Could anyone at @NashvilleHealth or @JohnCooper4Nash's office explain how we reportedly have less ICU capacity today than we did at the height of our winter COVID wave in late December, when COVID hospitalizations were 2.5x higher than they are now? ImageImageImage
Like, the only conclusions one can draw from this is that either:
- ICU capacity is completely uncorrelated with COVID infection rates and hospitalizations; or
- The city is changing the denominator in the capacity calculation to render it effectively meaningless.
cc: @tnnaterau @StacyCase_ @BrettKelman @flakebarmer - I've beaten the "hospital capacity metrics are completely the opposite of transparent in Nashville" drum for months now. But seriously - what's going on here?
Also cc: @Vivian_E_Jones in case she can help get some answers. I think we can all agree at the very least that this violates basic intuition.

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More from @malkusm

28 Feb
On Jan 5, Dr. William Schaffner, infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt & adviser to Mayor John Cooper's office, told the Tennessean that there would be a post-holiday "infection surge [which] will trigger an increase of hospitalizations and deaths."

The opposite happened. Image
Link to article:…

Link to Tennessee hospitalization data:…
I'm no journalist, but a good question for Dr. Schaffner might be: "Why do you think the post-holiday surge you predicted never came, and what have you learned since you made that prediction?"

While we're at it, we can ask about the statements he gave to TIME on masks in March! Image
Read 4 tweets
6 Jan
Clearly, anyone who thinks school closures are doing great harm to children is just playing politics. That's why publications on the right, such as NPR, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the New Yorker, The Atlantic, and CBS News have all chimed in to support it.
NPR article 1 - in which they have the audacity to suggest that schools are not contributing to spread and that "going to school is really vital for children." What a Trumpian statement.…
NPR article 2 - in which they relay a vast right-wing conspiratorial talking point that 3 million children have gone missing amidst the pandemic, with school closures as a culprit. Is this responsible journalism, NPR?…
Read 9 tweets
25 Nov 20
There are so many problems with this that I don't know where to begin.
1. No evidence is presented that infections are reduced by keeping schools closed. That's because there is no such evidence.
2. The number of children infected by COVID-19 is as irrelevant as the number infected by the flu - a number that we've never known, despite its higher risk of both death and long-term effects to children.

What matters is: Are kids transmitting to adults, to teachers?
3. The answer to that is universally "no."
Many studies, such as this one, show that children transmit the virus to other children well, but to adults on a much more limited basis.…
Read 10 tweets
17 Nov 20
THREAD: At the risk of beating a dead horse, I thought I'd compile all of the recent data and evidence associated with schools:
- Are they safe?
- How are other countries handling them?
- What are the costs of school closures?

OK, let's go!
1/ In an email to families, Nashville school director Dr. Adrienne Battle warned that schools may return to virtual learning for elementary students.
But she notes that "Nearly all the [MNPS] cases have been contracted outside of the classroom or school."…
2/ This echoes the findings of researchers & health authorities in the US & internationally.
Even Dr. Fauci has acknowledged that as of mid-Oct, despite 30 mil kids in US schools, "there has not been an indication" that this was driving community spread.
Read 20 tweets
15 Oct 20
1/ I earnestly looked into this, because I wanted to know how they arrived at these results.

"[B]ased on predictive models, COVID-19 impacts could be lessened by up to 47% if a majority of people wear masks."

Oh, boy, predictive models? I thought we'd learned our lesson here.
2/ "Predictive model" here is a fancy way of saying "our results are based on parameterized inputs, not empirically observed data."

Still, let's give them the benefit of the doubt, shall we? Here's the paper. Let's dive in!…
3/ As expected, the model is based on parameters derived from other literature.
On masks:
"We chose a conservative non-medical mask efficacy, eM = 20%, within the estimated range for reducing disease transmission during interactions between susceptible and infected individuals."
Read 17 tweets
14 Oct 20
Thanks, Meghan, for covering tonight's board meeting. I appreciated the opportunity to meet with concerned parents and teachers beforehand, and to lay out some of the facts surrounding the costs of school closures for the board.

References to statements I made follow (THREAD).
Count/list of Texas school districts who have announced an end to in-person learning, and selected statements from school districts which did so. Thanks @therealarod1984 for compiling and staying on top of this.
I made two references to independent studies of absenteeism in schools and the widening gap between students in affluent districts versus those in poor/impoverished districts. Here is the first, from the Dallas Morning News, covering 80 districts.…
Read 8 tweets

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