Dr. Safa Mote Profile picture
Applied Mathematician (Math PhD), Systems Scientist (Physics PhD) @UofMaryland. Pianist, music aficionado. Not political. Follows/Likes/RTs ≠ endorsements.
23 Jun 20
Thread: #Mexico, #Brazil, #India, #Pakistan, #Chile, #Colombia are experiencing alarming #coronavirus outbreaks and rapid ACCELERATION in cases & deaths.

On June 21, @DrEricDing tweeted the concerning statement below about Mexico.

On June 22, Dr. Ellie Murray of Boston University posted a response, calling @DrEricDing's tweet "bad and misleading".

A number of other Infectious Disease Epidemiologists (ID Epis) joined Dr. Murray to criticize @DrEricDing, mostly with disrespectful tweets.

@DrEricDing was the first epidemiologist who correctly broke the news about the #coronavirus pandemic on 2020 Jan 20. He received a similar backlash from some ID Epis for making minor inaccurate statements, and was called an "alarmist" & a "fear-monger".

Read 16 tweets
18 Jun 20
Thread: Wearing masks is our best defense against the #coronavirus.

@WhiteHouse press secretary said today that masks are no longer required in West Wing. Many tweets also advise against masks.

Result: Colossal failure of the US #COVID response.


An example of anti-mask rhetoric can be seen in the video below by a Mr. Huff. I will explain why everything that he says here is scientifically incorrect and a danger to public health. (I do not know Mr. Huff or his motivations.)

I am not comparing the US to the several dozen countries that have mostly controlled this epidemic, e.g., #Taiwan, #Iceland, #SouthKorea, #Japan, #Thailand, #NewZealand, #Australia, #Austria, #Switzerland, #Greece, #Norway, etc. Some of them never even had to lock down.

Read 17 tweets
26 May 20
Thread: Predicting #COVID deaths in the US from 8k to 100k.

I started predicting the US COVID death toll ~2 months ago. All of my predictions to date have proven accurate. The most painful predictions I have ever made.

Why have we failed to stop the #coronavirus in the US?

My first prediction on Apr 4 (toll @ 8k) was for the Easter Sunday (20k):

In my Apr 12 thread (toll @ 20k), I explained the fundamental systems concepts for the #coronavirus epidemic:

Read 20 tweets
12 May 20
Thread: Dump bad equations. They lead to bad decisions.

On May 10, Mr. @BorisJohnson proposed a simple equation to determine #COVID Alert Level. He then explained how the reopening policy could be shaped based on this "Threat Level".

In this thread, I will explain why this equation is not only wrong, but is also completely unnecessary — especially when we have clear alternative measures that can guide #COVID policies and decisions.

* Fast forward to tweet # 11 if you already know Dimensional Analysis.

One of the first subjects in physics is "Dimensional Analysis". It needs to be emphasized more in high school and college physics courses.

See this @wikipedia article for a technical description:


Read 30 tweets
2 May 20
Thread: Exponential to Linear & Reopening

On Apr 17, Mr. Trump predicted a MAXIMUM #COVID death toll of 60–65k in 🇺🇸.

I predicted the toll would exceed 65k by today.

That was correct (up to a 24hr reporting delay). Current tally, May 1, is 65,435.

This was my third correct prediction in a row.

My first prediction was on Apr 4 for Apr 12 (~20k deaths).

My second prediction was on Apr 12 for Apr 19 (~40k deaths).

In this pedagogical thread, I will discuss the Exponential trends in cases & deaths, transition to Linear, and the implications for reopening.

To review basic definitions for a Dynamical System, State & Auxiliary Variables, Flows, & Parameters see:

Read 41 tweets
19 Apr 20
Thread: "How to predict #coronavirus trends with Kinematics of Epidemics?"

On Apr 4, I made a spot-on prediction for US #COVID deaths by Apr 12 (~20k).

My prediction on Apr 12 for today, Apr 19, was ~35–40k deaths.

It proved accurate AGAIN. Sadly.

US #COVID death count is currently at 38,900 (@bing & @Google COVID Trackers).

In this pedagogical thread, I will explain how to use basic concepts of physics to make such predictions.

Specifically, I will describe the "Kinematics of the COVID Epidemic."

A quick review of the basics.

The first subject area that is taught in Physics is Classical Mechanics. It was also historically the first area of Physics, mainly developed by Galileo (1564–1642) and Newton (1642–1727).

Read 29 tweets
17 Apr 20
Thread on "Masks, Einstein, Interdisciplinary Science, and defeating #COVID."

In 1905, which @AlbertEinstein called his "miracle year", he published four important papers. One of them was on "Brownian Motion":


Brownian motion is the random motion of particles suspended in a fluid (gas or liquid) as a result of collision with that fluid's molecules.

Brownian motion clearly explains why tiny mucous droplets that are carrying #coronavirus can stay suspended in air for several hours.

Combined with the observation that the #coronavirus can survive in the air for several hours, it was obvious that masks (or face covers) would be necessary to slow the spread of #COVID.

Read 19 tweets
12 Apr 20
On Mar 24, we had ~800 #COVID deaths in the US. On Apr 4, when the count was at ~8,000, I predicted ~20,000 deaths by Easter Sunday, Apr 12.

My prediction was spot on. Current tally is 20,600.

In this PEDAGOGICAL thread, I will explain how I came up with this number. This thread is not meant for systems experts.

I became interested in, and very concerned about, the spread of #coronavirus since January 2020, when I saw the initial datasets from #Wuhan.

I am an applied mathematician, and I specialize in modeling dynamic systems, besides other things. I am not an epidemiologist, but the spread of infectious diseases are governed by the same mathematical rules that govern dynamical systems in general.

Read 35 tweets
19 Mar 20
@alexandrosM @NAChristakis @Stanford @jflier @COVID2019app Below, Dr. Marc Lipsitch @mlipsitch, Professor of Epidemiology @Harvard, reponds to Ioannidis's comments.

Nobody denies the helpfulness and importance of collecting more data.

But doing nothing would be equivalent to...


@alexandrosM @NAChristakis @Stanford @jflier @COVID2019app @mlipsitch @Harvard ...telling weather forecasters "we don't YET have enough evidence of a hurricane [that is going to land in a week], so let's not evacuate."

Scientific Prediction is indeed one of the important achievements of science.

Now is not a time to deny science and scientific method.
@alexandrosM @NAChristakis @Stanford @jflier @COVID2019app @mlipsitch @Harvard Now is not a time to act divisive.

We have a common enemy, so we must unite in the war against #coronavirus, led by scientists, and brave, selfless physicians, nurses, and other healthcare workers.

Read 6 tweets
19 Mar 20
@PoliticoRyan Dear @PoliticoRyan: Thank you for your nice analysis. I completely agree w India & homeless/refugee shelters (#1 & #3). But not so sure about #Russia, #Germany, & #Iceland. Rate of spread depends on PREVENTION/MITIGATION POLICIES in a community/country.
@PoliticoRyan #Russia seems to have established very strict intervention measures, including mandatory quarantines and lockdowns. They are probably not truthful about their testing stats, but that has not much to do with the dynamics of disease spread.
@PoliticoRyan For example, #China most probably underreported cases/deaths by at least 10×, but they succeeded in controlling the spread through strict nationwide prevention/mitigation measures.
Read 10 tweets
18 Mar 20
@ErickFernandez I am not a political person. But this eye-opening video compilation points to a much deeper problem in our society.

The education system in our country has failed to teach science to students, and our media/tv/movies constantly degrade scientists.
@ErickFernandez So, people listen to pundits and celebrities instead of scientists and experts. These experts have scientifically studied a problem for years, therefore understand it better and can design methods of prevention and mitigation.
@ErickFernandez This same problem also applies to career politicians who have no understanding of how complex systems work, yet they make policies and decisions for a country, a highly complex system with many types of underlying interactions and feedbacks.
Read 7 tweets