Okay, I can't really say it's the dumbest article because there are so many competitors for the title, but this analysis (via author's tweet) is extraordinarily stupid.
Commenting on COVID-19 modeling, a reporter for The Washington Times writes:
That’s not good. But it’s not as bad as the 2017-2018 flu season, when 80,000 -plus perished. And it’s a long cry from what all the experts were warning about just a few weeks ago: First, they predicted 1.7 million Americans dead; then they redid the models (this time apparently entering a few more “facts”) and said 100,000-240,000 dead. Now, a major model relied on by the White House Coronavirus Task Force predicts about 70,000 dead by the end of August.
To address the last sentence, we are a day or two away form 70,000 deaths, today, May 4. But more problematic is the suggestion that earlier predictions were wrong because the numbers so far haven't reached the levels initially predicted. The initial number was predicated upon doing nothing to stop the spread of the virus. We've been locked down, social distancing, washing hands and doing school and work from home for several weeks. Of course, the numbers are far lower than the predictions for deaths without major intervention. Still, even with all the restrictions and precautions, we've had approximately 60,000 deaths in the last month. That's a shocking figure given all the precautions we've taken, but we didn't shut down to avert 60,000 deaths (now nearly 70,000). We shut down to avert 1/2 million to 2 million deaths. We've seen what can happen with no vaccine or immunity in the population when a deadly pandemic sweeps the nation: an estimated 657000 people died in the US as a result of the 1918 flu pandemic with a population less than 1/3 the current US population.
Regarding the comparison with the 2017-2018 flu season, I'd first note that the CDC counts the period from Oct 1 to March 31 -- a full six months as flu season, with four of those months being especially active. Even the peak month does not rival the month of April for COVID-19. Additionally, the estimate of 80,000 dead from the flu in 2017-2018 was a preliminary estimate that the CDC updated with an estimate that 61,000, most of those presumably occurring over the four-month peak season. And that was without any real coordinated precautions other than the vaccine. WHICH. WE. DON'T. HAVE. FOR. COVID-19.
If you want to discuss poor track records for predictions, in February Donald Trump predicted that COVID-19 cases would shortly go from low double digits down to zero. He also said: “Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.” He also said “I really believe they are going to have it under control fairly soon. You know in April, supposedly, it dies with the hotter weather. And that’s a beautiful date to look forward to.”
On an anecdotally-related personal note, six family members in New York have contracted the virus, two have been hospitalized, and one is still hospitalized in critical condition. I never heard of anyone in my family being hospitalized for the flu other than, possibly, my great grandmother, then in her 40s and her daughter, in her late teens, who died within a week of one another during the 1918 flu pandemic, though I don't know whether or not they were actually hospitalized. Back in those days, who knows?