The heralded model United Kingdom experts have largely used to guide their coronavirus policies is “totally unreliable,” according to experts.
The criticisms follow a series of policy turnabouts, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to extend the national lockdown. The United States also used the model, which predicted upwards of 2.2 million deaths in the US without proper action. The prediction helped influence the White House to adopt a more serious approach to the pandemic.
Experts have derided the coding from Professor Neil Ferguson, warning that it is a “buggy mess that looks more like a bowl of angel hair pasta than a finely tuned piece of programming.”
“In our commercial reality, we would fire anyone for developing code like this and any business that relied on it to produce software for sale would likely go bust,” David Richards, co-founder of British data technology company WANdisco, told the Daily Telegraph.
Ferguson, the virus modeler from Imperial College London and a scientific adviser to the government, warned on March 16 that 500,000 people could die from the pandemic without significant action. Prime Minister Boris Johnson responded by imposing a national lockdown, which has only been loosened within the last week.