'Fake news' prediction tool used for coronavirus policy started by Sitka lawmaker - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, April 7, 2020
HomePolitics‘Fake news’ prediction tool used for coronavirus policy started by Sitka lawmaker

‘Fake news’ prediction tool used for coronavirus policy started by Sitka lawmaker

IS REP. JONATHAN KREISS-TOMKINS’ GROUP PUSHING POLITICALLY MOTIVATED DATA?

A prediction tool created by Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins and his academic friends from the Ivy League world has predicted wildly inaccurate numbers regarding the spread of the coronavirus in Alaska.

The models created by CovidActNow are panicking officials nationwide and leading to faulty response, according to several critics, who have raised an alarm about what appears to be a stealth misinformation campaign that looks legitimate, at first glance.

A survey of statements made by the media was made by The Federalist that show how many are promoting the grossly misleading modeling tool to predict the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.

The website touts itself as a tool “built to enable political leaders to quickly make decisions in their Coronavirus response informed by best available data and modeling.”

According to the Covid Act Now website, Alaska should have over 10 people hospitalized with the Wuhan coronavirus by now. But there’s just one hospitalization. The group says that without action, 15,000 Alaskans will die.

The flaws with the modeling came to light this week when Federalist author Madeline Osburn revealed that the models are not intended to be actually accurate, but were always designed to prompt policy action by political leaders. The group even says as much in its disclaimer, explaining that much of the data put into the model are likely to be wrong.

Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins, chair of the House State Affairs Committee, had his partners in the Covid Act Now project give a presentation to his committee, allowing them to give what may be false information to the Legislature.

The State Affairs Committee heard from Dr. Nirav Shah of Stanford University and modeler/mathematician Tomas Pueyo, both associated with the project that Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins cofounded.

The full hearing can be viewed here.

“Dr. Shah and Mr. Pueyo testimony occurs first in the hearing. Mr. Pueyo published an article analyzing the spread of COVID that has received widespread acclaim, been translated into 28 languages, and been viewed 37 million times in the last week,” according to the Democrat-led House Majority press office.

The presentation avoided showing those wild predictions in Alaska that came out of the Covid Act Now group, but according to the model, Alaska’s hospital beds will be overwhelmed on April 12, 2020. That’s 18 days away.

One of the other cofounders of the modeling tool is Max Henderson, a supporter of Hillary Clinton in 2016, and a math whiz with a background in election predictions.

In addition to Sitka Rep. Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, who is a Democrat and an activist, there are other Democrat operatives involved in the project: Zachary Rosen and Igor Kofman, both steady donors to campaigns of Democrats and liberal political PACs. Rosen donated to the Democratic National Committee, as well as recently resigned California Democrat Rep. Katie Hill, who left Congress in disgrace, and other Democratic candidates.

Kofman, in his efforts to defeat Donald Trump, created an online game designed to raise $1 million for the eventual 2020 Democratic candidate. The app appears to be defunct, however.

What is really behind making wildly inaccurate and exaggerated predictions for a virus that has the whole world upended already?

Is it fake news, designed to scare politicians into adopting universal health care or Medicare for all?

Osburn suggests there is more than what meets the eye to this group.

“An interactive map provides users a catastrophic forecast for each state, should they wait to implement COVID Act Now’s suggested strict measures to “flatten the curve.” But a closer look at how many of COVID Act Now’s predictions have already fallen short, and how they became a ubiquitous resource across the country overnight, suggests something more sinister,” Osburn wrote.

“When Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced a shelter-in-place order on Dallas County Sunday, he displayed COVID Act Now graphs with predictive outcomes after three months if certain drastic measures are taken. The NBC Dallas affiliate also embedded the COVID Act Now models in their story on the mandate.”

Covid Act Now also predicted that by March 19 the state of Tennessee could expect 190 hospitalizations of patients with confirmed Wuhan virus. By March 19, they only had 15 patients hospitalized.

What’s more, the endorsements for the CoVID Act Now product include former Alaska Health and Social Services Commissioner Valerie Davidson, who served in the Gov. Bill Walker administration and expanded Medicaid across Alaska to able-bodied adults who do not have children to care for and who are over twice the poverty threshold.

The problem with predictive modeling is that the public must trust the source of the information.

In this instance, the source of the information has political ambitions, with backers who are clearly opposed to Republican wins in November.

Read The Federalist report at this link.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Everyone wants a piece of the Corona Cookie before the crisis peters out.
    A new study by Oxford states we may be in a later stage of this flu like virus than is currently believed.
    “The Oxford research suggests the pandemic is in a later stage than previously thought and estimates the virus has already infected at least millions of people worldwide.
    In the United Kingdom, which the study focuses on, half the population would have already been infected.
    If accurate, that would mean transmission began around mid-January and the vast majority of cases presented mild or no symptoms.”
    (Theweek.com)

  • Machiavellian……Anything to undermine Trump……If the Dems can’t rule the world, then they will simply tear it apart, piece by piece.
    I think the Dem party has crossed the line into RICO territory.

  • Fear porn as a tool to ultimately destroy the Constitution. Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  • Susan you are totally correct, some of the hype over this virus was legacy media driven. But as long as Trump stops the hospitals from being over run with sick patients, he will win re election. Trump is in the driver seat. The Democrat controlled congress will have to acquiesce to any of his spending plans or take full blame for economic troubles. Trump is giving thousands of dollars to millions in the stimulus bill. Trump should put his picture on the checks. TRUMP 2020

  • “This model is intended to help make fast decisions, not predict the future”. SOUND FAMILIAR?
    “We need to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”- Stephen Schneider, one of the founding members of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
    So The Honorable Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins is willing to sacrifice honesty for effectiveness? THANKS, SITKA VOTERS.

  • “Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins” – I have never heard of a man using a hyphenated, double last name. That’s a woman, thing. Why in the world would anyone, listen to him?

    • Sodomite?

      • I think Mongo like garbage!!

        • Mongo like God and the Bible.

    • JKT is a college drop-out. Why listen to him? My 9th grade son has more brains.

      • ……and more hair!

  • ?
    a) you are using the model results if we did nothing. Look at the model results for shelter in place. We are right on track with that prediction.
    please correct this article.

    b) all models are incorrect, but they are often useful.

  • From the article:
    “The flaws with the modeling came to light this week when Federalist author Madeline Osburn revealed that the models are not intended to be actually accurate, but were always designed to prompt policy action by political leaders. ”

    Translation:
    Designed to incite and foment panic.

    Sounds a little bit criminal.

  • We are saved because Pelosi got lots of money for the Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts and NPR and stuff that don’t have anything to do with the pandemic. You think she would have put in for 100 mil to clean up the human waste in her home district.

  • Also, look at his wikipedia page.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Kreiss-Tomkins

    Dropped out of college to run for his house seat. He’s done nothing but be a rep in his life. No real work, no employment history, nothing.

  • there are more Corona patients in Alaska’s hospitals than have been documented yet-tests take time

  • This the same guy pushing a tax on pain killers for terminally ill patients a couple years ago? Yeah, I thought so. Way to go Sitka, you used to elect folks like Ben, what the hell happened?

  • You people don’t understand the point and concept behind predictive modeling. Your arguments are nothing but ad hominen, poisoning the well logical fallacy. Science illiteracy + confirmation bias = this article.

    • “This model is intended to help make fast decisions, not predict the future” So apparently “predictive modeling” is an oxymoron according to COVID Act Now’s website. We all know what the point and concept behind predictive modeling is. You “use Mike’s Nature trick to hide the decline”. Then you point to your model based on molested data to “offer up scary scenarios”. All this to gain power. Who exactly is poisoning the well?

    • “You people don’t understand….” You gotta do better than that if you’re going to insult those who have been watching JKT get more and more partisan as the years go by. Signed, Neanderthal Variant

    • “You people don’t understand…”
      “Science illiteracy + confirmation bias…”
      New guy in rest home was eating in chow hall, and became curious as to why some would stand up, say a number, and everyone would laugh.
      It was explained to him that everyone had been there so long that they numbered their jokes to save time.
      He asked if it was ok for him to “tell” a joke, and everyone said go ahead.
      So he stood up and said “55” but nobody laughed.
      Feeling rather sheepish, he asked why didn’t anyone laugh at his joke?
      “Aw, man, you just don’t know how to tell a joke.”
      You may be an intellectual wizard FOUND ONE, but you don’t know how to tell a joke, nor explain anything.

  • When someone does not know the difference between right and wrong, they are not the people you want to elect to represent you and your views in positions of power. Sitka made a big mistake in electing this guy and they need to correct their error. Otherwise, they not only suffer the consequences, we all do.

  • Should you really expect science based predictions from someone that won their job by holding a sign and waiving at intersection traffic?

    • Science based predictions…. say like Don Young’s Beer Virus remark? Or Don Trump’s “15 cases will be near zero soon” remark?

  • The Imperial JKT may want to take a step back and think about his risk profile. If people do things or fail to do things that end up causing harm to someone because of his little project, it may expose him to risks of various kinds. People can get upset over these types of things and may not care whether he thinks himself so very clever. Just a thought.

    • JMark, the problem for you is that JKT is using data to build these models. Unlike your science which suggests the beer virus is a hoax. So when Don Young endangered the lives of seniors and told them the beer virus was nothing to worry about, he apologetically walked that ignorant garbage back because he knew his actions were in direction opposition to the science and data available. JKT is building on the science. So if you think that will backfire for him, maybe you should pray on it first.

      • This predictive model is nothing more than an elaborate game of “let’s pretend” supported by some equations and graphs. There may be some data that goes into the model, but what happens to it is simply a game. The output IS NOT fact.

  • The masses humbly thank Peoples Imperial State Representative and Official Statistician Kreiss-Tomkins for patiently enlightening us.
    .
    Unlike our counterrevolutionary brethren, we recognize our duty to trust, without question, the source of Peoples Imperial State Representative and Official Statistician Kreiss-Tomkins’ information.
    .
    The masses beg Peoples Imperial State Representative and Official Statistician Kreiss-Tomkins to pass a law and a tax predicting what productive Alaskans must be forced to pay in order to help their government grow and flourish through these trying times.
    .
    On this we all agree, yes?

    • “On this we all agree, yes?” he said with bread in one hand and a pistol in the other.

    • IMO “Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins and his academic friends…” think much more highly of themselves than they aught to.

  • So it’s ok to base how much equipment, personnel, money, hospitals etc on a faulty model? Shoot that Ivy League bats*rd. How much did he make off of this? Somehow he committed a crime, I don’t know what crime but there is something fishy here. What about the people on record wrong because they were backed up by stuff like this?

  • Democrats bad I get it. Personally I am happy we have not reached their predictions yet. Maybe they were just a week off. Does anyone here really think it is impossible for Alaska to have 10 hospitalizations by March 30? Tennessee now has 106 hospitalizations only a week after only having 15.
    Navy medical ships are being sent to California and New York to help free up hospital space. Their predictions might be off but their message is correct.
    No government was forced into believing their statistics. I would hope they heard many scenarios from different organizations of all political affiliations before making decisions.
    I hope their predictions are way off but sadly they are closer than “”No. Not at all. And we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s — going to be just fine.”
    All Americans are suffering we need to be tolerant. I would like to think everyone is doing their best dealing with an unknown.
    As for the universal health care. Amazing how Americans now think it is the job of the government to protect their health and financial well being.

    • The Kennedy Center is suffering. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is suffering. Planned Parenthood is suffering. But be tolerant.

  • they are Americans

  • 6 hospitalizations and rising
    3-28-2020 a.c. (after corona)

  • I wonder if the models can predict how many people will die if Planned Parenthood does NOT get a large infusion of cash?

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