This article was originally published by Wilfred Reilly at The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.
Several weeks ago, one of the USA’s better quantitative scientists, John Ioannidis of Stanford, made a critically important point. During the coronavirus pandemic, ‘we are making decisions without reliable data’, he said.
As Ioannidis and others have pointed out, we do not even know the actual death rate for COVID-19. Terrifying and widely cited case-fatality rates like ‘three percent’ come from comparing known fatalities to the small pool of people who have officially been tested. Those test cases are mostly made up of sick and symptomatic people or those who had direct contact with someone known to have had Covid-19 – rather than to the far larger pool of people who may have had a mild version of the disease. Because of the same denominator problem, we also don’t know the true infection rate. A recent German study indicates this could be as high as 15 percent.
Finally, we do not seem to know the effectiveness of the various strategies adopted by national and regional governments to respond to the disease – ranging from the advocacy of social distancing to full-on lockdowns.
This piece tackles that question. As a professional political scientist, I have analyzed data from the Worldometers Coronavirus project, along with information about the population, population density, median income, median age and diversity of each US state, to determine whether states that have adopted lockdowns or ‘shelter in place’ orders experience fewer COVID-19 cases and deaths than those which pursue a social-distancing strategy without a formal lockdown. I then briefly extend this analysis to compare countries. In short, I do not find that lockdowns are a more effective way of handling coronavirus than well-done social-distancing measures.
The most basic way to test this thesis is by direct comparison. As of 6 April, seven US states had not adopted shelter-in-place orders, instead imposing social-distancing restrictions such as banning large gatherings and mandating six-foot spacing gaps and maximum customer limits inside all retail stores. Those seven states are Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. These states reported 1,620, 2,141, 952, 343, 1,311, 2,542 and 288 cases of COVID-19 respectively as of 3:40pm EST on 16 April – for an average of 1,321 cases. The states reported 37, 60, 21, 9, 7, 20, and 2 deaths respectively, for an average of 22.3 deaths. Throwing in South Carolina, which did not adopt a shelter-in-place order until 6 April, and still allows most religious services, does not dramatically alter these figures – these states averaged 1,613 cases and 33 deaths.
How do these states measure up to the rest of the US? Rather well. According to Worldometers, by the same time the number of officially tested COVID-19 cases across the US states – including Guam, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC – ranged from 226,343 in New York to 135 in Guam. The average number of COVID cases in a US state was 12,520. The state-by-state number of deaths varied from 16,251 (New York) to two (Wyoming), with the average figure for deaths being 642. Removing the outlier case of New York state, where roughly half of all US COVID-19 deaths have taken place, shifted these figures downward somewhat – to 8,408 cases and 342 deaths in the average state. However, the social-distancing states experienced substantially fewer cases and deaths than the lockdown states, even with New York out of the mix.
An advocate of lockdowns could object that the social-distancing states are little places, located in America’s ‘flyover land’. While this charge might be based as much on the bias as reality – Utah, Nebraska and South Carolina are sizable places – the next step of my analysis was to adjust for population, using a standard deaths-per-million metric. In alphabetical order, the seven social-distancing states experienced 12, 19, 11, 12, 8, 7, and three deaths per million – for an average of 10 deaths per million when you exclude South Carolina and 12 with South Carolina included.
Again, these numbers compare very favorably to the US as a whole, despite adjusting for population. Across all US states, the number of deaths per million varied from 828 (New York) to three (Wyoming), for an average of 69. With New York removed from the mix, the hardest-hit remaining state was New Jersey, with 8,480 cases and 396 deaths. The average number of cases-per-million across the states minus New York was 1,392 and the average number of deaths-per-million was 54. Comparing the social-distancing states plus South Carolina to US states minus New York, the social-distancing states experienced 663 fewer cases per million and 42 fewer deaths per million on average than the lockdown states.
Next, I ran a regression model. For those unfamiliar with academic statistical methods, regression – in this case, linear regression – is a computerized mathematical technique that allows researchers to measure the influence of one variable on another with all of the other factors that might be relevant held constant. In this case, the variables for each state included in my model were: 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 data set used to construct this model is available for anyone to request it.
The question the model set out to ask was whether lockdown states experience fewer COVID-19 cases and deaths than social-distancing states, adjusted for all of the above variables. The answer? No. The impact of state-response strategy on both my cases and death measures was utterly insignificant. The ‘p-value’ for the variable representing strategy was 0.94 when it was regressed against the deaths metric, which means there is a 94 percent chance that any relationship between the different measures and COVID-19 deaths was the result of pure random chance.
Fair Use Excerpt. Read the whole article here.
All of this confirms that what we have here is one HUGE organized crime ring!
Now it is on display for the world to see! It cannot be denied or explained away by anything other than collusion in an attempt to use Coronavirus as a fall guy, a bail-out, a power-grab,
a Devolution, and a money laundering scheme that would replace the wars in the Middle East money laundering sceme diverting money from the Pentagon to Wall Street to using public health emergency as an excuse to launder money in the Pentagon diverting it to Wall Street!
This country is basically nothing more than an organized crime ring. Now everybody can see, that it wasn’t all in my head and something that I imagined!
If the saying paranoia will destroy ya, is true, then it will certainly be Silicon Valley, the Medical Mafia, the surveillance state, government, corporations, and scumizen spies that will be the losers in all of this, since they are so paranoid that they are spying on the world! But, I guess that when someone is as guilty as they are, they tend to get paranoid!
The communist governor of Illinois has just extended the lock down of businesses for an additional month. Until the end of May. We’re all North Koreans now. Act accordingly.
One good thing, it keeps a lot of retards off the road! I kinda like it lol.
When social distancing wasn’t adhered to during the Spanish Flu millions died. This should be prove enough. There was pressure to open businesses prematurely like there is today and the result was catastrophic with deaths numbering in the thousands.
Our constitutional rights are NOT open to debate.
Why are people claiming that the factory workers that voluntarly agreed to work 12 hour shifts and sleep and eat in a factory without leaving for a month are heroes?
No! You are not heroes! You are morons!
Why would you neec to sleep and eat there? Why would you need to work twelve hour shifts while so many are unemployed?
Does Mitt Romney own this factory?!
Why are people and John Kiriakou, Brian Becker, and Walter Smolernik on Sputnik claiming that the factory workers that voluntarly agreed to work 12 hour shifts and sleep and eat in a factory without leaving for a month are heroes?
No! You are not heroes! You are morons!
Why would you need to sleep and eat there? Why would you need to work twelve hour shifts while so many are unemployed?
Kiriakou, Becker, and Smolerik have been exposed for the slave traders that they truly are, disguised as pro-labor humanitarians! Not pro-labor! Pro-slavery!
Does Mitt Romney own this factory?!
You shedders, research chemists, and intentional growers of diseases should have nothing to fear from me, if you were truly immunized, and if I am the one covering your expenses under medical socialism.
I hope no one here is a volunteer slave. Do what you want, our country is being hijacked and we are already in an economic collapse the last decade. Kick the can down the roads and now bigger the bubble. And the Corona-hoax was cover for politicians mismanagement of the economy. Then they say BS like, we are all in this together. We have domestic terrorist already here, been here since 1960’s and their tentacles, like the 5 dancing agents on 911, Bld #7.
The pro-immigration arguments on Sputnik radio have relyed on circular-logic. They claim that Trump halting all immigration is a racist policy. This happens to be coming from the same fascist alarmists claiming that COVID-19 requires the same government reaction that would be required for nuclear bombs with radio active waste and debri that contaminated the entire country!
Maybe people recall that even in the event of the Three Mile Island disaster, Fukishima, and Chernobyl, the government never required lock-down, or, in all of the Area 51 nuclear tests in America in the 1950’s! They were far more life threatenning than COVID-19, and yeah, it probably wouldn’t have hurt to stay inside as much as possible for several weeks at least after those events!
The alarmists claim that it is white supremist racist policy to ban all immigration, ignoring the fact that Europe, Russia, Canada, Austrailia, Greenland, and New Zealand all have PREDOMINANTLY white populations that would equally be affected by the immigration ban.
If they were to say that it was a nationalist policy, that would be correct, but this is a nation, and there are valid reasons for nationalist policies!
The alarmists are also unhappy about the unemployment that has occured as a direct result of lock down policies that they wrongfully demanded!
Now they are claiming that if we don’t allow more immigration, there will be nobody to work on the farms!
What happened to the many farm workers that have been here? I can’t believe that they all died of the coronavirus!
Since unemployment now is at historic highs from over-reacting and from the financial fraud that precipitated the corona-hoax, the last thing that would make any sense is to increase immigration!
These people are truly evil conniving psychopaths!
Responses to this article if in direct contradiction won’t show up. Useless site other than the ads that you make money off.
Wow. Good stuff but a little early in the morning to be able to wrap my arms around it. He lost me at “This article was originally published…” Good solid information, I will decipher it later in the day.
Thats because this whole thing is not about THE VIRUS its about control
Dude i will listen to Gov. Cuomo and even Comrade Diblazz before I listen to your tinfoil voodoo math, so you know what why dont you follow der leaders advice drink some clorox mixed with burboun and take a UV light and put it in your mouth for like 30 minutes. And call your self cured. Me i’ll take a shot of wild turkey with a heineken chaser and i’ll call it a day.
The sick are supposed to be quarantined, not the healthy. The plan to destroy the world originates from “The Destroyer” and it is playing out as planned. Taking our country and world back, is the only hope people have and yes that means being ready to suffer and die. Fight back or accept total enslavement.
The projected deaths from all causes in the USA should be about 3,000,000 during 2020, assuming no cataclysmic events. It will be interesting to see how many fewer deaths are attributed to HEART DISEASE and CANCER due to those deaths being classified as Covid-19. LIES, DAMN LIES, and STATISTICS; thank you Benjamin Disraeli & Samuel Clemmons (Mark Twain) for the appropriate phrase.