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Actual Hospitalizations for Coronavirus Significantly Lower than Projections in Model

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Actual Hospitalizations for Coronavirus Significantly Lower than Projections in Model

By Breitbart, April 5, 2020:

The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model cited by White House Coronavirus Task Force officials appears to dramatically overstate the hospitalization of patients with coronavirus in the United States when the model’s projections are compared to actual data, a Breitbart News analysis finds.

Breitbart News compared projections of the number of regular hospital beds needed to treat coronavirus patients made in the Friday, April 3 iteration of the IHME model for nine states to the actual number of cumulative hospitalizations (a number that includes current regular bed hospitalizations, current ICU hospitalizations, previously hospitalized and released patients, and previously hospitalized and deceased patients) reported by the respective health departments in those states as of Thursday, April 2.

The results showed that the actual number of cumulative hospitalizations as a percentage of regular hospital beds needed projected by the IHME model ranged from nine percent in Tennessee to 47 percent in Florida.

Even in New York State, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, the actual number of cumulative hospitalizations as a percentage of regular hospital beds needed projected by the IHME model was only 37 percent.

These numbers, however, actually understate the degree to which the IHME model overestimates the number of hospital beds currently needed for coronavirus patients because the numerator–cumulative hospitalizations–includes data well in addition to the actual number of current regular hospital beds in use for coronavirus patients, since it also includes current ICU hospital beds in use for coronavirus patients as well as previously hospitalized coronavirus patients either released or deceased.

Data on cumulative hospitalizations in currently reported by most states, while some provide more detailed information.

The Department of Public Health in Minnesota, for instance, reported as of April 2 that 46 out of the 156 reported cumulative hospitalizations in the state for coronavirus are patients currently in regular hospital beds, while 40 are patients in ICU hospital beds and 70 are formerly hospitalized patients who have been released or are deceased.

Here is a breakdown of the actual number of cumulative hospitalizations reported by these nine states as of April 2, as compared to the number of regular hospital beds projected for coronavirus patients in those states on April 2 by the IHME model:

Colorado: Cumulative hospitalizations of 710 divided by regular hospital bed projections of 3,141 = 23 percent.
Ohio: Cumulative hospitalizations of 802 divided by regular hospital bed projections of 2,436 = 33 percent
Tennessee: Cumulative hospitalizations of 263 divided by regular hospital bed projections of 2,741 = 9 percent
Texas: Cumulative hospitalizations of 196 divided by regular hospital bed projections of 1,968 = 10 percent
New York: Cumulative hospitalizations of 20,817 divided by regular hospital bed projections of 56,183 = 37 percent
Florida: Cumulative hospitalizations of 1,215 divided by regular hospital bed projections of 2,612 = 47 percent
Georgia: Cumulative hospitalizations of 1,158 divided by regular hospital bed projections of 3,089 = 37 percent
Iowa: Cumulative hospitalizations of 138 divided by regular hospital bed projections of 384 = 36 percent
Minnesota: Cumulative hospitalizations of 156 divided by regular hospital bed projections of 823 = 19 percent

Notably, the IHME model’s current projections of COVID-19 deaths as of April 2 is in line with the actual number of reported deaths on that date.

Breitbart News provided this data to the media spokesperson for the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation on Friday and asked if they could explained why the IHME model’s projections of regular hospital beds needed is so badly off the mark from actual beds required for COVID-19 patients up to April 2 but has not yet received a response.

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