Some Covid Links

by Don Boudreaux on February 17, 2021

in Country Problems, Current Affairs, Myths and Fallacies, Philosophy of Freedom, Risk and Safety

Jordan Schachtel decries New York strongman Andrew Cuomo’s – and other governors’ and government officials’ – mindless swallowing of reckless Covid-model predictions issued by an outfit from Washington state. A slice:

Bill Gates has never discussed the catastrophic failures of his prized “health metrics” forecasting organization, and how it has contributed to the suffering of millions of Americans. Instead, he has seamlessly washed his hands of COVID mania, and has moved on to demanding that the western world sacrifice itself in the name of the latest “crisis” that is climate change.

In December, however, Melinda Gates acknowledged that “we hadn’t really thought through the economic impacts “ of demanding that people stay locked in their houses indefinitely, among other policy requests demanded by Gates Inc.

The IHME models that demanded lockdowns and other insane restrictions relied entirely on sketchy COVID-19 data coming from the city of Wuhan, China. The early statistics concerning deaths, hospitalizations, and overall age stratification have not come close to matching the actual data on the virus. For example, IHME used a 3+% death rate when the real number *from* COVID-19 is only around 0.1%. IHME’s risk projections, which they presented as sound science, were all incredibly overinflated.

Good sense spoken by Florida governor Ron DeSantis.

Glen Bishop looks at various Covid-prediction models. He’s not impressed. A slice:

Imperial predicted 2.1 million deaths for the USA. South Dakota never locked down, hospitals were able to cope, and Imperial’s prediction would assume 5,632 deaths within months for a population of South Dakota’s size. It has been a year with only 1,803 deaths and very few daily deaths now, so the total death toll is less than a third of Imperial’s projection and South Dakota has lower death rates than many states that locked down heavily (though admittedly it is more rural than some of them).

Ferguson’s Swine Flu modelling predicted a reasonable worst-case scenario of 67,000 deaths in 2009 and Ferguson advocated school closures then. Luckily for me the Government at the time ignored this advice. There were 457 deaths.

Ramesh Thakur calls on the left and the right to unite against the tyranny of what David Hart calls “hygiene socialism.” A slice:

Is being concerned about bankrupted businesses right-wing? Those whose lives have been destroyed by constantly shifting and inconsistent rules with little basis in science, include small business owners whose talent, capital and daily grind help pay mortgages, school fees and employees’ wages. Behind every shuttered shop window lies a family story, perhaps a family home lost as collateral for a loan. When a Manchester cafe owner reopened just to survive, cops punched him. Testifying to the growing confidence in complete immunity of thugs in uniform despite the ubiquitous phone camera and widely shared videos, authorities have charged him with assaulting police.

The “let it rip” strawman is a figment of critics’ imagination. ‘Mainstream sceptics’ (is that an oxymoron?) don’t deny Covid is real, but highlight history, perspective, balance and proportionality. The scientific consensus until 2020, written into pandemic preparedness plans like the UK’s, rejected lockdowns. The consensus was sacrificed on the altar of flawed mathematical modelling with an appalling track record. They’ve proven to be catastrophically wrong in both worst and best-case estimates for the UK, US, Australia, Sweden, etc. The experience of an authoritarian government in Wuhan should have come with health warnings on data reliability and brutal suppression methods. Empirical data around the world are underwhelming in correlating hard lockdowns to falling infection and mortality curves. The latter two correlate more robustly to geography, age, underlying health conditions and seasons. An article in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation (January 4th) by Stanford University experts shows that, between less restrictive and harsh interventions, net harm vastly exceeds net gain for the latter.

Colin Tennell argues that lockdown Britain is proving deadlier than ‘free’ Sweden.

Kathy Gyngell walks us through Ivor Cummins’s latest Viral Reality Update. A slice:

But perhaps the most remarkable and damning part of this particular episode starts at about 12 minutes in, when he explains something so simple yet a truth not expressed like this before. This is his observation of the abandonment of decades of Western science by our and other governments in favour of a distinctly unscientific (in Western terms) response to the Covid pandemic. For all the the Government’s protestations about ‘following the science’, this is exactly what they have not been doing. Cummins sets out the wealth of scientific evidence on pandemic management that should have been leveraged, graphically (actually and metaphorically speaking) presenting what he terms the ‘Scientific Crisis Management’ approach, based on years of Western science experience. This is the rational approach we should have taken rather than a Chinese Communist Party version of science adopted by the WHO in 2020 and then foisted on the Western world.

It’s the one Sweden essentially adopted and which, up until 2019, was the World Health Organisation’s recommendation.

Daniel Miller applauds the fact that Peter Hitchens, unlike so very many pundits, refuses to be infatuated by power. A slice:

In March 2020, Boris Johnson and his enablers imported a public health policy from a totalitarian police state, in the face of all medical wisdom and respect for individual liberty, and launched a campaign of psychological warfare to compel public compliance. Eleven months later, the failure of this policy is evident on every level. There is next to no evidence that Britain has seen any medical benefit by transforming itself into a national plague hospital while the costs of the policy continue to mount.

Robert Wright bemoans the pandemic of ignorance.

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