A Canadian infectious-disease specialist who initially supported the lockdowns in response to the coronavirus has changed his mind, concluding in his peer-reviewed study that the harm is 10 times worse than the benefits.
In an interview with the Toronto Sun, Dr. Ari Joffe explained that he supported the lockdowns after "initial false data" suggested the infection fatality rate was up to 2% or 3% and that more than 80% of the population would be infected.
"But emerging data showed that the median infection fatality rate is 0.23%, that the median infection fatality rate in people under 70 years old is 0.05%, and that the high-risk group is older people especially those with severe co-morbidities," he said in the interview, published Jan. 9.
Joffe's paper is titled "COVID-19: Rethinking the Lockdown Groupthink." He's a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at the Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, and a clinical professor in the Department of Pediatrics at University of Alberta.
Explaining further to the Toronto paper why he initially supported the lockdowns, Joffe noted he's not trained to make public policy decisions.
|Dr. Ari Joffe (Image: Canadian Critical Care Trials Group)|
"I was only considering the direct effects of COVID-19 and my knowledge of how to prevent these direct effects," he said. "I was not considering the immense effects of the response to COVID-19 (that is, lockdowns) on public health and wellbeing."
Should lockdowns be lifted?
He listed the "staggering" amount of "collateral damage" due to the lockdowns.
- Food insecurity [82-132 million more people]
- Severe poverty [70 million more people]
- Maternal and under age-5 mortality from interrupted healthcare [1.7 million more people]
- Infectious diseases deaths from interrupted services [millions of people with tuberculosis, malaria and HIV]
- School closures for children [affecting children's future earning potential and lifespan]
- Interrupted vaccination campaigns for millions of children, and "intimate partner violence" for millions of women.
"In high-income countries, adverse effects also occur from delayed and interrupted healthcare, unemployment, loneliness, deteriorating mental health, increased opioid crisis deaths, and more," he told the Toronto newspaper.
He pointed out that government and public health experts did not conduct a formal cost-benefit analysis of various responses to the pandemic.
A full cost-benefit analysis was the aim of his study, and early in his research he realized that "framing decisions as between saving lives versus saving the economy is a false dichotomy."
"There is a strong long-run relationship between economic recession and public health," he explained. "This makes sense, as government spending on things like health care, education, roads, sanitation, housing, nutrition, vaccines, safety, social security nets, clean energy and other services determines the population well-being and life-expectancy."
He said he also had underestimated the effects of loneliness and unemployment on public health.
"It turns out that loneliness and unemployment are known to be among the strongest risk factors for early mortality, reduced lifespan and chronic diseases," he told the Toronto paper.
He also took into consideration that "in making policy decisions there are trade-offs to consider, costs and benefits, and we have to choose between options that each have tragic outcomes in order to advocate for the least people to die as possible."
"It turned out that the costs of lockdowns are at least 10 times higher than the benefits. That is, lockdowns cause far more harm to population wellbeing than COVID-19 can," he told the Sun.
In contrast to Joffe, a top coronavirus adviser for Joe Biden was against lockdowns before he was for them. Michael T. Osterholm, a professor and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, formerly advocated the "focused protection" strategy now promoted by epidemiologists at Stanford and Oxford advising Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: With a 99% survival rate for most, according to the Centers for Disease Control, let the healthy go about their business while protecting the vulnerable, the people over 70 with multiple life-threatening diseases.
Osterholm warned in a March 21 op-ed for the Washington Post of the high economic and social costs of "the near-draconian lockdowns" in effect at the time in China and Italy, which ultimately don't reduce the number of cases. In November, however, he advocated a national lockdown of four to six weeks.
The CDC estimates a 99.997% survival rate for those from birth to age 19 who contract COVID-19. It's 99.98% for ages 20-49, 99.5% for 50-69 and 94.6% for those over 70. Significantly, those who died of coronavirus, according to the CDC, had an average of 2.6 comorbidities, meaning more than two chronic diseases along with COVID-19. Overall, the CDC says, just 6% of the people counted as COVID-19 deaths died of COVID-19 alone.
Joffe said he now supports the "focused protection" approach in which "we aim to protect those truly at high-risk of COVID-19 mortality, including older people, especially those with severe co-morbidities and those in nursing homes and hospitals."
In the interview with the Toronto Sun, he discussed the "contagion of fear" that guided policymakers, based on the initial false modelling and forecasting.
"Popular media focused on absolute numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths independent of context," he said. "There has been a sheer one-sided focus on preventing infection numbers."
Joffe cited economist Paul Frijters writing that it was "all about seeming to reduce risks of infection and deaths from this one particular disease, to the exclusion of all other health risks or other life concerns."
"Fear and anxiety spread," Joffe said, "and we elevated COVID-19 above everything else that could possibly matter."
"Our cognitive biases prevented us from making optimal policy: we ignored hidden 'statistical deaths' reported at the population level; we preferred immediate benefits to even larger benefits in the future, we disregarded evidence that disproved our favorite theory, and escalated our commitment in the set course of action," he said.
Joffe pointed out that in Canada in 2018, there were more than 23,000 deaths per month and more than 775 deaths per day.
On Nov. 21, for example, COVID-19 accounted for 5.23% of deaths in Canada and 3.06% of global deaths.
"Each day in non-pandemic years, over 21,000 people die from tobacco use, 3,600 from pneumonia and diarrhea in children under 5-years-old, and 4,110 from tuberculosis," he noted. "We need to consider the tragic COVID-19 numbers in context."
He called for taking an "effortful pause" to "reconsider the information available to us."
"We need to calibrate our response to the true risk, make rational cost-benefit analyses of the trade-offs, and end the lockdown groupthink," Joffe said.
COVID-19: Rethinking the Lockdown Groupthink
Version 1 : Received: 14 October 2020 / Approved: 15 October 2020 / Online: 15 October 2020 (16:02:58 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 3 November 2020 / Approved: 4 November 2020 / Online: 4 November 2020 (10:14:33 CET)
How to cite: Joffe, A. COVID-19: Rethinking the Lockdown Groupthink. Preprints 2020, 2020100330 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0330.v2). Joffe, A. COVID-19: Rethinking the Lockdown Groupthink. Preprints 2020, 2020100330 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0330.v2).
The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) worldwide pandemic in 2020. In response, most countries in the world implemented lockdowns, restricting their population’s movements, work, education, gatherings, and general activities in attempt to ‘flatten the curve’ of COVID-19 cases. The public health goal of lockdowns was to save the population from COVID-19 cases and deaths, and to prevent overwhelming health care systems with COVID-19 patients. In this narrative review I explain why I changed my mind about supporting lockdowns. First, I explain how the initial modeling predictions induced fear and crowd-effects [i.e., groupthink]. Second, I summarize important information that has emerged relevant to the modeling, including about infection fatality rate, high-risk groups, herd immunity thresholds, and exit strategies. Third, I describe how reality started sinking in, with information on significant collateral damage due to the response to the pandemic, and information placing the number of deaths in context and perspective. Fourth, I present a cost-benefit analysis of the response to COVID-19 that finds lockdowns are far more harmful to public health than COVID-19 can be. Controversies and objections about the main points made are considered and addressed. I close with some suggestions for moving forward.
COVID-19; Public Health; Lockdowns; Cost-benefit analysis; Groupthink
Copyright: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Canadian expert's research finds lockdown harms are 10 times greater than benefits
|A closed sign is seen in the window of a small business. Photo by Olivier Douliery /AFP via Getty Images / Files|
By Anthony Furey - 09. January 2021
Dr. Ari Joffe is a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton and a Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at University of Alberta. He has written a paper titled COVID-19: Rethinking the Lockdown Groupthink that finds the harms of lockdowns are 10 times greater than their benefits.
The below Q&A is an exchange between Joffe and Anthony Furey.
You were a strong proponent of lockdowns initially but have since changed your mind. Why is that?
There are a few reasons why I supported lockdowns at first.
First, initial data falsely suggested that the infection fatality rate was up to 2-3%, that over 80% of the population would be infected, and modelling suggested repeated lockdowns would be necessary. But emerging data showed that the median infection fatality rate is 0.23%, that the median infection fatality rate in people under 70 years old is 0.05%, and that the high-risk group is older people especially those with severe co-morbidities. In addition, it is likely that in most situations only 20-40% of the population would be infected before ongoing transmission is limited (i.e., herd-immunity).
Second, I am an infectious diseases and critical care physician, and am not trained to make public policy decisions. I was only considering the direct effects of COVID-19 and my knowledge of how to prevent these direct effects. I was not considering the immense effects of the response to COVID-19 (that is, lockdowns) on public health and wellbeing.
Emerging data has shown a staggering amount of so-called ‘collateral damage’ due to the lockdowns. This can be predicted to adversely affect many millions of people globally with food insecurity [82-132 million more people], severe poverty [70 million more people], maternal and under age-5 mortality from interrupted healthcare [1.7 million more people], infectious diseases deaths from interrupted services [millions of people with Tuberculosis, Malaria, and HIV], school closures for children [affecting children’s future earning potential and lifespan], interrupted vaccination campaigns for millions of children, and intimate partner violence for millions of women. In high-income countries adverse effects also occur from delayed and interrupted healthcare, unemployment, loneliness, deteriorating mental health, increased opioid crisis deaths, and more.
Third, a formal cost-benefit analysis of different responses to the pandemic was not done by government or public health experts. Initially, I simply assumed that lockdowns to suppress the pandemic were the best approach. But policy decisions on public health should require a cost-benefit analysis. Since lockdowns are a public health intervention, aiming to improve the population wellbeing, we must consider both benefits of lockdowns, and costs of lockdowns on the population wellbeing. Once I became more informed, I realized that lockdowns cause far more harm than they prevent.
There has never been a full cost-benefit analysis of lockdowns done in Canada. What did you find when you did yours?
First, some background into the cost-benefit analysis. I discovered information I was not aware of before. First, framing decisions as between saving lives versus saving the economy is a false dichotomy. There is a strong long-run relationship between economic recession and public health. This makes sense, as government spending on things like healthcare, education, roads, sanitation, housing, nutrition, vaccines, safety, social security nets, clean energy, and other services determines the population well-being and life-expectancy. If the government is forced to spend less on these social determinants of health, there will be ‘statistical lives’ lost, that is, people will die in the years to come. Second, I had underestimated the effects of loneliness and unemployment on public health. It turns out that loneliness and unemployment are known to be among the strongest risk factors for early mortality, reduced lifespan, and chronic diseases. Third, in making policy decisions there are trade-offs to consider, costs and benefits, and we have to choose between options that each have tragic outcomes in order to advocate for the least people to die as possible.
In the cost-benefit analysis I consider the benefits of lockdowns in preventing deaths from COVID-19, and the costs of lockdowns in terms of the effects of the recession, loneliness, and unemployment on population wellbeing and mortality. I did not consider all of the other so-called ‘collateral damage’ of lockdowns mentioned above. It turned out that the costs of lockdowns are at least 10 times higher than the benefits. That is, lockdowns cause far more harm to population wellbeing than COVID-19 can. It is important to note that I support a focused protection approach, where we aim to protect those truly at high-risk of COVID-19 mortality, including older people, especially those with severe co-morbidities and those in nursing homes and hospitals.
You studied the role modelling played in shaping public opinion. Can you break that down for us?
I think that the initial modelling and forecasting were inaccurate. This led to a contagion of fear and policies across the world. Popular media focused on absolute numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths independent of context. There has been a sheer one-sided focus on preventing infection numbers. The economist Paul Frijters wrote that it was “all about seeming to reduce risks of infection and deaths from this one particular disease, to the exclusion of all other health risks or other life concerns.” Fear and anxiety spread, and we elevated COVID-19 above everything else that could possibly matter. Our cognitive biases prevented us from making optimal policy: we ignored hidden ‘statistical deaths’ reported at the population level, we preferred immediate benefits to even larger benefits in the future, we disregarded evidence that disproved our favorite theory, and escalated our commitment in the set course of action.
I found out that in Canada in 2018 there were over 23,000 deaths per month and over 775 deaths per day. In the world in 2019 there were over 58 million deaths and about 160,000 deaths per day. This means that on November 21 this year, COVID-19 accounted for 5.23% of deaths in Canada (2.42% in Alberta), and 3.06% of global deaths. Each day in non-pandemic years over 21,000 people die from tobacco use, 3,600 from pneumonia and diarrhea in children under 5-years-old, and 4,110 from Tuberculosis. We need to consider the tragic COVID-19 numbers in context.
I believe that we need to take an “effortful pause” and reconsider the information available to us. We need to calibrate our response to the true risk, make rational cost-benefit analyses of the trade-offs, and end the lockdown groupthink.
Canada has already been going down the lockdown path for many months. What should be done now? How do we change course?
As above, I believe that we need to take an “effortful pause” and reconsider the information available to us. We need to calibrate our response to the true risk, make rational cost-benefit analyses of the trade-offs, and end the lockdown groupthink. Some considerations I have suggested elsewhere include the following:
We need to better educate ourselves on the risks and trade-offs involved, and alleviate unreasonable fear with accurate information. We need to focus on cost-benefit analysis – repeated or prolonged lockdowns cannot be based on COVID-19 numbers alone.
We should focus on protecting people at high risk: people hospitalized or in nursing homes (e.g., universal masking in hospitals reduced transmission markedly), in crowded conditions (e.g., homeless shelters, prisons, large gatherings), and 70 years and older (especially with severe comorbidities) – don’t lock down everyone, regardless of their individual risk.
We need to keep schools open because children have very low morbidity and mortality from COVID-19, and (especially those 10 years and younger) are less likely to be infected by, and have a low likelihood to be the source of transmission of, SARS-CoV-2.
We should increase healthcare surge capacity if forecasting, accurately calibrated repeatedly to real-time data (up to now, forecasting, even short-term, has repeatedly failed), suggests it is needed. With universal masking in hospitals, asymptomatic health care workers should be allowed to continue to work, even if infected, thus preserving the healthcare workforce.
Leaked Docs On Permament Lockdown of UK in 3 weeks!
Aplanetruth Published June 22, 2021
Rumble — Leaked Docs On Permament Lockdown of UK in 3 weeks!
Over one million protested in London.
Nicaragua Never Required Masks or Lockdowns and Crushed the Virus-Script
08. April 2021 - In case your browser doesn't play the audio of the embedded video -->> DIRECT LINK
COMMENT by Tronk
08. April 2021
Back in February, I ran comparisons of countries with the shortest and longest quarantines and the number of Covid cases. To account for the error of small numbers, I required high numbers of Covid tests per million.
Using only countries that had tested at minimum 100K out of 1M people, I chose the 10 nations that kept the longest quarantines, and the 10 that kept the shortest. The average cases/million people in the 10 most restrictive countries was 48998.1, and for the 10 least restrictive countries was 36094.2.
I then became more scrutinizing in my data and required a minimum of 350K per 1M people to be tested, so over 1/3 of the nation had to have been tested for it to be considered reliable data in the second data set. Amongst the remaining countries, the 10 most restrictive had an average case load of 54826.5 per million people, and the 10 least restrictive had 33535.9 per million cases.
After a year of data, all we've done is proven that it's better to just let the virus run its course than impose draconian measures and destroy economies and lives.
It's really unfortunate that so many people put their blinders on when the raw data proves the opposite of their narrative.
Data Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
Krit of Studio OMG via Getty Images
Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya told Newsweek that COVID-19 lockdowns are “the single worst public health mistake in the last 100 years.”
The medical professor warned that lockdowns are disproportionately impacting the poor and making wealth inequality worse.
He also explained how the areas that imposed the most draconian lockdowns didn’t see the most success in controlling the virus.
“I stand behind my comment that the lockdowns are the single worst public health mistake in the last 100 years. We will be counting the catastrophic health and psychological harms, imposed on nearly every poor person on the face of the earth, for a generation,” said Bhattacharya.
“At the same time, they have not served to control the epidemic in the places where they have been most vigorously imposed. In the US, they have – at best – protected the “non-essential” class from COVID, while exposing the essential working class to the disease. The lockdowns are trickle down epidemiology,” he added.
The professor suggested that policies should have been designed to protect the vulnerable and not used to put entire populations under de facto house arrest.
“People who are older have a much higher risk from dying from COVID than people who are younger…and that’s a really important fact because we know who his most vulnerable, it’s people that are older. So the first plank of the Great Barrington Declaration: let’s protect the vulnerable,” Bhattacharya said.
“The other idea is that the lockdowns themselves impose great harm on people. Lockdowns are not a natural normal way to live.”
Bhattacharya is one of the co-authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, which has received over 13,000 signatures from medical and public health scientists.
The declaration states that “lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health,” citing “worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come.”
A peer reviewed study published in January by Stanford researchers found that mandatory lockdowns do not provide more benefits to stopping the spread of COVID-19 than voluntary measures such as social distancing.
After analyzing the data, the researchers found “no clear, significant beneficial effect of [more restrictive measures] on case growth in any country.”
In a rare moment of truth of CNN Wednesday, Anthony Fauci admitted that there is no scientific reason why people who have had the COVID vaccine are still having their freedoms restricted.
CNN host John Berman asked Fauci “What’s the science behind not saying it’s safe for people who have been vaccinated – received two doses, to travel?”
“When you don’t have the data and you don’t have the actual evidence, you’ve got to make a judgment call,” Fauci replied, declaring that Americans will just have to trust the CDC:
As we reported this week, CNN announced that the CDC is graciously allowing vaccinated Americans some ‘limited freedoms’, prompting a huge backlash on social media where people pointed out that the health body doesn’t grant anyone their God given freedoms.
So, there is no science and the CDC is making a judgement call about how ‘free’ Americans can be. Hmmm.
Personally I don’t have the data or actual evidence Fauci is a good person so I guess I’ll just make a judgment call that he’s an evil piece of human garbage— Five Times August – “God Help Us All” OUT NOW (@FiveTimesAugust) March 10, 2021
By Matt Agorist - 01. February 2021
Despite Joe Biden running on a platform of unity to bring Americans back together, before he was even sworn in, he reneged on this promise by alienating tens of millions of Trump supporters — essentially declaring them the enemy.
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“Don’t dare call them protesters,” Biden said after the largely peaceful march on DC which ended with a few hundred goons out of tens of thousands of peaceful protesters raiding the capitol. “They were a riotous mob. Insurrectionists. Domestic terrorists. It’s that basic. It’s that simple.”
While some of the folks certainly thought they were part of some coup, the reality of the situation was nothing at all as serious as the media and establishment is claiming.
Just like Trump used Antifa violence to bolster the police state and add stricter penalties for protests, Biden is using the riot at the capitol to do the same. We predicted this outcome last month, and now it is escalating even further.
Using The DHS National Terrorist Advisory System — or NTAS — the Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning that anger “fueled by false narratives,” including unfounded claims about the 2020 presidential election, could lead some inside the country to launch attacks in the coming weeks.
This is the first time in a year that a terror threat bulletin has been issued on the system, and the first time we can find that it was issued over a domestic terror threat.
This threat bulletin is worrisome as it is all encompassing and covers a range of issues and beliefs held by tens of millions of Americans.
- Throughout 2020, Domestic Violent Extremists (DVEs) targeted individuals with opposing views engaged in First Amendment-protected, non-violent protest activity. DVEs motivated by a range of issues, including anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, and police use of force have plotted and on occasion carried out attacks against government facilities.
- Long-standing racial and ethnic tension—including opposition to immigration—has driven DVE attacks, including a 2019 shooting in El Paso, Texas that killed 23 people.
- DHS is concerned these same drivers to violence will remain through early 2021 and some DVEs may be emboldened by the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. to target elected officials and government facilities.
- DHS remains concerned that Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVEs) inspired by foreign terrorist groups, who committed three attacks targeting government officials in 2020, remain a threat.
- Threats of violence against critical infrastructure, including the electric, telecommunications and healthcare sectors, increased in 2020 with violent extremists citing misinformation and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 for their actions.
Closing out the bulletin, DHS urged Americans to report any “suspicious activity and threats of violence, including online activity, to local law enforcement, FBI Field Offices, or their local Fusion Center.”
This move comes on the heels of a a bipartisan group of police state-pushing bureaucrats in Congress who have introduced the so-called “Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act Of 2021.”
“America must be vigilant to combat those radicalized to violence, and the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act gives our government the tools to identify, monitor and thwart their illegal activities,” Congressman Brad Schneider, one of the bill’s lead sponsors, said. “Combatting the threat of domestic terrorism and white supremacy is not a Democratic or Republican issue, not left versus right or urban versus rural. Domestic Terrorism is an American issue, a serious threat that we can and must address together.”
The police state advocates and war hawks have likely been salivating over this push for a long time waiting for their perceived crisis to strike and Trump playing pied piper to his base was the perfect catalyst. When CIA war hawk John Brennan takes to national news to declare “libertarians” to terrorists, we should all be on high alert.
Luckily, those who see the bill for what it really is are speaking out against it.
Did I just hear @JohnBrennan compare libertarians to racists, bigots, fascists, authoritarians and religious extremists? Yes, yes I did. Thank you Tulsi for standing up to this. https://t.co/62AfBTKqj7
— Matt Agorist (@MattAgorist) January 26, 2021
Former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a progressive Democrat, chimed in calling this push “dangerous,” in a recent FOX News interview.
“We don’t have to guess about where this goes or where it ends,” Gabbard argues, “When you have people like former CIA Director John Brennan openly talking about how he’s spoken with appointees and nominees in the Biden administration who are already starting to look across our country for these types of movements… that in his words make up this ‘unholy alliance’ of ‘religious extremists,’ ‘racists,’ ‘bigots’ … even ‘libertarians.’”
As former Congressman Justin Amash points out, there are already countless laws on the books to prevent and punish criminal activity. Moves like this are not designed to protect Americans from crime, they are designed to usurp rights and give the world’s largest police and surveillance state a steroid shot to the arm.
“There are no serious offenses that aren’t already discoverable and punishable under existing laws. When officials say they need a new security law, what they really mean is they want new powers to surveil without a warrant or to impose severe penalties without as much evidence,” former Congressman Justin Amash said, and he is right.
Biden DHS Suggests That Nearly Everyone Dissatisfied With The Status Quo Is A Potential Terrorist
By Chris Menahan - 29. January 2021
The Biden regime, faced with the fear of multiple populist uprisings, has issued an Orwellian "terrorism" alert suggesting pretty much everyone who is against the status quo is a potential terrorist.
Using a federal system designed to warn all Americans about terrorist threats to the U.S. homeland, the Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning that anger "fueled by false narratives," especially unfounded claims about the 2020 presidential election, could lead some inside the country to launch attacks in the coming weeks.Note how they even included BLM protesters.
"Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence," according to a bulletin issued Wednesday through the DHS National Terrorist Advisory System -- or NTAS.
The system was last used to issue a public warning a year ago, when DHS issued a bulletin over potential retaliation by Iran for the U.S. assassination of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq days earlier. A year before that, DHS issued a bulletin through the same system to highlight the threat from foreign terrorist groups like ISIS or al-Qaida.
But over the past year, domestic terrorists "motivated by a range of issues, including anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, and police use of force have plotted and on occasion carried out attacks against government facilities," and "long-standing racial and ethnic tension -- including opposition to immigration -- has driven [domestic terrorist] attacks," the bulletin issued Wednesday said.
The message is clear: everyone is a potential terrorist -- so be very, very afraid and do whatever the regime demands of you.
Of course, the regime terrorizing the public to get them to submit to their tyranny is just fine!
The DHS also encouraged the public to rat on their neighbors and "report suspicious activity and threats of violence, including online activity, to local law enforcement, FBI Field Offices, or their local Fusion Center."
"If You See Something, Say Something™," the alert said (the trademark was included).
ABC News released this propaganda piece on the alert bulletin which was so over the top it would make the editors of Pravda blush:
Our corrupt ruling class are openly labeling the American people as domestic terrorists while simultaneously walling themselves off from the general public.
The New York Times on Wednesday ran an article from "former" top CIA officer Robert Grenier labeling dissenters as part of a terrorist "insurgency" and calling for them to be "defeated" like an enemy army.
PERMANENT SECURITY FENCING coming to US Capitol.— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) January 28, 2021
New statement from acting US Capitol Police chief: "Vast improvements to the physical security infrastructure must be made to include permanent fencing" pic.twitter.com/6JMPfcn1E9
Grenier said -- without evidence -- that groups such as "the Proud Boys, the Three Percenters, the Oath Keepers, 'Christian' national chauvinists, white supremacists and QAnon fantasists" are "committed to violent extremism."
Of course, we now know the Proud Boys have been led for the past two years by a "prolific" FBI informant.
Former DHS head Michael Chertoff also called the Capitol protest "domestic terrorism" and threw his support behind using "sedition" and "hate speech" laws against the American people as part of the regime's new War on Terror.
As we saw on Wednesday, the feds just indicted a Twitter troll over a meme he shared in 2016 and are threatening to throw him in prison for ten years under a rarely-if-ever-used charge of "conspiracy to violate rights"!
WRITE UP: Feds Indict Pro-Trump Twitter Troll 'Ricky Vaughn' Over Memes Shared During 2016 Election— Chris Menahan 🇺🇸 (@infolibnews) January 27, 2021
Vindictive prosecutors have already hit multiple people with ridiculous "conspiracy" charges and the Washington Post is reporting that they've "opened case files on at least 400 potential suspects and expect to bring sedition charges against some 'very soon.'"
If the regime actually wanted to bring about "unity and healing" they would be showing leniency to these protesters, ratcheting down tensions and instituting populist reforms -- instead they're labeling everyone as "domestic terrorists" and criminalizing dissent!
... while the coronavirus has lead to virtually no excess deaths in younger age cohorts, it is the younger strata of society that are the most impact by the economic shutdowns that have resulted in tens of millions of unemployed Millennials.
Reid then argued that since "younger people will be suffering most from the economic impact of Covid-19 for many years to come, we wonder how history will judge the global response." To this, however, we countered that since the economic crisis resulting from Covid-19 helped crush Donald Trump's chances for re-election and also unleashed full-blown helicopter money as well as the biggest round of corporate bailouts of insolvent and zombie companies in history, "we are confident that the tsunami of global moral hazard - which will leave tens of millions of young workers without a job - will allow central bankers to sleep soundly at night."
Unfortunately as we said at the top, this discussion "almost" happened, although in the end it did not because any time an attempt for rational discourse emerged it would be promptly and violently shouted down by the armies of virtue signalers who were also monetarily incentivized in maintaining the lockdown status quo (such as bankers, pharma and online payment companies, politicians, the media and so on) and who would instantly defer to the "scientists" as the only expert class worth opining on the critical debate of "excess covid deaths now" vs "excess deaths from economic shutdowns later."
Well, with a roughly one year delay, scientists from Duke, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins finally wrote a paper which may come as a shock to all the virtue-signaling progs out there, because its conclusion is stunning: in a nutshell, the NBER working paper ("The Long-Term Impact Of The Covid-19 Unemployment Shock On life Expectancy And Mortality Rates") finds that while there have been roughly 400,000 covid-linked deaths so far (amid extensive debate of just what is a "covid-linked death" since even crash victims are counted as covid casualties, not to mention tens of thousands of others with terminal co-morbidities), the long-term economic implications from covid-related lockdowns are dire, resulting in COVID-19-related unemployment "which is between 2 and 5 times larger than the typical unemployment shock" and resulting in a "3.0% increase in mortality rate and a 0.5% drop in life expectancy over the next 15 years for the overall American population."
The bottom line, as scientists Bianchi, Bianchi and Song find is that...
For the overall population, the increase in the death rate following the COVID-19 pandemic implies a staggering 0.89 and 1.37 million excess deaths over the next 15 and 20 years, respectively
That's bad; where it gets even worse for the world's progressives is the report's finding that the "shock will disproportionately affect" women, particularly of Hispanic heritage; African Americans; foreign born individuals; less educated adults and individuals age 16-24 - in short all those racial and social classes that are of primary concern to the "progressives" - while "white men might suffer large consequences over longer horizons" (we doubt progs will care too much about this).
In short, everyone will be hit by the covid-lockdowns, with blacks, Hispanics and women first, and white men next for a far longer period of time. And, in the process, nearly 1 million excess deaths will take place that wouldn't have taken place otherwise.
We wonder how those same progressives, who demanded wholesale economic lockdowns - because that's the only way to save even one life - will feel now that scientists explicitly state that their preferred policies will lead to nearly a million excess deaths simply from the economic shutdowns. Or, as Reid warned all the way back in July 2020 - when nobody bothered to listen - "younger people will be suffering most from the economic impact of Covid-19 for many years to come, we wonder how history will judge the global response."
Here are some more details from the NBER paper:
While the trade-off between containing the COVID-19 pandemic and economic activity has been analyzed in the short-term, there is currently no analysis regarding the long-term impact of the COVID-19-related economic recession on public health. What is more, most of the papers interested in the relation between the COVID-19 pandemic and economic activity argue, correctly, that lockdowns can save lives at the cost of reducing economic activity, but they do not consider the possibility that severe economic distress might also have important consequences on human well-being (Gordon and Sommers (2016) and Ruhm (2015)). This shortcoming is arguably explained by the fact that current macroeconomic models do not allow for the possibility that economic activity might affect mortality rates of the agents in the economy.
Which merely goes to show just how idiotic macroeconomics as a so-called "science" truly is, because if economists are truly baffled by this "shortcoming", maybe they should take a look at the millions of small businesses and unemployed service workers to emerge from the covid crisis. Anyway, continuing with the paper:
Between late March-early April, most U.S. states imposed stay-at-home orders and lockdowns, resulting in widespread shut down of business. Unemployment rate rose from 3.8% in February 2020 to 14.7% in April 2020 with 23.1 million unemployed Americans. Despite a decline to 6.7% in November 2020,the average unemployment rate over the year is comparable with the 10% unemployment rate at the peak of the 2007-2009 Great Recession and it is near the post-World War II historical maximum reached in the early 1980s (10.8%). Importantly, COVID-19 related job losses disproportionately affect women, particularly of Hispanic heritage; African Americans; foreign born individuals; less educated adults and individuals age 16-24. In fact, the unemployment rate underestimates the extent of the economic contraction as many potential workers have abandoned the workforce (especially women).
We fast-forward to the conclusion:
The long-term effects of the COVID-19 related unemployment surge on the US mortality rate have not been characterized in the literature. Thus, as a last step, we compute an estimate of the excess deaths associated with the COVID-19 unemployment shock. This corresponds to the difference between the number of deaths predicted by the model with and without the unemployment shock observed in 2020. For the overall population, the increase in the death rate following the COVID-19 pandemic implies a staggering 0.89 and 1.37 million excess deaths over the next 15 and 20 years, respectively.
These numbers correspond to 0.24% and 0.37%of the projected US population at the 15- and 20-year horizons, respectively. For African-Americans, we estimate 180 thousand and 270 thousand excess deaths over the next 15 and 20years, respectively. These numbers correspond to 0.34% and 0.49% of the projected African-American population at the 15- and 20-year horizons, respectively. For Whites, we estimate 0.82 and 1.21 million excess deaths over the next 15 and 20 years, respectively. These numbers correspond to 0.30% and 0.44% of the projected White population at the 15- and 20-year horizons, respectively. These numbers are roughly equally split between men and women.
And the damning piece de resistance which every virtue signaler will rush to burn before reading
Overall, our results indicate that, based on the historical evidence, the COVID-19 pandemic might have long-lasting consequences on human health through its impact on economic activity. We interpret these results as a strong indication that policymakers should take into consideration the severe, long-run implications of such a large economic recession on people’s lives when deliberating on COVID-19 recovery and containment measures. Without any doubt, lockdowns save lives, but they also contribute to the decline in real activity that can have severe consequences on health. Policy-makers should therefore consider combining lockdowns with policy interventions meant to reduce economic distress, guarantee access to health care, and facilitate effective economic reopening under health care policies to limit SARS-CoV-19 spread.
Needless to say, the longer the lockdowns continue, the death toll will only grow bigger across all races and social classes.
But wait, there's even more!
As we reported last week, a new peer reviewed study out of Stanford has questioned the effectiveness of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders (which it calls NPIs, or non-pharmaceutical interventions) to combat Covid-19. The study's lead author (an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at Stanford), found that "the study did not find evidence to support that NPIs were effective in preventing the spread" and that "we fail to find strong evidence supporting a role for more restrictive NPIs in the control of COVID in early 2020."
So, did left-leaning states' rushed policies in response to the pandemic - to unleash broad lockdowns, crush economies, and spark mass unemployment and poverty leading to increasing deaths of despair actually achieve anything? The short answer is no...
... while the longer answer we now know thanks to the NBER report, is yes: they made the situation for African Americans, Hispanics and women (and yes, even white men) considerably worse for at least the next two decades.
In other words, while lockdowns may not have even led to a tangible improvement in halting the spread of covid, what they will certainly do is lead to hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, in excess deaths over the next decade.
Which begs the question: now that "respected scientists" have finally quantified the "staggering" excess death toll resulting from covid lockdowns, is it time to finally have the discussion - which nobody has dared to have since about a year ago - about the cost-benefit analysis between widespread economic lockdowns, which will lead over a million early deaths, and locking down the economy every time there is even a modest rebound in covid cases...
... as per the covid we created several months ago, and which may have zero positive impact on actually halting the spread of covid?
Liberals may be able to argue with Fox News or even Republican politicians. But what happens when a peer reviewed study comes out of one of their coveted and prestigious universities in California potentially showing that their collective reaction to Covid may have been completely worthless and, as a result, may have done exceptionally more harm than good?
Along those lines, it seems like a good idea to point out that a new peer reviewed study out of Stanford is questioning the effectiveness of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders (which it calls NPIs, or non-pharmaceutical interventions) to combat Covid-19. The study's lead author is an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at Stanford.
"The study did not find evidence to support that NPIs were effective in preventing the spread," according to Outkick, who published the report.
The study, co-authored by Dr. Eran Bendavid, Professor John P.A. Ioannidis, Christopher Oh, and Jay Bhattacharya, studied the effects of NPIs in 10 different countries, including England, France, Germany and Italy.
And, when all was said and done, it concluded that: “In summary, we fail to find strong evidence supporting a role for more restrictive NPIs in the control of COVID in early 2020."
In fact, the study found “no clear, significant beneficial effect of more restrictive NPIs on case growth in any country.”
From the study:
“In the framework of this analysis, there is no evidence that more restrictive non-pharmaceutical interventions (“lockdowns”) contributed substantially to bending the curve of new cases in England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, or the United States in early 2020. By comparing the effectiveness of NPIs on case growth rates in countries that implemented more restrictive measures with those that implemented less restrictive measures, the evidence points away from indicating that more restrictive NPIs provided additional meaningful benefit above and beyond less restrictive NPIs. While modest decreases in daily growth (under 30%) cannot be excluded in a few countries, the possibility of large decreases in daily growth due to more restrictive NPIs is incompatible with the accumulated data.”
The study even looked into the potential of stay-at-home orders facilitating spread of the virus:
“The direction of the effect size in most scenarios point towards an increase in the case growth rate, though these estimates are only distinguishable from zero in Spain (consistent with non-beneficial effect of lockdowns). Only in Iran do the estimates consistently point in the direction of additional reduction in the growth rate, yet those effects are statistically indistinguishable from zero. While it is hard to draw firm conclusions from these estimates, they are consistent with a recent analysis that identified increase transmission and cases in Hunan, China during the period of stay-at-home orders from increased intra-household density and transmission. In other words, it is possible that stay-at-home orders may facilitate transmission if they increase person-to-person contact where transmission is efficient such as closed spaces.”
It continues: “We do not question the role of all public health interventions, or of coordinated communications about the epidemic, but we fail to find an additional benefit of stay-at-home orders and business closures. The data cannot fully exclude the possibility of some benefits. However, even if they exist, these benefits may not match the numerous harms of these aggressive measures. More targeted public health interventions that more effectively reduce transmissions may be important for future epidemic control without the harms of highly restrictive measures.”
You can read the full study here.
Assessing Mandatory Stay‐at‐Home and Business Closure Effects on the Spread of COVID‐19
First published: 05 January 2021
This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as doi:10.1111/eci.13484
Background and Aims
The most restrictive non‐pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) for controlling the spread of COVID‐19 are mandatory stay‐at‐home and business closures. Given the consequences of these policies, it is important to assess their effects. We evaluate the effects on epidemic case growth of more restrictive NPIs (mrNPIs), above and beyond those of less restrictive NPIs (lrNPIs).
We first estimate COVID‐19 case growth in relation to any NPI implementation in subnational regions of 10 countries: England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, and the US. Using first‐difference models with fixed effects, we isolate the effects of mrNPIs by subtracting the combined effects of lrNPIs and epidemic dynamics from all NPIs. We use case growth in Sweden and South Korea, two countries that did not implement mandatory stay‐at‐home and business closures, as comparison countries for the other 8 countries (16 total comparisons).
Implementing any NPIs was associated with significant reductions in case growth in 9 out of 10 study countries, including South Korea and Sweden that implemented only lrNPIs (Spain had a non‐significant effect). After subtracting the epidemic and lrNPI effects, we find no clear, significant beneficial effect of mrNPIs on case growth in any country. In France, e.g., the effect of mrNPIs was +7% (95CI ‐5%‐19%) when compared with Sweden, and +13% (‐12%‐38%) when compared with South Korea (positive means pro‐contagion). The 95% confidence intervals excluded 30% declines in all 16 comparisons and 15% declines in 11/16 comparisons.
While small benefits cannot be excluded, we do not find significant benefits on case growth of more restrictive NPIs. Similar reductions in case growth may be achievable with less restrictive interventions.