Dr. Fauci, when asked about this in an interview with Martha MacCallum, replied that he was leery about making nation-to-nation comparisons. Then immediately mentioned a comparison to the United Kingdom where they began with a limited lockdown and jumped to something more absolute. It seeming not have to occurred to the good doctor that if it is not appropriate to compare countries that disprove your argument than it is equally unscientific to compare countries that do.Finally, state and local government officials also have interests here. The current policy having significantly amplified their importance. Thus, two states and several localities have literally banned the sale of goods and services the state (or locality) deems "non-essential." Similarly, several jurisdictions have banned church services where the congregants remain in their cars. Such examples are not meant to question motives. The best of intentions must be assumed. However, it points to the fact that the current policy is not without its trade-offs, and has implications that extend well beyond the science. Carlson, though I am not in full agreement with him on all points, has made this case and deserves credit. In this, he has avoided the intellectual errors of the fearful media and popular herd.
I think Japan are moving ever closer towards a total lockdown.
They may be, but the data says what it says and, in any case, to date - with no lockdown in the oldest population, and thus given the nature of the disease presumably the most vulnerable population, has had to date, only 85 deaths.That deserves examination. In any case, it is possible that as fear rises globally, Japanese politicians are responding more to the whims of public opinion than to a strict scientific analysis. There are, undoubtedly, a variety of practical and cultural factors at work in where Japan is and where it started.The point being that Dr. Fauci was quick to dismiss national comparisons - and then made one that served his own viewpoint. A viewpoint, as I noted, rooted in science and valid, but that does not take into account all sorts of cultural, social and political factors and is thus, inherently, incomplete as a full analysis and policy option.
What works in Japan won’t necessarily work in America. What was Dr Faucis exact words when asked about Japan?
That's true, but a banality. It is worth looking to how Japan has handled it but he dismissed it out of hand. Then compared it to another country - Britain - to reinforce his case even as he said that what may work in one country may not work in another.Sorry, but the good doctor cannot have it both ways and his response was not science but confirmation bias.
I don’t think there’s a single 1 size fits all approach though. Every country will have different circumstances in terms of their population demographic, culture, how people behave, their healthcare structure etc.
There isn't. If I were an American policymakers I would make adaptations as appropriate. However, that does not mean that there are not lessons to be learned and data to be gleaned from different experiences.It is relevant - especially scientifically - that the nation with the oldest population on Earth has had 85 deaths whereas the nation with the second oldest population on Earth has had over 10,000. This dealing with a disease that hits the elderly the hardest. That scientifically merits investigation but the doctor waved it away with a rhetorical trope. That is not just bad public policy, it is bad science and the doctor should have known better. However, scientists are prone to their own biases and in this case it appears that the good doctor gave into his. The doctor's preferred policy - which again is outside his ambit - is a total lockdown. Thus he denies the relevance of cases - see Japan, see Sweden - that do not support his thesis. It being a given of science that the purpose is to discern the relevant similarities and differences. Not just the similarities that suit the preferred theory of the hour.
I think Japan is a better example than Sweden at the moment. But neither provides good data yet. We’d have to wait a bit longer to see what effect their measures are having over a long time compared to the total lockdown nations. And even within countries, there are probably regional variations that could be made to restrictions but policy makers have gone for a worst case scenario approach I think mainly due to the fact the vast majority of them left it late to do anything in the first place.
Not arguing that, sir. My quibble was two-fold.1) The doctor, in getting into policy issues was straying wildly beyond his competence. Internal passports and the degree of lockdown have a science dimension, but also economic, political, legal, constitutional, and most important, cultural and social aspects that he is absolutely unqualified to speak to. The doctor would have been wise to say so. Instead, he pronounced in areas the implications of which he does not fully grasp. Moreover, he does so as an unelected public official, thus amplifying his basic error.2) It was bad science. There are differences to be sure. However, the similarities are just as important. Not least that the human body is the same and its reaction to pathogens reasonably consistent and predictable regardless of culture and other similar factors. When you see a difference, that merits investigation and the lessons to be learned ought be applied with modifications as appropriate.Further, the doctor compounded the error by denying the validity of comparisons - and then made one of his own, but one that suited his own preferred policy. Well, either comparisons are valid or they are not. Bottom line, Japan is, in demographic terms, the oldest population on Earth. It is a densely populated island nation. Not too different in many ways from Manhattan, for example. So, either you look into the valid similarities and differences, or you deny that they are relevant and ignore them. The doctor took the latter path and damaged his credibility in doing so. Except perhaps for those who were already inclined to support his opinion. They call it confirmation bias.
Agree with 1. But the doctor is human and so will have biases and make mistakes. And be subject to his own ego regardless of if he has valid points or not. 2. Reaction to pathogens can be different due to differing genetic makeup and lifestyles.
As regards, point 2, note the qualification I made - " Not least that the human body is the same and its reaction to pathogens REASONABLY consistent..." (Emphasis added.) I made allowance for other factors, all other things being equal. In any case, the exceptions do NOT define the rule.As regards point 1 - First this has become a habit for the good doctor. More and more he is expanding beyond his ambit and the problem is not that so much as the public's - and thus policymaker's and politician's - failure to note where the lines are drawn.Moreover, human he may be, but that does not absolve him of his responsibilities. If his frailties result in thousands of deaths, will you be so forgiving then?
What deaths is he causing?
The policy of total lockdown that he advocates has slowed the economy. This resulting in lost jobs, lost income and increased poverty. Stretched out over time, that will get worse. (Please note, the good doctor is able to give no effective date for when the policy ends.)We know that increased poverty leads to increased suicides and domestic violence and already those numbers are trending up. This after only a couple of months. Now stretch that out over multiple months - not to mention that the economy will not snap back.Then, on top of all this, you may have seen the 11 mile long lines at a food pantry in Texas. As one wag put it, "We remembered to model for the coronavirus, but no one did a model for hunger."So that is just a few of the costs the good doctor's preferred policy - abstract science applied to a real world, as I call it - has incurred to date. Best he observe more caution as he moves forward and as I say, stay within his area of competence.Stopping the disease is easy in a laboratory. Not so much in a complex society of complex beings. This regardless of the comforting illusions of either/or that the advocates of a hard lockdown prefer to comfort themselves with.
I doubt the mass media or public will attribute such deaths directly to the good doctor. I just don’t see headlines in a years time saying “Fauci causes millions of deaths from poverty”.
They won't. but that is not really the point, is it? The doctor's position as policy is debatable and outside his expertise. Its costs, therefore, he either does not calculate as variables or understand. As science he was sloppy. Denying valid comparisons and then making the very same comparisons of his own. He might be forgiven for the first. Though what business he has pronouncing on such questions escapes me. (When asked he should have answered, "The level of lockdown we have is up to the policymakers. I am here to discuss the science.") On the second, he deserves - and did not get - much harsher criticism. MacCallum let it pass when it really deserved a follow-up question or two. However, as she is not a scientist, she no doubt felt uncomfortable pursuing it.Thus, you got bad science and bad journalism all in one interview. Quite a track record.Beyond that, sir, you are at this point beating a dead horse. I strongly recommend that you re-read - carefully - the argument I have made above. For the most part, you are just re-stating the same argument I have already addressed but are doing so with different words. You are making distinctions without differences. Suffice to add that I am happy to continue if you think it profitable to yourself and other readers. However, truthfully, I do think we have past the point of utility.
So we will leave it there. As I say, I do think we have past the point of usefulness.
What’s it got to do with usefulness?
Are you learning anything from the dialogue? Would another readder? For my part I have made my case. For your part, you are basically just repeating the same question using different words and coming from different angles. Pretty much anyone can see that. So it begs the question of why this should continue. To repeat - I AM HAPPY TO DO SO IF YOU LIKE However, I do not see much point in it. The point of debate to learn something and at this point we have pretty much have taken this discussion as far as it will go.
I am neither agreeing or disagreeing with you. I am simply asking you questions.
No, you have made various declarative sentences. An obvious one being justifying the doctor's bad science on the fact that he is human and will therefore have his own biases.That is true but aside the point. The question is not - does Dr. Fauci have biases? The question is: Does that conduce to good or bad science?Moreover, as an ethical question - Ought the doctor be pronouncing on areas of policy - travel passports, lockdowns - that are outside the purviews of science?A question ends in a question mark. You have made some declarative sentences to which I have attempted to respond.
Just to add, if you believe that we have not yet exhausted this line of inquiry, feel free to continue. However, at this point, we seem just to be plying up old ground.
I like to believe I know what I said and what I intended.
You may indeed. However, for a person to be understood, he must make himself understandable. You may understand what you intended, and I do sincerely hope that you have profited from the exchange - as up to a point, I have.However, that does not change the fact that you are, by now, simply repeating old points in different words. That is of dubious value.
I thought I was bringing up different points. But if that’s your opinion, that’s your opinion.
No. That is not my opinion. Note how I had to repeatedly use the same illustrations from my initial reply time after time. I would not have repeated those illustrations had your question-cum-statements not merited it.Whether aware of it or not, you have basically belabored - and are now - the same points with different words.
Surely it’s your opinion if you are voicing it.
There are two kinds of opinion. One substantiated by evidence and one not. We give credibility to the former, not the latter. Not all opinions are created equal.That said, I have some good news for you. My three little Munckins are up - as is my girlfriend - they have been for a while. They have eaten their breakfasts and so, Dr. Fauci's lockdown notwithstanding, I have things to do. Not least spending time as the "Family Tickle Monster" to my children. So I must sign off.Feel free to pursue this if you wish and I will get back to you later. However, for now, I have Daddy duties to perform and must be off.
So you disagree with him?
Like I said, I can't argue with the idea of sensible, safe, and incremental solutions, but I think it's a set-up for proposing solutions that are not sensible, safe, or incremental, and will get people unnecessarily killed.If he was being reasonable, he'd have agreed with Ruhle, that there won't be a day in the near future where we simply say "everybody back to work!".Statements like: "The people making those decisions don't look up long enough to notice that their assumptions were wrong. Something like that may be happening now." are just to encourage people to ignore the best evidence, which naturally varies over time.It could be that social distancing is working better than expected, or it could be more people are immune to the virus than previously thought, but until we know for sure it would be reckless in the extreme to expose everyone to the virus in one go, don't you think?
What's your opinion?
I don’t really have one. I can see validities in both sides at the moment.
There's an interesting article about what San Francisco is doing.www.politico.com/.../san-francisco-bay-area-coronavirus-example-179147It says: "Public health experts here are coalescing around some benchmarks before rules ease: sustained reductions in new cases and deaths; widespread testing; ample hospital capacity; and the ability to monitor new patients and trace their contacts."So, to safely bring forward the time when things can start to return to normal, there's a need for lots of testing and hospital capacity (did I mention Germany starting testing for probably immunity?). These are things politicians can control. Social distancing/lockdowns will hopefully lead to sustained reductions in new cases and deaths (so far, the daily numbers of deaths and new cases have only levelled out at 2,000 and 30,000, but that's already much better than exponential growth); this is also something they have some control over.My point is, though, that to ignore the advice of the public health experts about this once in a century occurrence for political or financial reasons is foolish. Hopefully, we will be able to cope more efficiently in the future, especially by realising listening to the experts (even when they turn out initially to be wrong, they'll admit it and correct their errors) is essential.
It’s interesting how everyone is taking a very different approach worldwide. Sweden, Japan, Germany, South Korea. All very different approaches taken by different experts and policy makers, some have varied over time and others haven’t.
That's true. Sweden took advantage of the fact that they were fairly distant socially before; half of homes have just one person, children move out of the family home on average when they're 18-19, and they respect personal space. That said, they're now starting to see a rise in the number of cases.I don't know anything about Japan, apart from mask wearing is a common habit, and South Korea and Germany did a lot of testing.The UK went for ignoring it, and now they're paying a heavy price; nearly 1000 deaths in a day, in a country 1/5th the size of the US (but a lot less spread out, of course).
A couple more articles that might interest you.https://www.BBC.co.uk/news/health-52183295"Why can't we just lift lockdown?We cannot simply return to normal after cases peak or even after they are reduced to very low levels.The best estimate of the proportion of people infected (and potentially immune) in the UK is just 4%. Or to put that another way - more than 63 million are still vulnerable to the infection.If we just lift the lockdown, then another explosive outbreak is inevitable.The fundamentals of the virus have not changed either - one person infected will, without a lockdown, pass it onto three others on average.Cutting those infections by 60-70% is what it takes to keep cases down. At the moment that means cutting our human contact by that amount.If we lift social distancing measures then something else has to come in to suppress the virus instead or at least to prevent people ending up in intensive care. "A senior paramedic in NYC's story.www.BBC.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-52196815"Not one of the 12 people suspected to have died of Covid-19 on Anthony's shift had been tested for coronavirus. As a result, their deaths were not included in the official coronavirus death toll in New York last Sunday, which stood at 594."
Very interesting. I see you live in Germany. What’s the tactic there? I see Germany has fairly low number of deaths for the number of cases. Mass testing?
Well, non-essential stay-at-home, social distancing when you do go to the shops (limited numbers in the shops, one out, one in), good testing, I think, and universal healthcare provided by well regulated insurance companies and private hospitals. The survival rate seems pretty good, which is probably down to lots of testing, but I've no personal experience of that. Where are you?
Oh, and apparently, workers get 60% of their pay while they're not working.
Interesting. I’m in the UK.
That's where I'm from.How is it, over there? It sounds pretty dire.
Thanks for MHO!
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