States and municipalities have been driven to lockdown their citizens based on the COVID Act Now website. It is an online mapping tool that claims to estimate hospitalizations with and without shelter in place orders. Its data is garbage and its predictions are crap.
The models are being shared across social media, news reports, and finding their way into officials’ daily decisions, which is concerning because COVID Act Now’s predictions have already been proven to be wildly wrong.
COVID Act Now predicted that by March 19 the state of Tennessee could expect 190 hospitalizations of patients with confirmed Wuhan virus. By March 19, they only had 15 patients hospitalized.
Some details from the linked piece bulleted for ease of outrage.
- In New York, Covid Act Now claimed nearly 5,400 New Yorkers would’ve been hospitalized by March 19. The actual number of hospitalizations is around 750.
- The site also claimed nearly 13,000 New York hospitalizations by March 23. The actual number was around 2,500.
- In Georgia, COVID Act Now predicted 688 hospitalizations by March 23. By that date, they had around 800 confirmed cases in the whole state, and fewer than 300 hospitalized.
- In Florida, Covid Act Now predicted that by March 19, the state would face 400 hospitalizations. On March 19, Gov. Ron DeSantis said 90 people in Florida had been hospitalized.
So, what’s up?
Founders of the site include Democratic Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins and three Silicon Valley tech workers and Democratic activists — Zachary Rosen, Max Henderson, and Igor Kofman — who are all also donors to various Democratic campaigns and political organizations since 2016. Henderson and Kofman donated to the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016, while Rosen donated to the Democratic National Committee, recently resigned Democratic Rep. Katie Hill, and other Democratic candidates. Prior to building the COVID Act Now website, Kofman created an online game designed to raise $1 million for the eventual 2020 Democratic candidate and defeat President Trump. The game’s website is now defunct.
This might not mean a heck of a lot if they were even remotely accurate, but they are not. The tool itself admits that it makes a lot of assumptions (all wrong based on the results) which means none of their conclusions can be trusted.
Add to this the very partisan nature of the output which just happens to coincide with a well-advertised desire to tank the stock market and the economy, and you should feel free to call BS on all of it.
Executive officers of cities, counties, and states are using a widely shared partisan fearmongering tool to scare people into letting them destroy the local and US economy.
You need to let these leaders know that they cannot make decisions based on any of this data. It is highly inaccurate, and its sources are likely corrupted by partisan interests.
Do not let them base policy decisions on this data source or be pressured by Democrats or others citing it, or by citing sources that may be using it. Even if it is not a partisan effort to ruin the American economy (and I think it is), their projections are all wrong.