Drake discusses infectious disease modeling on CBS podcast

John Drake lectures in ecology classroom. Photo: Andrew Davis Tucker

May 13, 2020
Athens, Ga. – Distinguished Research Professor John Drake discussed infectious disease modeling on Debriefing the Briefing, a podcast hosted by CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Major Garrett covering the coronavirus pandemic, on May 7.

Drake provided an overview of different kinds of infectious disease models. He explained that some are designed to gain an understanding of the current state of an outbreak, some are used to test the outcomes of various potential intervention strategies, and others are used for forecasting and prediction.

He pointed out that unlike models used to forecast natural disasters, infectious disease models influence the course of an epidemic because the information they provide informs the decision making process of policy makers and individuals.

“Models don’t tell us how to apportion risk and they don’t tell us what to do about that risk; those are political, philosophical and operational decisions that have to be made,” said Drake, who is also the associate dean for academic affairs in the Odum School of Ecology and director of the UGA Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases. “What models can do is help us to be clear about what the consequences of different actions might be. And that’s really where we’re trying to help with this particular puzzle.”

Listen to the entire CBS Debriefing the Briefing podcast episode on infectious disease modeling: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/may-7-covid-19-modeler-john-drake/id1505853304?i=1000473931909