The medical professionals on the White House Coronavirus Task Force appear to have lessened their reliance on academic models in favor of actual coronavirus data provided by state governments.
This move comes as the academic models that have brought about restrictive social distancing policies at the state and federal level continue to revise death projections downwards and vastly overstate hospitalization projections.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model that until recently was projecting 93,765 deaths has downgraded death projections to 60,415 as actual data has come in from several states. Meanwhile, the model’s hospitalizations projections continue to miss the mark by a wide margin and have yet to be corrected.
Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task Force said on Thursday that actual data on coronavirus testing and cases provided to the federal government by state governments around the country, rather than models, has become the driving force now in “understanding how to move forward together to really have a different future.”
“The original outbreaks were very large, but the newer ones that we talk about in Washington and Philadelphia and Baltimore it looks like their attack rates–and attack rates in Denver and some of these other states that we have been talking about–are much lower than New York and New Jersey,” Dr. Birx said at Thursday’s daily briefing at the White House.
“This gives us hope about really understanding how to integrate this information together, not dealing with a model, but the real live cases that are occurring, and understanding how to move forward together to really have a different future,” she added.