Friday, April 10, 2020

About That There Acumen for Predictions ...

Me on March 20th: "The number of dead [in the US from COVID-19] will be closer to 200 than to 200,000." I was responding to a guy who was predicting a minimum of 200,000 and possibly as many as 2 million. I think the discussion is pretty interesting.

In order for me to be correct, there would have to be fewer than 100,100 COVID-19 deaths.

Now, there's one easy way for me to be wrong on this, and that way is by assuming that the prediction is not limited in time. Which you're free to do, because I was not careful in stating the claim. And my guess is that COVID-19 will be killing people for years to come and eventually pass the 200k mark in the US.

In MOST places where I've discussed COVID-19 fatalities in the US, I have been more specific, and time-limited my predictions to the period between January 21, 2020 (the official "first case" finding) and December 31, 2020.

Anyway, the DC set have been substantially walking back their own predictions, while trying to take credit for the numbers being lower than their predictions. And as of today, the word is "Trump says US headed to death toll 'substantially below' 100k."

Note: I did make an early bet that the US death toll in that time frame would be less than 10k. I was obviously wrong on that one.

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