Dr. John Ioannidis of Stanford: There is No Empirical Evidence for these Lockdowns
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 per cent’ 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 per cent.
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.