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Al Sparks asks below, “how do we push back?”I have a very simple but powerful proposal:
We must demand that our mayors, governors, and the federal coronavirus task force disclose the specific projections they’re using to make their lockdown decisions.
We know that every policymaker in the US is being shown curves of how the pandemic could unfold in their jurisdiction. And we know that each one of these projections must contain at least the following data: a) a projected curve of coronavirus cases/hospitalizations/deaths with no intervention, b) a projected curve of coronavirus cases/hospitalizations/deaths with whatever intervention has actually been implemented, and c) an estimation of the healthcare capacity within their jurisdiction.
Those curves don’t just contain final numbers like “up to 200,000 Americans could die this year.” They also contain intermediate projections, including predictions of how many cases there will be in, say, 10 days’ time. And as we now all know, these predictions are based on underlying assumptions, many of which truly cannot be tested due to the persistent lack of solid data on parameters such as R0, fatality rate, percentage of the population which is susceptible, etc.
There’s little use right now in criticizing epidemiologists for making the wrong assumptions when no good data is available. But for precisely that reason, the public needs the ability to test the epidemiologists’ hypotheses on an ongoing basis as more data rolls in – not just in 4 weeks’ time.
Hence my plea: demand that your local policymaker provide the entire curves of their projections, not just the final tallies. Revisit that curve in 10 days’ time. Compare the projected burden on the healthcare system with actual reports from local hospitals. Re-evaluate.
As many of you know, I’m somewhat more nervous about the risk of the coronavirus than the median Ricochet user. But I’m also far from convinced by the direst projections being bounced around. And more to the point, I am firmly opposed to blanket restrictions in liberty and to the destruction of our economy without consent of the governed. And that consent requires information. Our leaders need to provide us that information.Published in