Remember when Cuomo (and the media) trashed Trump for not believing the models?

Now, the Gov. says all of the models and projections were wrong (but it’s not his fault)

You could see this one coming a mile away…

A couple of weeks ago, Gov. Cuomo repeatedly (and loudly)  sounded the alarm that New York needs 30,000 ventilators from the Feds .. and urged President Trump to use the Defense Production Act to force companies to make more ventilators, pronto.

Trump pushed back, saying that the numbers just didn’t pass the smell test.


Countering that was easy pickings for Cuomo, who immediately shot back.


Gov. Cuomo defended the state’s request for 30,000 more ventilators to save coronavirus patients.

After all, he gathered predictions from Weill Cornell Medicine, the CDC and blue chip consulting firm McKinsey and Company.

All the predictions say you could have an apex needing 140,000 beds and about 40,000 ventilators. We only have 11.000.”

Upping the ante, Cuomo decided that he could use the situation to school the seat-of-the-pants President.



Prof. Cuomo opined:

Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion, but I don’t operate here on opinion.

I operate on facts and on data and on numbers and on projections

Those are numbers, not I feel, I think, I believe, I want to believe.

I make the decisions based on the data and the science … and that’s what the data and the science says.

Whoa, Nellie.

Confronted with Cuomo’s “data and science”, Trump gave in …. using the DPA to order tens of thousands of ventilators, building make-shift hospitals in each of NYC’s boroughs, converting the Javitts Center into a 2,500 bed hospital (in 3 days) , and sending the 1,000-bed USNS Comfort Hospital Ship to New York Harbor.

All because Cuomo’s “data and science” was bedrock. After all, the media said so.


Fast forward to today.

Cuomo now concedes that NY is near “the apex” and if  current trends hold,  the need for hospital capacity should remain roughly where it is now at about 18,000 beds (versus the 140,000) ….. few of the make-shift hospital beds have had any patients … and, despite the Feds “only” shipping about 4,000 ventilators to NY, no patient needing a ventilator has been denied one.

Cuomo’s explanation: “It’s on me. It’s my job to review the models and stress-the numbers, and then use my judgment and common sense to make good decisions.  I blew it.”

I’m just kidding, of course.

Cuomo offered no such mea culpa.

Predictably, he turned on the modelers and consultants:

“All of the projections and all of the statisticians were 100 percent wrong.”  Source

How did they miss so badly?

There were intangibles that they couldn’t count in those models.

They couldn’t count the spirit of New Yorkers and the love of New Yorkers to step up and do the right thing. Source

Say, what?

Gee, that sounds like “I think, I feel, I believe” kinda stuff to me.

I’ve been scouring the internet to find media concessions that: “Trump was right, Cuomo and his models were wrong.

I’m betting the under on finding any.


A reminder: Models are decision tools, not oracles or decision makers”

It’s a manger’s job to stress-test models and their outputs … applying common sense and experienced judgement.

Kinda like what President Trump did.

It’s bush to blame the models, Governor.


Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

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2 Responses to “Remember when Cuomo (and the media) trashed Trump for not believing the models?”

  1. April 13: Covid-19 UPDATE | The Homa Files Says:

    […] News & Views on Marketing, Economics & Politics « Remember when Cuomo (and the media) trashed Trump for not believing the models? […]

  2. Deepak Gupta Says:

    Prof Homa, at times its better to err on the wrong side of the model than right side and overreact..thats what Cuomo did.. Imagine the hell that would have broken if response was delayed another week and people kept on believing what DJT kept on labeling it as Dem Hoax. I know instead of making DJT responsible you have put misinformation on his advisers, maybe that is the case with Cuomo as well? Had DJT should have also questioned ( or stress tested his advisers assumptions) we could have been in a better shape. Don’t you think so?

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