality rate, is admitting that he lowered the numbers not only because of the measures taking place.

        1. Death rate is different then total number dead.

          Yep, it’s the pace of changes in daily deaths, the curve they speak of flattening. Do you know why? (I see you do not)

          The death rate will have nothing to do with any measures and will be consistent regardless what is done.

          “THE HUMAN RACE IS DOOMED. THE NUMBER OF DAILY DEATHS WILL CONTINUE DOUBLING EVERY FEW DAYS … NO MATTER WHAT WE DO!”
          Okay, Chicken Little

          So then

          “So then” assumes your premise is NOT totally bass ackwards, because you have NO CLUE what “rate” means … despite your opening sentence!

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    6. That’s some real double speak there. He didn’t lower his numbers but he did lower the fatality rate? Fatality rate would have nothing to do with social distancing and isolation, so it would appear that he most definitely did lower his projects regardless of the measures set in place. This is low-iq journalism or fear journalism. You pick.

      1. Fatality RATE is the number of deaths per day. That gets tracked on a curve, to see HOW the pace is changing, upward or downward. The curve is now near vertical — which mean more people will continue dying PER DAY. “Flattening the curve is the starting point, stopping the INCREASE in deaths.

        Umm, YOU say that if NOBODY went out for 14 days, there would be NO CHANGE in deaths per day, How do all those people get infected .. in their homes? ARE DEMOCRATS POISONING OuR WATER, TOO? (gasp)

        1. Um, NO. Fatality rate is the number of deaths PER INFECTION.

          How many people die is glaringly obvious. How many people were infected and didn’t show extreme symptoms or death is not at all obvious, without testing everyone. When you discover that many more people are infected than you thought, it forces you to adjust the fatality rate downward.

          Similarly, when you realize that the Italian numbers for patients dead “of” COVID were mistranslated from patients dead “with” COVID (who died from any reason), it suggests that the infection might actually be benign in many more cases than previously thought.

  2. So….this dickhead made some spectacularly idiotic assumptions for his model and now got butt-fucked from his own stupidity.

    One empathizes…..NOT!

    F’in limey shithead. String him up to Big Ben.

    1. It is worse. His model now predicts the average fly death rate to 20x the flu death rate. His model now covers basically the entire assumed outcome if we had no data.

      Its the same as w climate models where they have over 50 models that have the century warming rate between 0.7 to 7.5 degrees. Since we are coming out of the LIA we know there is natural warming. The models cover any outcome, so they can always claim victory. Meanwhile politicians and activists use the high projections to force policy even though reality is on the lower 2 sigma side of the models.

      1. Flu death* much more fly deaths.

          1. Speciest.

          2. The flys flew away.

          3. Quit it. You’re bugging me.

    2. (lol) Read it again!
      PLUS … He changed because England adopted the stricter measures he had hoped for ….including police enforcement with fines .. announced just before his revision.
      Most of his statements that a severe lockdown cannot last too many months merely seeks to reinforce the long-range calm urged by PM Boris Johnson.

      Johnson’s severe lockdown was in response to the severe lack of testing, as bad as ours or worse, and will last only until remedied … the exact opposite of Trump’s inaction.

      Recall that Trump endorsed Johnson for England’s PM. Since the two are pursuing exactly opposite strategies, we’ll soon know which one knows what he’s doing.

      ————-
      81% of Americans should continue social distancing, including “shelter at home,” despite effect on the economy

      66% said they would follow the instructions of medical doctors
      64% said they would follow the advice of the CDC,
      51% said they would follow the advice from their state’s governor
      46% would follow healthcare directions from local police.
      Only 31% are “very likely” to follow President Trump’s recommendations and advice

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-poll-idUSKBN21E3FQ?utm_source=34553&utm_medium=partner

      Ooops

      1. I missed Hihnsanity!

        1. Don’t worry; he’ll be back. He’ll always come back. Like chickenpox, just returning as shingles.

  3. China closed its borders to all foreigners and is separating families. No word on ICE protesters heading over to display their dissatisfaction.

    1. Notice how China is over the flu; no new cases, BUT they are not allowing anyone in?

      This guys predictions are a projection based on a guess using fantasy numbers.
      I suspect he just used a global climate warming change model and renamed the outputs.

    2. Ummm, BORIS JOHNSON HAS ORDERED A FULL CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN ACROSS THE UK
      “If you don’t follow the rules, the police will have the powers to enforce them,” the prime minister warned in a televised statement from Downing Street.

      Boris Johnson has ordered a full lockdown of the UK in a dramatic escalation of the government’s fight against the coronavirus outbreak — authorising police to fine Britons who leave their homes for nonessential reasons, closing all shops selling nonessential goods, and banning weddings and all other public gatherings of more than two people.

      People are be allowed to leave their homes for one of four reasons: to shop for basic necessities, to take one form of exercise a day, for any medical need, such as providing care for a vulnerable person, or to travel to and from work “if absolutely necessary”.

  4. “Although a cost-benefit analysis that considers not just deaths but years of life lost “sounds very utilitarian,”

    A nonsense statement since ANY cost-benefit analysis is inherently Utilitarian.

    1. And what is wrong with utilitarianism anyhow?

      1. Never been a big fan of it myself. Libertarianism advocates the primacy of the individual over any such collectivist notions.

        However, just as with the recent articles noting just how extensive state ‘police powers’ can prove in epidemics I’m not willing to tilt at windmills and I do tend to agree that years of life lost is a valuable metric when evaluating decisions about public health policy.

        But I’m not so dishonest as to pretend that any of it is not of the same ilk. We are making decision about and upon other people, and must make that fact explicit.

        1. In times of crisis utilitarianism is probably the best approach. As much as it sounds dehumanizing, when you are dealing with limited resources, putting those resources to where they will do the most good. We have led such a cushy life for the past half century that we don’t understand making the difficult decisions anymore. That seems like it is ending, not because of the virus but because of our reaction to it.

          1. Yeah, that’s what I mean with the Don Quixote reference, in crises we tend to act as a ‘we’ and the ‘me’ becomes much less valuable. I do not particularly like it, but know that it is deep within our nature and in the long run is essential for our survival.

            I fully agree that we have become far too soft and far too accustomed to all manner of luxury. Including the luxury of defending lives who are already at the extreme end of survivability. That video Diane posted is sad and painful, but think how much worse it could be id we were having to triage young adults or children in a similar manner.

            I’m not quite old, but not young either (mid 50s.) If I end up in similar straights as those elderly patients in Spain my only wish is that I be informed of why I am being denied care. If it is to save someone younger then my passing will come with a greater modicum of peace.

            1. I argued this with a civilian ext emt now a doctor. I told him the military is the only ones who really train for true mass casualty scenarios were every resource must be considered. I was also a civilian nurse. Our mass casualty exercises were a joke. Nothing compared to a true mass casualty. At some point life no longer comes before limb. In a CSH you only have two operating rooms, two x-rays. If a surgery that will save a life will take three hours compared to a less life threatening limb surgery that will take one hour, guess who goes to the front of the line. He called me callous and inhuman.

              1. “He called me callous and inhuman.”

                It takes a strong and caring human to step up and make the hard decisions when such decisions are necessary. That is part of our luxury – few if any of us even have to think about making that sort of decision, much less actually make one. All he was really saying is count him that later group and deflecting from his own weakness by insulting you.

              2. soldiermedic76 did you see that article about the US Army asking retirees in certain medical billets to possibly serve again?

                Not sure if you’re retired or know some vet who wants extra cash.

                I have to admit that the military seems so mismanaged in the general and admiral ranks, I don’t blame vets for not temporarily going back in. I saw something with the Selective Service has a feature to force retirees if there are not enough volunteers. Probably a high age limit. Don’t want 80 year old vets back in.

                1. I saw it but can’t right now, due to start calving in two weeks.

                  1. Also not retired, just did ten years and honorably discharged. So i am unsure what the requirements are.

                    1. Non-retired veterans are untouchable after completing 8 years of service. They can ask, but can’t demand.

                    2. Ah. Kewl. Sounds like you got your hands full.

                  2. That’s gotta hurt.

                    1. Only when they’re breach or head back.

    1. “There are way to many patients per nurses and doctors”

      This cannot be stressed enough, even if you had more ventilators devices they are not fire and forget machines. People on mechanical ventilation require sedation, and constant monitoring and adjustment of both sedation and ventilation. It is a complex 24/7 process. Making more machines is child’s play compared to minting more competent medical, nursing, and respiratory staff persons.

      1. Yeah, I say again, we’re going to be studying Spain and Italy’s experience with this thing for years to come. I believe America’s response is overblown and doing more harm than good, then I watch that video and think, “Shit, there’s something to this.”

        1. The something to this, to me, is the “they” that both he and the woman kept referring to. It speaks to a mindset that is common, especially in Europe, a mindset that embraces dependency upon others while selfishly reserving the right to blame those others when things do not go as desired.

          It strikes me as childlike, but I do not wish to sound too critical either, because I also recognize that the mindset is so deeply ingrained as to be almost inescapable.

          1. I was mostly ambivalent right up to the point where he said he was going to go pray to China.

        2. then I watch that video and think, “Shit, there’s something to this.”

          That’s why it’s called “propaganda.”

          1. Thats why i go to zeropatriotfreedomeagle.net for the real truth!

            1. sock troll doesnt even know how to do a link. HAHA

            2. Yes, our betters would never deliberately manipulate us and have only our best interests in mind in all their actions.

      2. I read that there are already more ventilators available than RTs to run them. I’ve read that California has a legal limit of 4 per RT. Our local ICU tends to run ~ 7 per RT. Cuomo was demanding ‘40,000 more ventilators’. How does that work?

        1. Politicians can demand anything because they act like infants.

          1. Another case of the first law of economics being beaten senseless by the first law of politics.

    2. Disagree. This is the internet. Grow up.

      It’s not like you watched the guy get executed while crawling on his hands and knees, begging not to be shot.

      Maybe you know who Dr. Campbell is. I don’t. Maybe you know who his Spanish friend is. I don’t. Maybe you know the woman his Spanish friend is playing back. I don’t.

      Not knowing any of that, I’m sure things are bad, but it seems exceedingly childish. Equal parts IRC “My house is on fire, what do I do?” idiocy and new-age internet tele-drama.

      1. Disagree. This is the internet. Grow up.

        We’re all soaking in it, Madge.

    3. Video removed.

      1. By the user.

        1. Still gone. Says this user.

          1. They used to call me the “user and abuser” in college.

    4. Try to visit hobbyhuren dortmund and relax yourself a little

  5. It’s starting to unravel.

    1. What is starting to unravel? The narrative of C19 as some 21st-century black plague? Because if that’s what you’re referring to, then you and I are in agreement.

  6. Funny how the headline of “He’s not walking back his apocalyptic scenarios” precedes an article systematically breaking down how he’s doing exactly that.

    “My guess is as good as yours.”

    Fuck yes it is. Funny that works.

    1. “an article systematically breaking down how he’s doing exactly that.”

      While calling out other publications for explicitly noting the same.

    2. Sure looks that way to me. He can parse it any way he wants but we’ve got a fucking depression to deal with and another 2 trillion in debt thanks to assholes like him.

      1. Oh, it will be closer to 4 to 6 trillion – the $500B in the bill is fractional reserve seed money for a 4.25T lending facility, with essentially no oversight and backstopped by the US taxpayer. What could possibly go wrong there?

  7. Why bother with the worst-case scenario if you know it’s not going to happen.

    “Here’s our estimates for the worst-case scenario: approximately 22 million deaths.”

    “What’s the probability of that occurring?”

    “Literally zero percent. Our worst case scenario makes assumptions that are impossible to realize.”

    “So…what’s your REAL worst case scenario?”

    “I just said, 22 million deaths in the US.”

    1. For the record, my projections show that COVID-19 will cause more than 1000 but less than 100 million deaths in the US.

      1. You have an easily validated model. How much sir?

      2. I think 330 million could be the upper limit in the US. If we assume 100% infection and 100% fatality as a possible (though no way in hell possible) upper limit.

        1. Hey, Soldiermedic76 Check out link to US Army asking retiree volunteers.

          Army Asks Retired Soldiers in Health Care Fields to Come Back for COVID-19 Fight

          1. I see that recall-retirees are not eligible for promotion.

            That’s some bullshit.

            You did 20+ and had a certain level of knowledge. Then some people expand on that knowledge as retirees and then the Army does not want to give you an incentive to serve 365+ days.

            1. At least for lower ranks, the new unemployment benefits pay better.

        2. In a very bad worst case, many would die multiple times.

          1. Zombies? or Vampires?

            1. Why can’t they be both?

              1. Shoot them in the head and drive a stake through their heart?

      3. I ran it through Plague Inc and got 1B deaths worldwide. Just sayin.

        1. If it’s 1B deaths, it will be several times that, because retaliation against the nation who caused all this will be swift, decisive and nuclear.

      4. “Tom, I am standing just outside of Chicago, where the panic of global warming has already caused countless deaths. Already we’re reporting that the death toll here in Chicago is over 600 billion people”

  8. Neil Ferguson made some alarmist and idiotic projections and is now hedging. The excuse may seem convenient. The government did such a great job and saved so many lives. Works great. Perhaps a new research grant and a promotion are warranted.

    1. Object lesson here: If you’re a bullshitter, you’re not going to be above creating more bullshit to cover up just how full of shit you were in the first place.

      1. Object lesson here: If you’re a bullshitter, you’re not going to be above creating more bullshit to cover up just how full of shit you were in the first place.

        DAMMIT MAN THIS IS SCIENCE! WE AREN’T WRONG, WE’RE RIGHT WITHIN AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE!

        1. I mean… not even that good. Take that order of magnitude and he’s still at 50,000 which is 2.5x his “new estimate”.

  9. >>In last week’s paper, Ferguson … projected 550,000 deaths in the U.K. and 2.2 million in the United States.

    (may the dead all r.i.p.) by last week it was obvious to even an idiot like me we were going to fall far short of 2.2 million deaths in the U.S.

    they realized Wednesday the New York numbers weren’t adding up so Thursday the focus shifted to N’Ollans. this morning they started in with the “AT LEAST” before the numbers of infected and dead … Wendy, meet Oz.

    1. Care to show us your model?

      1. Sounds like it would be about as valid as what the experts have used so far.

        1. Educate yourselves.
          His estimates have NOTHING to do with “New York numbets” (or the US)
          His HIGHEST estimates were that both countries did NOTHING.
          British PM Boris Johnson did something: A LOT

          British police are now authorized to fine Britons who leave their homes for nonessential reasons, closing all shops selling nonessential goods, and banning weddings and all other public gatherings of more than two people.

          People are allowed to leave their homes, legally, for only one of four reasons: to shop for basic necessities, to take one form of exercise a day, for any medical need, such as providing care for a vulnerable person, or to travel to and from work “if absolutely necessary”.

          https://www.newscientist.com/article/2238578-uk-has-enough-intensive-care-units-for-coronavirus-expert-predicts/

          His estimates were revised, for UK only, BECAUSE of Johnson’s actions.

          Johnson and Trump are each pursuing opposite strategies, So we’ll soon know, easily, which one knows what the hell he’s doing.

          (81% of Americans say the country should continue social distancing initiatives, including “shelter at home” orders, “despite the impact to the economy.” )

          1. Does this mean Wuhan has finished the destruction of your brain?

            1. No, the link proves you full of crap 🙂

          2. Yeah, but 82% of Americans are so fucking stupid they can’t spell “cat” if you spotted them the “c” and the “a”. But they do know what the Kardashians are doing, so you have to give them that.

  10. It seems the “scientists” have suddenly realized that they don’t talk with God directly.

    1. hahahaha

      He changed because England adopted the stricter measures he had hoped for ….including police enforcement with fines .. announced just before his revision. Most of his statements that a severe lockdown cannot last too many months merely seeks to reinforce the long-range calm urged by PM Boris Johnson.

      Johnson’s severe lockdown was in response to the severe lack of testing, as bad as ours or worse, and will last only until remedied … the exact opposite of Trump’s inaction.

      Recall that Trump endorsed Johnson for England’s PM. Since the two are pursuing exactly opposite strategies, we’ll soon know which one knows what he’s doing.

      1. I betting on neither.

  11. So the big headline number wasn’t wrong
    Look at the little footnote

    WTF retards

  12. 81% said the country should continue social distancing initiatives, including “shelter at home” orders, “despite the impact to the economy.”

    REUTERS: The March 26-27 opinion poll, released Friday, also showed that the public is much more likely to heed the advice of doctors and local government officials than President Donald Trump.

    The president took a hardline approach earlier this month when he urged people to gather only in small groups. Later he appeared to change course, telling reporters that he would like businesses to reopen by Easter, on April 12.

    The poll showed that most Americans do not want that.

    Eighty-one percent said the country should continue social distancing initiatives, including “shelter at home” orders, “despite the impact to the economy.” This includes 89% of Democrats and 70% of Republicans.

    Only 19% said they would like to end social distancing as soon as possible “to get the economy going again,” including 11% of Democrats and 30% of Republicans.

    66% said they would follow the instructions of medical doctors
    64% said they would follow the advice of the CDC,
    51% said they would follow the advice from their state’s governor
    46% would follow healthcare directions from local police.
    ****Only 31% are “very likely” to follow President Trump’s recommendations and advice

    a href=”https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-poll-idUSKBN21E3FQ?utm_source=34553&utm_medium=partner”

    Safe to ignore the raging deniers here, eh? Trump has now boxed himself into a corner, with no way out. He loses WHATEVER he does by Easter. Loses BIGLY

  13. No sensible person with even a rudimentary understanding of the weakness of statistical models would conclude that Ferguson has not downgraded his predictions? Neil Ferguson defends his model’s results by introducing a different ‘estimate’ of a crucial variable. In your words: “Ferguson did revise one of his key estimates in a way that suggests a lower case fatality rate (CFR) than his group assumed in their modeling.” And “Ferguson now says the reproduction number is probably “a bit above” 3, nearly as big a change as the shift in assumptions described in the paper.”
    Sorry, buy “shifts in assumptions” means revising a paper. Ferguson says the new numbers are only ‘probably’ so which means further revisions will come. That means that the results are iterative or progressive towards a realistic figure, realistic being something that everyone can observe in the market place.
    The truth is that Ferguson produced a study with results that were never plausible because they assumed that nothing would be done.
    What sort of public health study assumes nothing will be done?

    1. Yep, and since that reproduction number is an exponent in the formulas, what looks like a small change from ~2.5 to ~3 actually causes massive changes in the results. To pretend that’s some minor revision is ridiculous.

      I’d be much more impressed if Ferguson had come right out and said, “Hey, my numbers were wrong. We’re all doing the best we can with limited information, so you should expect all of our assumptions and the results of the models to change day to day.”

  14. The truth is that Ferguson produced a study with results that were never plausible because they assumed that nothing would be done.
    What sort of public health study assumes nothing will be done?

    I’ll educate what you’ve missed.
    THAT is how he convinced British PM Boris Johnson to implement MUCH stronger restrictions .. which he did.

    Johnson has shut down businesses, and weddings and funerals, ANY gathering of more than TWO.

    People are allowed to leave their homes for one of four reasons: to shop for basic necessities, to take one form of exercise a day, for any medical need, such as providing care for a vulnerable person, or to travel to and from work “if absolutely necessary”.

    Police are authorized to enforce these orders, with misdemeanors and fines. (Similar to what’ is now working in Italy)

    You’ll NEVER learn that from Fox, Breitbart, Daily Caller, etc. So here.
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/alexwickham/boris-johnson-uk-full-coronavirus-lockdown

    Trump and Johnson are pursuing exactly opposite tactics. Thus, soon, we can easily see which one knows what he’s doing, and which one is allowing suffering and death.

    1. So you’re saying he used numbers he knew were completely wrong to influence public policy? And then you’re going to say in the same breath that he’s trustworthy?

      1. So you’re saying he used numbers he knew were completely wrong

        So you say you enjoy raping kittens, hamsters and girls younger than 4

        One more time. I’ll dumb it down.
        His original forecasts. US as UK, were if nothing was done. It was part of an argument to implement STRONG measures

        England took among the strongest measures, all enforced by police with fines.. Closing down shops and the like. There are only four reasons to be away from one’s home: shopping for essentials, one outdoor exercise per day, to take care of a sick person, and going to work, “only if necessary.”

        This is a contagious disease. The more people who are close together. the faster iit spreads, the more deaths.

        So YOU say that charging and fining people, for misdemeanors, will NOT severely reduce the number of people away from home, thus the number of injuries and deaths???

        Oh.

  15. There’s a potential silver lining here: should the eventual CFR be anywhere near the flu, the measures taken, especially the wholesale shutdown of society and the trashing of the world economy, will be discredited as viable solutions to the next outbreak.

    It will have shown the cure to be way worse than the disease.

    1. Covid-19 is 25X more deadly than swine flu, on the most relevant metric. How many people died, after the same number of days for each, from the first death.

      Covid’s first death was less than a month ago, so the most recent published result is 16 days,

      Covid = 75 deaths. Swine flu = 3

      For the first few months, that could be mostly because covid spreads faster, still a sign that we aren’t doing nearly enough.

      1. Last year in the US the death rate for flu averaged out at 10,857 per month. So by your metric the flu is much deadlier.
        http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2019/04/us-flu-still-elevated-dropping-deaths-high-57000

        1. 1) THAT WAS 16 DAYS. WHEN THE INFECTIONS TRIPLE EVERY FEW DAYS. Each new infection creates 2.5 more,

          2) It’s now 28 days and the deaths are 1,246 as of the 26th

          Now …. I’ll teach you the math
          First 16 days = 4.7 deaths per day av
          Next 12 days = 1246 – 75 = 1,171/11 = 97 per day avg … an increase of 24,820% total — or 2,068% per day!
          https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html

          PLUS EVERYONE has been exposed to influenza, vs MAYBE 3% exposed to Covid-1

          Anything else?

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  17. “We don’t know what the level of excess deaths will be in this epidemic,” Ferguson said. In other words, we don’t know the extent to which COVID-19 will increase annual deaths above the level that otherwise would have been expected. “By the end of the year, what proportion of those people who’ve died from COVID-19 would have died anyhow?” Ferguson asked. “It might be as much as half to two-thirds of the deaths we’re seeing from COVID-19, because it’s affecting people who are either at the end of their lives or in poor health conditions. So I think these considerations are very valid.”

    Duh…

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  19. Ferguson believes the number of undocumented infections is not nearly as high as a recent estimate by researchers at Oxford University…

    That he doesn’t appear to recognize that we don’t have a clue on this point does not bode well for his predictive powers.

    1. How do you know what he knows?

  20. Coronavirus death rate skyrockets, as Trump threatens to make it even worse.Latest updates

    It took 26 days to reach 1,000 deaths. (Feb 29 – Mar 26)
    The next thousand deaths in only TWO days (Mar 27 – 28)
    And that’s with the President’s lockdown. How much worse if the current lockdown ends, or is weakened?

    Each infected person infects 2.5 others. So we now have 2,000, who will infect 5,000, for a total of 7,000 deaths. How long will that take? Depends.

    The PACE of increased deaths depends almost solely on human contact, which is why every country recommends social distancing … enforced by police, in a growing number of countries.

    81% of Americans want social distancing to continue, including “shelter at home” orders, despite “the impact to the economy.’ Why? Because they could be infected and risk death.

    Coronavirus can be a “silent killer.” New infections show no symptoms at all, for 5-14 days. Then, many still have no symptoms, or very mild symptoms.

    As of now
    124,385 confirmed cases (20,205 today)
    2,211 deaths (505 today)
    3,231 recoveries (844 today)

    1. Dumbfuck Hihnsano admits lockdowns have been completely ineffective at keeping people from getting sick and dying, shits his pants that he’s next.

      1. Trump just extended them, until June,. (lol) STILL not strong enough, which is what I proved.

        Now that over 2,000 are dead, do you still believe it’s a Democrat hoax that will just go away magically?

        1. The only thing you ever prove is that you have too much time on your hands so you waste your days here posting every 5 minutes in bold font and shouty caps.

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  25. Clearly this dude is a fake doctor/scientist, whatever you deem appropriate to call a liar.

    1. How about a $tooge for the Gates Foundation?

  26. From half a million to 20,000. You, sir, are a prophet! 😀

  27. “Ferguson believes the number of undocumented infections is not nearly as high as a recent estimate by researchers at Oxford University, who suggested that half of the British population is already infected.” —- Has the UK lost all of its math skills or what?

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