Some Covid Links

by Don Boudreaux on December 27, 2020

in Country Problems, Current Affairs, Data, Myths and Fallacies, Risk and Safety, Seen and Unseen

Phil Magness details twelve significant instances in which pro-lockdowners were mistaken. A slice:

The name Neil Ferguson, the lead modeler and chief spokesman for Imperial College London’s pandemic response team, has become synonymous with lockdown alarmism for good reason. Ferguson has a long track record of making grossly exaggerated predictions of catastrophic death tolls for almost every single disease that comes along, and urging aggressive policy responses to the same including lockdowns.

Covid was no different, and Ferguson assumed center stage when he released a highly influential model of the virus’s death forecasts for the US and UK. Ferguson appeared with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on March 16 to announce the shift toward lockdowns (with no small irony, he was coming down with Covid himself at the time and may have been the patient zero of a super-spreader event that ran through Downing Street and infected Johnson himself).

Across the Atlantic, Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx cited Ferguson’s model as a direct justification for locking down the US. There was a problem though: Ferguson had a bad habit of dramatically hyping his own predictions to political leaders and the press.

The danger that Neil Ferguson poses to humanity comes not exclusively from his scientific quackery; it comes from his quackery mixed with his enchantment with totalitarian policies.

(DBx: Few individuals not at the head of any government have been as responsible for causing as much human misery and suffering as has this mad ‘scientist’ Neil Ferguson.)

Bruce Pardy rightly decries how in 2020 science was abused in order to justify tyranny. A slice:

Yet the scientific establishment has come to stand on consensus and authority. It, not the Church, is now the despot. “Obey the science” is an anti-scientific sentiment wielded to achieve public compliance with political agendas. As C.S. Lewis wrote, “In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. … It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science … Let us not be deceived by phrases about ‘Man taking charge of his own destiny.’ All that can really happen is that some men will take charge of the destiny of others.”

What Lord Sumption says about the British public in 2020 applies with equal strength to the American public in 2020 – and, indeed, to the public of most countries in this year of Covid Derangement Syndrome.

Here’s more valuable information from Phil Magness:

Google mobility data (averaged) for the 7 non-lockdown states and the 7 most heavily restricted states + DC.

Aside from the initial drop between 3/12 and the end of March, the two have dramatically diverged. This suggests the lockdowns, and not the virus, are the primary reason for the economic harm of the last last 8 months.

And here again is Phil Magness, this time on the quackery of the so-called ‘scientist’ Neil Ferguson:

With Ferguson in the news again and – apparently – back on one of the key advisory panels behind the UK lockdowns, it seems like an appropriate time to remind everyone that the Neil Ferguson pandemic model *specifically* excludes nursing homes from its projections. If you want to assess its COVID forecasts against reality, you need to also remove nursing home deaths from the count.

And since nursing homes conservatively account for at least 40% of COVID deaths, that means every single modeled scenario he published drastically exaggerated the level of general-population deaths.

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