Analysts who predicted US to be free of coronavirus by September pull down research and claim it’s ‘no longer valid’

ANALYSTS have retracted predictions that the US could be coronavirus-free by as early as September 20, saying that “over-optimism” based on predictions is “dangerous”.

The projections came out of the Singapore University of Technology and Design, where researchers are using artificial intelligence to chart the pandemic’s life cycle, country by country.

 Singapore University of Technology and Design withdrew the predictions

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Singapore University of Technology and Design withdrew the predictionsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

The predictions were taken down on May 11, and a warning was posted by the data modelers that the information was “inaccurate to the complex, evolving, and heterogeneous realities of different countries over time”.

“Over-optimism based on some predictions is dangerous because it may loosen our disciplines and controls and cause the turnaround of the virus and infection, and must be avoided,” the post read.

“Earlier predictions are no longer valid because the real-world scenarios have changed rapidly.”

On Saturday, some media outlets had run with the story that Singapore would be coronavirus-free by June 28, the UK by August 30, and the US by September 20.

 A transmission electron microscope shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19

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A transmission electron microscope shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19Credit: AFP or licensors
 People enjoy the boardwalk during the Memorial Day holiday weekend amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 23, 2020 in Ocean City, Maryland

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People enjoy the boardwalk during the Memorial Day holiday weekend amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 23, 2020 in Ocean City, MarylandCredit: AFP or licensors
 People walk past a mannequin displaying a face mask outside a store on the boardwalk

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People walk past a mannequin displaying a face mask outside a store on the boardwalkCredit: AFP or licensors

The model had also predicted a complete end to the pandemic on a worldwide scale by December 4, according to The Metro.

The Singapore team’s model was based on a predictive monitoring technique, which input cases and deaths worldwide and visualizes the data in a bar chart.

A bell-shaped curve over the top displayed the projected trajectory of the disease, including peak, acceleration and deceleration.

The university site’s content is “strictly only for educational and research purposes and may contain errors” the analysts said, also adding that they had “experimented” with the monitoring models.

 A nurse at at the International Community Health Services clinic in Seattle's International District, takes a nose swab sample during walk- and drive-up testing for COVID-19

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A nurse at at the International Community Health Services clinic in Seattle’s International District, takes a nose swab sample during walk- and drive-up testing for COVID-19Credit: AP:Associated Press

Last week, a coronavirus study was called into question after it emerged it was part-funded by the founder of JetBlue Airways, who had said the pandemic’s impacts had been overblown.

David Neeleman, CEO of the airlines, gave $5,000 to an antibodies study which was then used by conservative groups to argue coronavirus cases were inflated and US businesses should be allowed to reopen, BuzzFeed reported.

The study, led by Stanford University scientists, including the famous John Ioannidis, found the number of coronavirus infections was up to 85 times higher than believed.

The high infection rate would mean that the death rate of the coronavirus would be between 0.12% to 0.2% – instead of 1.4%.

This much lower fatality rate is closer to the death rate of the flu, and the study became a hotly contested point in the science world.

 David Neeleman said he donated $5,000 to the antibody study

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David Neeleman said he donated $5,000 to the antibody study
 Dr. John Ioannidis, professor of medicine, epidemiology and population health at Stanford University, joins Mark Levin on 'Life, Liberty & Levin' on Apr. 20, 2020

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Dr. John Ioannidis, professor of medicine, epidemiology and population health at Stanford University, joins Mark Levin on ‘Life, Liberty & Levin’ on Apr. 20, 2020Credit: FOX News

Ioannidis’ research, released in pre-print form – meaning it had not been peer-reviewed – was used by conservatives and Republicans to push for the US to end shutdowns.

Two weeks after the study was released, its authors posted a revision, but Ioannidis had already appeared on several media outlets talking about the results.

“Most of the population has minimal risk, in the range of dying while you’re driving from home to work and back,” the renowned scientist told Fox News.

As of May 23, 96,802 people had died of coronavirus in the US, and 340,653 people worldwide had succumbed to the virus.

COVID-19 infections continue to rise in the US, as Americans flocked to beaches and national parks to mark Memorial Day weekend.

 A lab technician holds a bottle containing results for COVID-19 vaccine testing at the National Primate Research Center, run by Chulalongkorn University in Saraburi Province, north of Bangkok

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A lab technician holds a bottle containing results for COVID-19 vaccine testing at the National Primate Research Center, run by Chulalongkorn University in Saraburi Province, north of BangkokCredit: AP:Associated Press
 Doctor Paul McKay, who is working on a vaccine for the 2019-nCoV strain of the novel coronavirus in a research lab at Imperial College School of Medicine in London

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Doctor Paul McKay, who is working on a vaccine for the 2019-nCoV strain of the novel coronavirus in a research lab at Imperial College School of Medicine in LondonCredit: AFP or licensors


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