I disagree with Dr. Birx on one thing. Actually, I should say I conditionally disagree with her.
So these are the things we are looking at, because the predictions of the models don’t match the reality on the ground in China, South Korea, or Italy. We are five times the size of Italy. If we were Italy and you did all those divisions, Italy should have close to 400,000 deaths. They are not close to achieving that.
My conditional disagreement with her is…China, South Korea, and Italy (as well as pretty much every nation in the world now) are actively interfering in the spread of the virus, in many cases with draconian measures.
So…when Dr. Birx says “the model doesn’t match the reality on the ground”, is she taking into account these active interference measures and trying to estimate what effect they are having?
Because if not, this is a false statement.
For example, the Oxford paper, which is essentially the antithesis of the Imperial College paper, uses in its models a hospitalization rate that Italy has already exceeded in its hottest of hot spots even with control measures in place…and you have to remember the Oxford hospitalization rate is what they expect when the pandemic has run its course.
What should really be said is our data set is biased…it’s biased towards people sick enough to get a test (more comprehensive testing has been done in places, but mostly it’s just been tests of people sick enough to warrant a test)…and it’s biased because we have altered its normal progression via our distancing efforts.
This is why the serology data is important.