To all the shrieking panic-ninnies cowering under their beds in full Level-4 Biohazard gear: hope it was worth it.
The … crisis we face is unparalleled in modern times,” said the World Health Organization’s assistant director, while its director general proclaimed it “likely the greatest peacetime challenge that the United Nations and its agencies have ever faced.” This was based on a CDC computer model projection predicting as many as 1.4 million deaths from just two countries.
So when did they say this about COVID-19? Trick question: It was actually about the Ebola virus in Liberia and Sierra Leone five years ago, and the ultimate death toll was under 8,000.
With COVID-19 having peaked (the highest date was April 4), despite the best efforts of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to increase numbers by first saying any death with the virus could be considered a death from the virus and then again this week by saying a positive test isn’t even needed, you can see where this is going.
Since the AIDS epidemic, people have been pumping out such models with often incredible figures. For AIDS, the Public Health Service announced (without documenting) there would be 450,000 cases by the end of 1993, with 100,000 in that year alone. The media faithfully parroted it. There were 17,325 by the end of that year, with about 5,000 in 1993. SARS (2002-2003) was supposed to kill perhaps “millions,” based on analyses. It killed 744 before disappearing.
Later, avian flu strain A/H5N1, “even in the best-case scenarios” was to “cause 2 (million) to 7 million deaths” worldwide. A British professor named Neil Ferguson scaled that up to 200 million. It killed 440. This same Ferguson in 2002 had projected 50-50,000 deaths from so-called “Mad Cow Disease.” On its face, what possible good is a spread that large? (We shall return to this.) But the final toll was slightly over 200.
In the current crisis the most alarming model, nay probably the most influential in the implementation of the draconian quarantines worldwide, projected a maximum of 2.2 million American deaths and 550,000 United Kingdom deaths unless there were severe restrictions for 18 months or until a vaccine was developed. The primary author: Neil Ferguson. Right, Mad Cow/Avian Flu Fergie.
Then a funny thing happened. A mere nine days after announcing his model, Ferguson said a better number for the U.K. would be only 20,000. The equivalent would be fewer than 80,000 American deaths. Technically, that U.K. number was buried in a table in the report under what might be called “a fantastic case scenario.” But could that reduction possibly reflect a mere nine days of restrictions? No.
Soon all the numbers were tumbling. Yet as late as March 31, the New York Times declared: “White House Projects Grim Toll from Virus” citing White House Coronavirus Task Force head Deborah Birx and director of the National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci, who in turn cited a model showing deaths up to 240,000. Still awful, but Birx explicitly backed off the Ferguson projection for which she had previously been the Grey Lady’s pompom girl.
Then suddenly Fauci announced a flat figure of “more like 60,000,” the same number the CDC says died of flu two years ago. Probably not coincidentally, until quite recently the agency said there were 80,000 flu victims that year, before lowering it to 61,000 – presumably because people were using that figure to compare to COVID-19 deaths. In any event, the 1968-1969 “Hong Kong flu” killed an estimated 100,000 Americans, or 165,000 adjusted to today’s population.
Moreover, as noted, the CDC now encourages coding a death of anyone “if the circumstances are compelling” even though they haven’t been tested at all. Yeah, wow; it’s not a “conservative myth.” During flu season, that means a lot of flu victims have magically become COVID-19 victims in addition to people who would have otherwise had cause of death listed as heart attack, diabetes, and other co-morbid conditions.
Get hit by a truck, die of COVID19. Get shot by a home-invader, die of COVID19. Jump off a building, die of COVID19. Hey, maybe it IS a “magic virus” after all!
Model defenders declare the plummets were based on the success of severe restrictions of civil liberties. “It just means we won,” declared an article in The Atlantic. Wrong. The bottom range of the models presumes the best-case scenario. If the low end is 100,000, that’s the low end.
This is what what they are, it’s what they do. The entirely-predictable Progressivist progression goes something like this: be back-asswards wrong about something, exaggerate and overhype something, fuck things up badly because of it, then either A) claim to have been right along, that without your farsighted palliative measures things would undoubtedly be a hell of a lot worse; B) claim you failed only because your already-extreme measures just didn’t go far enough; or C) blame Reagan/Bush/Trump/conservatives for the mess you made. If none of those options fools anybody to Proggy’s satisfaction, then we’ll get: HEY, LOOK, OVER THERE! CLIMATE CHANGE/COMMON SENSE GUN CONTROL/HOMELESS EPIDEMIC/RAPE CULTURE/OPIOID CRISIS/RUSSIAN BOTS!!!!
Bottom line? This:
That’s not proof that public health interventions are worthless; merely that since the Plague of Athens four centuries B.C. and before, epidemics have risen and fallen quite on their own. Nobody needed Big Brother looking over their shoulder and cracking a whip; nobody needed to implode their economies and leave their citizens with tops reading: “I survived the ‘worst epidemic in history’ and all I have left is this crummy t-shirt.”
Leaving us with one simple question: can a hard number be put on how many times goobermint “experts” like Fauci have to be proven wrong before the shrieking panic-ninnies finally lose their purblind faith in them? Or will good ol’ Charlie Brown go right on attempting to kick that football no matter what, forever and ever, amen?