Washington University IHME COVID Projections Are Embarrassing

IHME (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation) has a statistical model to forecast COVID deaths and hospitalizations.

The Annals of Internal Medicine had a review from 2020.

The IHME projections are based not on transmission dynamics but on a statistical model with no epidemiologic basis. Specifically, the model used reported worldwide COVID-19 deaths and extrapolated similar patterns in mortality growth curves to forecast expected deaths. The technique uses mortality data, which are generally more reliable than testing-dependent confirmed case counts. Outputs suggest precise estimates (albeit with uncertainty bounds) for all regions until the epidemic ends.

The modeling analysis by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) (1) projecting deaths due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has attracted considerable attention, including from the U.S. government (2). The model used COVID-19 mortality projections to estimate hospital bed requirements and deaths.

Recently in January 2022 and up to Feb 16, 2022 the IHME has been projecting 934,000 cumulative COVID deaths in the USA up to June 1, 2022. They updated and changed the projection days before the CDC would have updated to surpass the ridiculous 934,000 cumulative deaths by June 1, 2022.

The CDC already recorded over 930,811 COVID deaths as of Feb 18, 2022. The daily US COVID seven-day moving average is about 2000 deaths per day. The February 23st count for deaths up to February 22th will be about 937,000. This will be when the CDC catches up on weekend and holiday counts.

The new IHME projection of US cumulative COVID deaths for June 1, 2022 is 947,622. This is also absurd. This will be passed in the first week of March and perhaps by Feb 28, 2022.

Bizarrely, Worldometers has its own cumulative counts of COVID deaths by country. Worldometers links its country counts to IHME projections. Worldometers reports 959000 cumulative US COVID deaths but then links to IHME projections out to June 1, 2022 that are lower than Worldometers for Feb 20, 2022.

Nextbigfuture indicated that the US will pass one million cumulative COVID deaths in March 2022. It will be early March for Worldometers and then mid-March for John Hopkins and then the end of March for the CDC.

The US daily COVID deaths are decreasing but not at the sharp projections from IHME.

The CDC will likely report 945,000-948000 cumulative COVID deaths for Feb 28, 2022.
John Hopkins will report about 949,000-953,000 cumulative COVID deaths for Feb 28, 2022.
Worldometers will report 975,000-980,000 cumulative COVID deaths for Feb 2022.

Reporting lags on the weekend and holidays.

If there was an average of 1500 daily COVID deaths in March :
The CDC will likely report 1M COVID cumulative COVID deaths April 1-7, 2022.
John Hopkins will likely report 1M COVID cumulative COVID deaths March 28, 2022- April 3, 2022.
Worldometers will report 1M COVID cumulative COVID deaths about March 10, 2022- March 15, 2022.

The new IHME projection of US cumulative COVID deaths for June 1, 2022 is 947,622 is already below the Worldometer count for today. Johns Hopkins and the CDC will likely pass the IHME June 1, 2022 projection by the end of February, 2022.

Is the long-term relative steady-state for the US and world COVID epidemic like the summer of 2021? The summer of 2021 was when there were significant amounts of vaccination and a peak level of immunity relative to the variants of COVID. This could be what it looks like longer-term when everyone has been infected multiple times before and has reasonable immunity to the COVID variants. This is the case with the flu. Every year most people get the flu but they have had the flu multiple times before.

This would mean long-term daily US COVID deaths in the 200 to 500 range. This would mean annual US COVID deaths of 70,000 to 200,000. Flu seasons in the US usually have 20,000 to 100,000 deaths per year. Flu hospitalizations range from 150,000 to 1.2 million in typical years. Eventually better medications and treatments could reduce COVID deaths.

Conquering COVID will mean addressing obesity and the immune system of the elderly. The obese are three times as likely to die from COVID. The elderly are also more vulnerable.

SOURCES: CDC, IHME, John Hopkins, Worldometers
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

19 thoughts on “Washington University IHME COVID Projections Are Embarrassing”

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  3. That's sheer nonsense. The evidence for the links between heart disease and obesity are well established. That aside, if people want to be obese I have no problem with it. I don't blame them for it. Whether they chose to be healthy or fat, I could care less. It's their life choice and it's irrelevant to me. But every choice has a cost. For the obese that cost is heart disease, diabetes, etc. Your whole "blaming" woke nonsense doesn't change reality. it is just another example of people such as yourself being unwilling to accept responsibility for your own actions. In your world it's okay to be fat because you lie to yourself and say that gut biome causes heart disease. If you want to live in that fantasyland so be it. But don't complain when about it when your poor choices give you a heart attack. And don't expect my tax money to pay your hospital bills.

  4. The links you mention are illusory. It’s been shown that much perhaps most heart disease comes from critters in your mouth, although militant and ignorant diet pushers try to claim links with red meat and so on. Studies also show that obesity is related to gut biome, ie swap gut critters out and one gains or loses depending on which set of critters one swaps. However blaming the lifestyle choice feels much better, why bother with truth when blaming fat folks for being fat covers it quickly.

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  6. I don't understand why the focus stays on COVID. In 2020, according to the CDC approximately 3,358,814 deaths occurred in the United States, which is the most recent year for which they have published data. COVID deaths were were approximately 11% of those 3.358 million.

    So why is it that people obsess over COVID? You're almost 9x more likely to die of something else. Why is no one obsessing over the 2.9 million people that died of other causes?

    Here are the 2020 causes of death according to the CDC (the numbers are approximate): Heart Disease 750,000, Cancer 650,000, COVID 378,000, injury 225,000, Stroke 180,000, Chronic Respiratory Disease 170,000, Alzheimer's 150,000, Diabetes 100,000, Influenza and pneumonia 60,000, kidney disease 55,000, and another 641,000 for which no cause is listed


    Many of the above fatalities are caused by people's life styles. For example, kidney disease is tied to drinking alcohol excessively, cancer to smoking, heart disease to obesity, strokes to obesity, diabetes to obesity and excessive alcohol consumption. Lack of exercise plays a part as well.

    So why isn't there a national health campaign out there forcing people to lose weight, stop smoking and drinking, and start exercising? The govt has cajoled, threatened, and tried every legal means at its disposal to force vaccinations. So why not the same for the other causes of death?

  7. The Economist magazine Covid-19 death estimate for the US based on excess deaths is well over 1 million already. Around 75% to 80% of these deaths are for people 65 or older. Many of this cohort are still unvaccinated and will succumb in the future.

  8. Locally the median is 74 years, but the average is 72.3. I suppose because the median is pushing average life expectancy so close that the few young deaths have an outsized influence on the average; Even though the death rate is higher above the median, few people are getting much older than that.

  9. So pretty clearly because OC has 3 deaths "with covid" in the 0-17 age bracket we need to mask kids up in schools for the next decade or so. (double masks of course, can never be too sure)

  10. It can be mitigated. Even if the complete solution may not be achieved. We can at least look at where we need to get leverage. Plus we can moon at the details. What specific aspects of obesity are most problematic. What medical tools help the most

  11. Yes. Brett is correct. That was what I was pointing out.

    For Jonas. We have to honestly and unemotionally look at what is happening to determine what to do and measure what is working and what is not working. If we cannot make ourselves look at it then we cannot begin to know what to fix or how

  12. Just pointing out that somebody is hawking projections that are demonstrably worthless.

    And yet, being taken seriously.

  13. Conquering COVID will mean addressing obesity and the immune system of the elderly

    That's the same as saying that they have no hope and they're doomed.

    Oh well, the love of buffoonery has its consequences.

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