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Why the models have been so wrong?

Why the models have been so wrong?

If you are following the news about the COVID-19 virus closely – and how could you not with the endless and repetitious coverage – you hear a lot about those epidemiological “models.”  In many ways, they seem more confusing than enlightening.  That is partially due to the fact that there are a lot of different ones out there.

Our nation’s premier medical advisors, Dr. Anthony Fauci, best explained modeling.  He said, “They will all be wrong, but some may be useful.”

As a current resident of Florida, Dr. Fauci’s statement reminded me of all those hurricane models that we see on the news with each approaching hurricane.  At the front edge, the various models expressed as conical lines on the map –often described as spaghetti strings – are widely divergent.  They are not very predictive until the weather monster is close to shore.  We do not know if it will hit Florida – or the Carolinas or meander through the Gulf to hit Texas or Louisiana. No reason to put up the hurricane shutters until the storm is within a couple of miles.  As Dr. Fauci suggests, they are always wrong.

A few weeks ago, the models varied widely – very widely.  One suggested that more than 2 million Americans would potentially die.  Others saw a death rate of less than 100,000.  Even though President Trump was been roundly – and unfairly – criticized for the hopeful optimism in January, he was actually saying the same thing as Dr. Fauci at the time.  Since that does not fit with the elitist media’s anti-Trump narrative, Dr. Fauci’s statements on videos are never seen on CNN or MSNBC.  It is all about controlling the narrative.

More recently, the number of prospective deaths has been reduced to approximately 80,000 and again later at 60,000 — based on the current models.

There are two reasons why the public was pushed to the edge of panic by the models.  In the first place, there were no past models to draw upon.  There were no piles of data upon which to base any sort of expectations.  In such a situation, the modeling will create unrealistic projections –  often the worst of the worst-case scenarios.

The second reason for excessive public anxiety is due to press coverage.  One of the evergreen characteristics of the news media is sensationalism.  Yep!  It is in the DNA of newsies to exaggerate.  That is how they get our attention.  They will seize on the worst projections.

This natural tendency to sensationalize is magnified by a huge political bias – compounded by a visceral hatred of President Trump, personally.  The anti-Trump spin has accelerated to the speed of one of those cartoon whirling dervishes.

That is why – as bad as the COVID-19 pandemic is – it is not nearly as bad as the press would have us believe.  Sixty-thousand lives to lose is a lot, but nothing near the 2 million figure that was used in fearmongering news reports.

Despite the efforts of the media to hype the stories for professional and political reasons, the odds of any one of us contracting the virus is relatively low.   If we do, there is an 80 percent chance that we will have a mild case – not needing medical intervention.  And if we do come down with a more serious case, the odds of surviving it are rather high.  Those statistics are not based on abstract speculative models, but on actual data.

It looks like the current situation will go on for at least a couple more weeks, but we can be happy that the actual statistics will not be anywhere the scary model-based and politically motivated projections.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.



    Thanks Larry, I’m sure that if the current media was around in the 50’s, we would all be in “Iron Lungs” right now, or dead!
    Target acquired, fire for effect! DOL,

  2. Johnny B

    I have come up with a very simple solution, DONT watch ANY of the news and it WILL eliminate so much of the anxiety our media wants us all to feel, None of the media care if our country goes broke because first of all, they all still have jobs and always will and do not care about the millions of people who cant work that want to, and mostly, need to. All they want is our country to fail and blame it on our president so he don’t have a chance at being re-elected which is obvious. Just a few days ago I watched a live press conference with President Trump then a short time later the world news was on so we decided to watch it and it was unbelievable what they cut out of his speech we had just watched and what they left in for us to see & hear, what they did was make what he said much more favorable for the them to discredit him and make him look bad. That is all they want people. There are so many options out there to find the truth. DONT believe everything the media wants you to believe. Make your own conclusions by doing some of your own research. Like Covid 19 and who made this virus, then ask your self, WHY?
    I am 100% in favor of what our President has done to this point and also support him 100% in that we MUST get our country open and running. I am fortunate to be an “essential” worker but my wife is self employed and her income is ZERO since the shut down was 4 weeks ago for us and still has her lease payments that are due not to mention the other bills that go along with having a business, her business is small compared to many out there and we feel so bad for so them just knowing the amount of debt they must have piling up and possibly lose their businesses or go bankrupt trying to keep going in hopes of opening them soon. I feel this is what the media wants and then will put the blame on our president.
    I don’t in any way mean to take this virus lightly and it is heartbreaking to see people to lose their life’s.
    I have had 2 family members who have survived it, one was on a ventilator for a week and the other then tested positive and had Zero symptoms of the virus.

    • Knobby

      Johnny B: Well stated. I agree with your assessment and conclusions as to the goal of the filtered news media we are being fed. This is a sad state of affairs, since a majority will not detect this agenda, and will be unlikely to resist the effects.
      The smallest of the small businesses are the most vulnerable. Even sending the employees home does not stop the payments of rent and for equipment loans, not to mention the survival of the owners.
      I hope the May 1st opening date holds, and is not pushed back by the panicking mob.

  3. Derek Blurb

    When you read or listen or watch news blather, keep in mind what sponsors the publishers. Sponsors are the advertisernents that keep interrupting with irrelevant material that tax our time and patience. Sponsors are never unbiased and definitely color the news. Besides, blaaah news do not sell. Look at news material as documentary, giving potentially inaccurate polarized data and use YOUR judgment… If you still believe you have one.

  4. Rich

    Garbage in, garbage out . . . from high paid number junkies to irrational assumptions.