Note: This thread is related to #Coronavirus #COVID19

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Dr. Safa Mote+ Your Authors @SafaMote Applied Mathematician (Math PhD), Systems Scientist (Physics PhD) @UofMaryland. Pianist, music aficionado. Not political. Follows/Likes/RTs ≠ endorsements. Jun. 23, 2020 3 min read + Your Authors

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.


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".


He was eventually regarded as correct by leading journalists who have long worked on climate change activism and alarmism: 


If only instead of nit-picking @DrEricDing's statements for technical details these ID Epis had amplified his key message about an imminent pandemic, we could have been living in a different world today.


Constructive criticisms of statements and respectful scientific debates are essential. But attacking fellow scientists personally only damages science and scientific institutions.

Moreover, we shouldn't forget the big picture and lose the view of the forest for the leaves.


I have only met Dr. Ding on @Twitter in 2020. He does have a doctorate in epidemiology and nutrition from @Harvard.

The earliest Atlantic article against Dr. Ding has since been recanted by @TheAtlantic journalist who expressed regret for writing it:


Dr. Liu — a Professor of Epidemiology at Brown SPH and a former CDC Epidemic Intelligence Officer who had supervised Dr. Ding's PhD @Harvard 2004–2007 — believes Dr. Ding was justified and should be recognized for blowing the whistle on the pandemic. 


I am not an ID Epi. I am an applied mathematician. I was able to understand the #coronavirus dynamics & spread by studying the published data. I also predicted in late January that a pandemic would happen if we did not strictly contain the virus.


A number of other non-epidemiologists also predicted a pandemic in late Jan, e.g., Complex systems scientists @nntaleb @yaneerbaryam @normonics; Macroeconomists @chrismartenson @EpsilonTheory @ErikSTownsend @PrometheusAM @suvyboy; Journalists @Laurie_Garrett @HelenBranswell.


A minority group of epi/med experts did warn of a pandemic by early Feb, eg: @MackayIM @CT_Bergstrom @NAChristakis @EricTopol @devisridhar @florian_krammer @trvrb @joel_mossong @mlipsitch @drdanchoi @ScottGottliebMD @_stah @cmyeaton @AdamJKucharski @nataliexdean @gmleunghku.


A positivity rate of 50% in #Mexico shows inadequate testing; it does not by itself prove undercounting of cases. But comparing deaths (#2) & cases (#5) curves relative to other countries ⬇️ shows that Mexico's cases are undercounted.

So, Mexico's situation is indeed grave.


Furthermore, the positivity rate is a well known proxy for the severity of an outbreak. See, for example: 


#Mexico is not alone. #Brazil, #India, #Pakistan, #Chile, #Colombia are experiencing alarming outbreaks. It is not just that the daily counts of cases and deaths are rather high in these countries. The steep upward slope, which shows RAPID ACCELERATION, is a greater concern.


To read further about the meaning of slopes of the deaths & cases curves, the velocity & acceleration of epidemic, and my theory of Kinematics of Epidemics, see the thread below:


Let’s all be more respectful of each other and focus on the main problem: how to defeat #COVID.

Face masks are our best allies:

And we should improve testing, contact tracing, and quarantine interventions.

Credit for the plots: @ft.


You can follow @SafaMote.


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