While generative models are often a useful tool to simulate scenarios that have not occurred, inaccurate assumptions about model parameters can easily lead to model misspecification. In the case of Watson et al. 2022, they can lead to counterfactual simulations that grossly inflate estimates of deaths averted due to mass vaccinations.
Dr. Spiro P. Pantazatos is Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurobiology (Psychiatry) at Columbia University. He is also Research Scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.