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.
“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.