Do the controversial lockdowns, the preferred strategy to fight the coronavirus pandemic, actually work?
This is a critical question, because virtually the entire American population has been sent into hiding at a mega-trillion cost to the economy, based on the scientific (we are told) evidence that it is the best and, perhaps, the only way to fight the pandemic.
But such evidence is hard to find because an entire nation of some 330 million people has never been shut down, leaving a big void in scientific literature.
So, Wilfred Reilly, an assistant professor of political science at Kentucky State University, set out to answer the question: "Did lockdown states experience fewer Covid-19 cases and deaths than social-distancing states?" He concluded:
The answer? No. The impact of state-response strategy on both my cases and deaths measures was utterly insignificant.
Considering the millions of jobs lost, the devastating impact of shutting down
society and, and, most importantly, the thousands of deaths cause by the coronavirus, Reilly's research is bound to be viciously attacked.
Reilly understands that and invites researchers to access his research and run their own by requesting it here. In other words, he's inviting anyone to conduct their own peer review.
He'll be challenged on the basis that in trying to compare the effectives of the shutdown in states that imposed it and those that didn't he will be comparing apples to oranges because states are so different demographically.
Using regression analysis, Reilly took into account those differences by including the demographic variables of "population, population density, median income, median age, diversity (measured as the percentage of minorities in a population), and the state’s Covid-19 response strategy (0 = lockdown, 1 = social distancing).
The result: "There is no relationship between lockdowns and lower Covid-19 deaths."
So, how did we get to the point where lockdowns became the only accepted strategy? Reilly writes:
The original response to Covid-19 was driven by an understandable fear of an unknown disease. The epidemiologist Neil Ferguson projected that 2.2 million people could die in the US alone, and few world leaders were willing to risk being the one who would allow such grim reaping to occur.
However, as time has passed, new data have emerged. A top-quality team from Stanford University has pointed out that the infection rate for Covid-19 must logically be far higher than the official tested rate, and the fatality rate for the virus could thus be much closer to 0.1 per cent than the 2 to 4 per cent that was initially expected. And empirical analyses of national and regional response strategies, including this one, do not necessarily find that costly lockdowns work better against the virus than social distancing.
Posted in the interest of rational debate.
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