Archive for the ‘Covid – Economic Consequences’ Category

Biden: “As promised, I crushed the virus … and you can take your masks off”

March 1, 2022

Will he dare to say that?
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It’s ok to cheer on the latter point.

Miraculously, the science changed last week … and the CDC was able to issue new guidance that let’s most people (including school kids!) to toss their masks.

About a year late and, coincidentally, just in time for Biden’s SOTU address.

Whatever.

Let’s cheer the revised guidance!

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But, what about the broader claim: “I crushed the virus”?

Remember when Biden taunted that Trump was responsible for all the Covid deaths while he was president?

Soon America will have accumulated 1 million Covid-tagged deaths … currently at 973.119 and counting.

I doubt that Biden will point out that the majority of the deaths have happened under his watch … despite Trump handing him 2 approved vaccines that were in production and ready for distribution.

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And, I doubt that Biden will mention CNN’s headline:

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Point-of-fact, almost 1,500 people are still succoring to Covid-tagged deaths each day … many because Biden had put the development and distribution of therapeutic drugs on the back-burner.

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And, I doubt that he’ll mention that his CDC was forced to admit that it had been hiding data on Covid hospitalizations, vaccine effectiveness and breakthrough infections … politically fearing that the information might be “misinterpreted” by non-government scientists … and the public at large.

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Finally, I doubt that that Biden will spotlight the Johns Hopkins study that concluded:

Lockdowns have had little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality.

But, they imposed enormous economic and social costs.

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Bottom line: We’re finally at a good spot on Covid … but I’ll cringe if Biden claims that he “crushed the virus”.

We’ll see if “Straight- shooting” Joe shoots straight on this one.

JHU Study: Lockdowns didn’t reduce COVID-19 mortality…

February 8, 2022

… but, they did  reduce economic activity and schooling, imposing “enormous” economic and social costs.
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Up to now, Johns Hopkins has been regarded as the Gold Standard for Covid data collection and scientific analysis.

So, it’s disappointing (but not surprising) that the mainstream media has given so little coverage to a study released this week

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Why so little coverage?

Though the study rigorously “followed the data and the science” … it’s headlined conclusion doesn’t square with the Faucian-driven.  pro-lockdown narrative

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The study

The study was a “systematic review and meta-analysis designed to determine whether there is empirical evidence to support the belief that lockdowns reduce COVID-19 mortality.”

The authors defined lockdowns as the imposition of at least one compulsory, non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI).

NPIs are any government mandate that directly restrict peoples’ possibilities, such as policies that limit internal movement, close schools and businesses, and ban international travel.

This study “employed a systematic search and screening procedure in which 18,590 studies were identified that could potentially address the belief posed.”

After three levels of rigorous, well-documented screening, 24 studies qualified for inclusion in the meta-analysis.

The 24 were separated into three groups: lockdown stringency index studies, shelter-in-place-order (SIPO) studies, and specific NPI studies.

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The conclusion

“An analysis of each of these three groups support the conclusion that lockdowns have had little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality.”

More specifically, stringency index studies find that lockdowns in Europe and the United States only reduced COVID-19 mortality by 0.2% on average.

SIPOs were also ineffective, only reducing COVID-19 mortality by 2.9% on average.

Specific NPI studies also find no broad-based evidence of noticeable effects on COVID-19 mortality.

“While this meta-analysis (i.e. review of other studies) concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects … they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted.”

In summary, the authors don’t mince words…

“In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.”

Ouch!

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The Rebuttal

Predictably, “experts” are saying that the study has serious flaws and is being misinterpreted.

According to Medscape, the objections being raised are:

  1. The paper hasn’t been peer reviewed
  2. The lead author is an is an applied economist, not an epidemiologist, public health expert, or medical doctor.
  3. The authors are anti-lockdown libertarians.
  4. The studies selected for the meta-analysis were cherry picked to support a preconceived conclusion.
  5. The authors applied a questionable definition of “lockdown.”
  6. The authors fudged the numbers, “deriving some mathematical estimates indicating less benefit than the papers suggest.”

My take: The authors spell out — in excruciating detail — their methodology, sources and mathematics. That’s more than most of the “experts” have done the past couple of years.

I’d love to see the authors and their critics face off in a debate on this one …  that would beat just dismissing a counter-narrative finding.


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