Edit: After speaking with a wide range of folks, including some senior data scientists who specialize in epidemiological models, I decided to write and publish an article about what I feel are the flaws in this model, and how it should not be used for planning purposes. All my concerns are summarized here:
Hey all, full disclaimer in advance, I am not an epidemiologist nor am I a particularly skilled statistical modeler. That being said I am extremely concerned about this model from the University of Washington. According to the former FDA commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, many people in Washington are using this model for planning and prediction. This is extremely troubling to me as the methodology appears to be extremely suspect, and if it is being used for planning, I fear it will lead to a complete misallocation of resources.
I would really appreciate it if people could take a look and reply with their thoughts. Thank you and stay safe.
Here is what I find alarming:
- They assume that this will be contained and that as long as we have 3 of the 4 following measures in place (close schools, restrict travel, shelter in place order, close nonessential businesses) that we will follow a trajectory similar to Wuhan. Wuhan took extreme measures including a full enforced lockdown, substantial use of technology and contact tracing, masks for all, and quarantining infected individuals in the same location. To me, this assumption appears to be completely unjustifiable.
- They do not appear to consider the increased mortality rate from places where the healthcare system is overwhelmed. They estimate that NYC will need 11,439 ICU beds at peak, but only 718 will be available (including surge ICU beds). This leaves 10641 people who need ICU but won’t have it, and yet they predict only 798 people will die.
It looks like another professor at University of Washington, Carl Bergstrom, is also very concerned. Here are a few things he has posted: