Epidemiological modelling is a valuable tool for public health, and Covid-19 underscores the value of such models in decision-making. But the Imperial College model implementation lends credence to the worst fears of modelling skeptics—namely, that many models are no better than high-stakes gambles played on computers. This isn’t true: well-executed models can contribute to the objective, data-driven decision-making that we should expect from our leaders in a crisis. But leaders need to learn how to vet models and data.
See also: Imperial College model used to justify UK and U.S. lockdowns deemed ‘buggy mess’ & ‘total unreliable’ by experts.