Tucker Carlson asked a crucial question last night, making the case that the ‘lockdowns’ haven’t worked as advertised. Which leads to all-important follow up: If they haven’t worked, why are we causing the death by other means while destroying the economy in keeping its ‘non-essential’ parts locked down?
Defining terms: How much of the economy has been ‘locked down’?
Let’s begin by pointing out that was never a total ‘lockdown’ or ‘shut down’ as implied in the authoritarian leftist media. Trying to obtain a precise valuation on how much of the economy was ‘locked down’ has been difficult. Estimates as low as 20 – 40% have been bandied about and it should be obvious that it was never 100%. Essential services have been up always been up and running.
Why is this an important question? Because the words we use frame the discussion. They literally set the terms of the debate, including certain concepts while excluding others. This is why the authoritarian left sets a high value in controlling the language.
Plainly speaking, the terms ‘lockdown’ or ‘shut down’ have certain implications, as is the case with the phrase ‘reopen’. The false implication is that the entire economy is akin to a light switch, with it either ‘on’ or ‘off’. That is clearly not the case; the essential parts of the economy are still functioning. By all indications, that is most of the economy, with only parts effectively ‘shutdown’.
This means that like many terms of leftist pablum, at best, it is a deception by implication and at worst a complete lie. This is also seen in discussions on the common sense human right of self-defense whereby they only tout ‘gun violence’ deaths, leaving out the many-fold cases where guns have saved lives.
While there has been some social distancing, it hasn’t been 100 percent. This means that the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been spread around as several studies have indicated. It’s not as though there are millions of unexposed people that will be hit with the virus when everything is ‘opened’ back up. It will be a case of an incremental increase from what has already taken place.
The ‘flattening the curve’ bait and switch
We also have to consider the meaning of the term ‘working’ in the “Are coronavirus lockdowns working” question. NOQ colleague Stacey Lennox made the point that initially the idea was to “flatten the curve”. Spread out the infection so that healthcare providers wouldn’t be overwhelmed. The data shows that this goal has been reached. Now the left is just moving the goalposts.
Somewhere along the way, this attainable goal was switched to one that is unattainable. While we mourn for every death caused by the pandemic, everyone has to understand that this is not the absurd ‘Health or Wealth’ question. Even partially shutting down the economy will cause deaths along with economic ruin, not to mention a famine of Biblical proportions.
The plain fact is that trying to save every life is an unattainable goal, while trying to do so can also lead to more deaths. So why is the authoritarian socialist left pushing for this impossible goal? That should be plainly obvious.
Did the SARS-CoV-2 virus ‘lockdowns’ work?
Consider the evidence. So far we’ve had a number of studies that show that the infection rate is many times higher than previously thought. This means the ‘lockdowns’ haven’t worked as advertised.
As reported here, a Stanford study shows 50-85 times more people infected by the coronavirus:
The unadjusted prevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in Santa Clara County was 1.5% (exact
binomial 95CI 1.11-1.97%), and the population-weighted prevalence was 2.81% (95CI 2.24-3.37%).
Under the three scenarios for test performance characteristics, the population prevalence of COVID-19 in
Santa Clara ranged from 2.49% (95CI 1.80-3.17%) to 4.16% (2.58-5.70%). These prevalence estimates
represent a range between 48,000 and 81,000 people infected in Santa Clara County by early April, 50-
85-fold more than the number of confirmed cases.
The population prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in Santa Clara County implies that the infection is
much more widespread than indicated by the number of confirmed
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We also reported that there was a second study that showed a much lower mortality rate for COVID-19 than previously believed:
The results are from the first round of an ongoing study by USC researchers and Public Health officials. They will be conducting antibody testing over time on a series of representative samples of adults to determine the scope and spread of the pandemic across the county.
Based on results of the first round of testing, the research team estimates that approximately 4.1% of the county’s adult population has antibody to the virus. Adjusting this estimate for statistical margin of error implies about 2.8% to 5.6% of the county’s adult population has antibody to the virus- which translates to approximately 221,000 to 442,000 adults in the county who have had the infection. That estimate is 28 to 55 times higher than the 7,994 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to the county by the time of the study in early April.
In addition to this, the Boston Globe reported that Nearly a third of 200 blood samples taken in Chelsea show exposure to coronavirus:
Nearly one third of 200 Chelsea residents who gave a drop of blood to researchers on the street this week tested positive for antibodies linked to COVID-19, a startling indication of how widespread infections have been in the densely populated city.
Sixty-four residents who had a finger pricked in Bellingham Square on Tuesday and Wednesday had antibodies that the immune system makes to fight off the coronavirus, according to Massachusetts General Hospital physicians who ran the pilot study.
The 200 participants generally appeared healthy, but about half told the doctors they had had at least one symptom of COVID-19 in the past four weeks.
The point about these and other studies is two-fold:
- The infection rate is many times what was previously thought – meaning the ‘lockdown’ didn’t work as advertised.
- These studies indicate that we can reopen the parts of the economy that have been shut down.
The bottom line: It’s time to free up the economy to limit the damage.
There should be a new rule that we need to withdraw our trust from those who exploit deceptive language or outright lies. Failure to account for this only encourages more of the same. We also need to be aware of what some are getting from the use of such tactics.
The authoritarian socialist left has a predilection in exploiting other people’s pain for their political gain. This crisis is only the latest example, but it won’t be the last.
While the left loves to foist the falsehood that they are the ‘party of science’, this situation shows that this isn’t the case. They initially ‘shut down’ the economy based on estimates that have been changed over time, but that hasn’t changed their control demands.
While these are only preliminary studies, they should give pause to those listening to the dire predictions. There is also the fact that people will also die because of their centralized control of the economy. The ‘lockdown’ didn’t work as advertised. It’s time to get back to normal.
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