The microblog: 2021.06.01 12:00:51

2021.06.01 12:00:51 (1399667248977956867) from Daniel J. Bernstein, replying to "Carl T. Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom)" (1399230799023587331):

With all due respect, it's time to call bullshit! An honest confession wouldn't hide behind statistical jargon. It would say "At the outset, I wanted to believe that COVID was no more transmissible than flu. So I believed it, and for months overconfidently ignored contrary data."


2021.05.31 07:04:20 (1399230239071375362) from "Carl T. Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom)", replying to "Carl T. Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom)" (1399230200118796291):

3. I considered it unlikely—though not impossible—that we'd see increases in transmissibility of the scale of B.1.1.7 or B.1.617.2 within the first few years of circulation. Here I was both anchoring on flu and comparing to the greater genetic variation available to flu.

2021.05.31 07:04:34 (1399230300832485377) from "Carl T. Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom)", replying to "Carl T. Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom)" (1399230239071375362):

4. Through fall 2020 I thought that a very best case scenario for vaccine effectiveness was 85%. Again, anchoring on flu to some degree, even though I knew that the antigenic variation we see in flu would not be there for COVID.

2021.05.31 07:05:43 (1399230590193266695) from "Carl T. Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom)", replying to "Carl T. Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom)" (1399230300832485377):

In retrospect, where I've been wrong about things for COVID, it's been not so much because of poor inferences from available data, but rather because my priors were not flat enough.

2021.05.31 07:06:33 (1399230799023587331) from "Carl T. Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom)", replying to "Carl T. Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom)" (1399230590193266695):

Why? Probably because I spent the 2000s thinking about how prepare for a flu pandemic and clearly this—along with knowledge of the epidemiology of other human respiratory RNA viruses—influenced my priors around COVID too strongly.