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State Health Experts’ Comments Suggest Its Virus Models Not So Good

Appears their projections missed a November spike in fatalities

Comments made by the state of Michigan’s top health executive suggest its experts used computer models that were not very accurate in projecting how many people could die from COVID-19 in the weeks ahead.

On Nov. 5, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, said the state could see up to 100 deaths per day by late December if residents didn’t change their behavior. This reasoning contributed to officials imposing enhanced restrictions shortly thereafter.

“We have models that estimate that at the rate we’re going. If we don’t do anything else, if we don’t change our behaviors, we could be seeing up to 100 deaths a day by the end of December,” Khaldun said at a Nov. 5 press conference.

On Nov. 18, the state ordered restaurants, high schools, theaters, bowling alleys and other establishments closed. On Dec. 21, the health department relaxed most of these restrictions (with the exception of restaurants).

The state’s models and predictions were badly off. As early as Nov. 21, Michigan reported more than 100 COVID-19 deaths, and the seven-day rolling average of daily deaths exceeded 100 every day from Nov. 24 to Dec. 24.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.