The only problem with this bit of relatively good news? It’s almost certainly wrong. All models are wrong. Some are just less wrong than others — and those are the ones that public health officials rely on.
Welcome to the grimace-and-bear-it world of modeling.
“The key thing is that you want to know what’s happening in the future,” said NASA top climate modeler Gavin Schmidt. “Absent a time machine you’re going to have to use a model.”
Weather forecasters use models. Climate scientists use them. Supermarkets use them.
As leaders try to get a handle on the coronavirus outbreak, they are turning to numerous mathematical models to help them figure out what might — key word, might — happen next and what they should try to do now to contain and prepare for the spread.
The model updated this week by the University of Washington — the one most often mentioned by U.S. health officials at White House briefings — predicts daily deaths in the U.S. will hit a peak in mid-April then decline through the summer.
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April 10, 2020