IHME Model Claims Hospital Bed Shortage in NY; Cuomo Says ‘We Have More than Enough’

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

An error in the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model cited by the White House Coronavirus Task Force became apparent on Tuesday when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there are now 90,000 available hospital beds in the state, 77,000 more than the IHME model states are available.

“We have started with a system of about 53,000 beds statewide. We’re up to about 90,000 available beds, so we have more than enough beds available.” Cuomo said in Tuesday’s press conference. (emphasis added).

According to the most recent iteration of the IHME model as updated Monday morning April 6, 13,010 regular hospital beds are available in New York State, 77,000 less than the number of beds Gov. Cuomo says are actually available.

The IHME model also significantly overstated the number of regular hospital beds that were needed in New York State on April 6 at 24,726. According to that model, there is currently a shortage of 11,716 regular hospital beds in New York State. By Thursday, April 8, the peak date in New York State, the model is projecting that 25,486 regular hospital beds will be needed for COVID-19 patients, and the state will experience a shortage of 12,476 hospital beds.

But the facts, as reported by Gov. Cuomo on Tuesday, indicate that the reality on the ground in his state is exactly the opposite of what the IHME model currently says when it comes to regular hospital beds.

At his press conference on Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo stated that 17,493 patients were hospitalized in New York State as of Monday April 6, more than 7,000 fewer than the current version of the IHME model projects for Monday.

With 90,000 regular hospital beds currently available, New York has a surplus of more than 72,000 regular hospital beds, not a shortage of 11,716 regular hospital beds as the IHME model claims. The stark difference between the facts on the ground in New York State and the IHME model projections of regular hospital beds available and needed demonstrates a huge flaw in the model.

Though the IHME model updates its results with real time actual data for number of COVID-19 cases and number of COVID-19 deaths, it does not update those results with actual regular hospital bed or actual ICU hospital bed data. Instead, the model apparently projects regular hospital bed requirements and ICU bed requirements based on an anticipated mathematical relationship between actual COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 deaths with hospital bed requirements.

At Tuesday’s press conference, Gov. Cuomo stated that the three day new hospitalization rates in New York State are down from 1,294 on April 2 to 1,226 on April 3 to 1,032 on April 4 to 676 on April 5 to 529 on April 6.

Looking at new hospitalizations by day, there were 660 new hospitalizations in New York State on April 6, 354 on April 5, 574 on April 4, 1,095 on April 3, and 1,427 on April 2, according to a chart that displayed during Cuomo’s press conference.

You can watch Gov. Cuomo’s Tuesday press conference here:

“Change in daily ICU admissions is way down, and that’s good news,” Cuomo added. A supporting chart showed that ICU admissions declined from 374 on April 1 to 335 on April 2, increased to 395 on April 3, then declined to 250 on April 4, 128 on April 5, and 89 on April 6.

Cuomo added that, “the discharge rate is right about at where at was.”

“The bad news is 5,489 New Yorkers have lost their lives to this virus,” Cuomo continued.

“That is the largest single day increase. And we talk about numbers, but that’s 731 people who we lost. Behind every one of those numbers is an individual, is a family, is a mother, is a father, is a sister, is a brother.”

“I have sent your questions to two of IHME’s senior researchers working on COVID. Will send you a response as soon as I hear from them,” a spokesperson for the IHME told Breitbart News when asked to explain this apparent error in the model.

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