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Friday, 10 April 2020

Rush Limbaugh: ‘No Way’ Social Distancing To Credit For Low Death Toll, The Model ‘Data Is Bad’

On Thursday, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said the American people are “owed” an “explanation” concerning the continuously revised model projections, which were revised down for the second time in two weeks on Wednesday to an estimated 60,000 coronavirus-associated deaths. 
Initial and influential modeling from the Imperial College London, Limbaugh noted, projected up to 2.2 million coronavirus deaths in the U.S. without so-called “mitigation,” or “social distancing.” But even with full social distancing factored in until June 1, the White House-relied upon model from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington has downgraded from up to 240,000 deaths to an estimated 60,000 coronavirus-associated deaths.
Limbaugh argued that there is “no way” mere “social distancing” could be credited for the wrong projections, (which already factored in social distancing), and concluded that the “data” put into the models was “bad.”
“They owe us an explanation,” Limbaugh opened his Thursday show. “We are owed a huge explanation.”
“So, 2.2 million deaths. ‘Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God, 2.2. We gotta shut it down. And if we mitigate, maybe 240,000 deaths. If we social distance, we stay at home, if we shut down, if we wear masks, we do all this stuff, maybe a hundred thousand to 200,000, maybe 240,000.’ Guess what? Sixty thousand,” the host noted, referring to the new estimated death toll. 
“There is no way social distancing has made the difference in 2.2 million down to 60,000 dead,” he continued. “There is no way that social distancing made the difference from 240,000 dead projected now down to 60,000 dead. And what do you bet that number gets revised down in the coming days? There has to be something else going on here, and it has to be the projections were wrong in the first place because of the models, and we know that they were wrong.”
“These guys get to revise their projections and hold on to their expertise status throughout the entire process,” Limbaugh said. “I just don’t believe social distancing has suddenly changed the data that lowers the forecast death toll from 240,000 to 60,000. We’re not stupid here.” 
“The data is bad. The input data was bad,” the host posited.
Limbaugh said there would be no real accountability with regard to the apparently faulty projections that influenced the near-nationwide economic shutdown policy, noting that “doomsayers” will simply tell the public their scary projections helped create such effective results. 
“The doomsayers are never wrong because whatever ends up happening, they can claim credit for it because of their mistakes,” he argued. “‘Well, yeah, of course we overshot, but because we overshot we scared the hell out of people, people social distanced, people stayed home. Of course our work is responsible for this.’ It’s just the way it works. And everybody got scared. Can’t blame ‘em. Everybody got scared into using the data that was trumpeted, put out.”
“We are owed an explanation,” Limbaugh said.
“Folks, they’re gonna have to explain this, and I know how they’re gonna do it,” he closed the segment. “The doomsayers are gonna tell us, ‘Hey,’ they’re already setting the stage for doing it, ‘our policies, our requests for social distancing and all that made all the difference.'”

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