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Do Lockdowns Save Many Lives? In Most Places, the Data Say No

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Do quick shutdowns work to fight the spread of Covid-19? Joe Malchow, Yinon Weiss and I wanted to find out. We set out to quantify how many deaths were caused by delayed shutdown orders on a state-by-state basis.

To normalize for an unambiguous comparison of deaths between states at the midpoint of an epidemic, we counted deaths per million population for a fixed 21-day period, measured from when the death rate first hit 1 per million—e.g.,‒three deaths in Iowa or 19 in New York state. A state’s “days to shutdown” was the time after a state crossed the 1 per million threshold until it ordered businesses shut down.

We ran a simple one-variable correlation of deaths per million and days to shutdown, which ranged from minus-10 days (some states shut down before any sign of Covid-19) to 35 days for South Dakota, one of seven states with limited or no shutdown. The correlation coefficient was 5.5%—so low that the engineers I used to employ would have summarized it as “no correlation” and moved on to find the real cause of the problem. (The trendline sloped downward—states that delayed more tended to have lower death rates—but that’s also a meaningless result due to the low correlation coefficient.)

No conclusions can be drawn about the states that sheltered quickly, because their death rates ran the full gamut, from 20 per million in Oregon to 360 in New York. This wide variation means that other variables—like population density or subway use—were more important. Our correlation coefficient for per-capita death rates vs. the population density was 44%. That suggests New York City might have benefited from its shutdown—but blindly copying New York’s policies in places with low Covid-19 death rates, such as my native Wisconsin, doesn’t make sense.
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Covid-19 and The Red Dawn Emails

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In an earlier article [1], I demonstrated how frightening statistical predictions of the number of deaths that Covid-19 would cause were made by a charlatan, Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London, who has been repeatedly contradicted by the facts over the past two decades.
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Donald J. Trump: Patient Zero of Lockdown Nation’s Covid Hysteria

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According to the CDC’s long established mortality models, 687,000 Americans were supposed to die during the 12 weeks between February 1 and April 18. 

But only 666,000 actually complied. So the Grim Reaper was deprived of his seasonally adjusted mortality quota, even as 21,000 families were spared, at least temporarily, of the loss and grief which accompanies the passing of a loved one.

 Either way, how in the hell does that square with Lockdown Nation—an unprecedented government ordered economic heart attack purportedly designed to prevent a Black Plague of illness and death?

 To be sure, a better than garden variety recession was already due after a record 129- month long business expansion. But it was the sudden, virulent eruption of the Covid Death Hysteria in the halls of government that turned a scheduled business cycle contraction into a monumental catastrophe.
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Will It Take Food Shortages to End Support for the Shutdown?

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Americans are uniquely privileged, to the point of simply imagining they can stay home for months and months without suffering severe economic hardship as a result. Our unique privilege is delusion, the mentality that America is rich and will remain rich without particular effort on our part. Abundance simply materializes around us, regardless of incentives, and the job of politicians is to rearrange this abundance more equitably.

Polls such as this one showing widespread American support for quarantines and business shutdowns are evidence of this American privilege. Eighty percent of respondents think shutdowns by various state governors are justified as a response to the COVID-19 virus, and one-third support extending closure for another six months! 

This reflexive and unthinking complicity from the American public is partially explained by media hype, of course, over an illness which at this writing has killed fewer than sixty thousand Americans. Fear and hysteria always sell. The press clearly wants the coronavirus to be a major event, one that unseats Trump in the fall. (For its part, the administration is doing a terrible job, starting with the awful Dr. Fauci, whom the president should have sacked months ago.) And clearly the various governors' responses are wildly out of proportion to the actual public health threat, even if initially well intentioned due to sheer uncertainty of the virus's lethality.
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How Will History Treat The Coronavirus Lockdown? With Prof. Denis Rancourt

You won't want to miss this very special Liberty Report! Former University of Ottawa physics professor Denis Rancourt joins today's program to examine the science behind government and media claims about the coronavirus outbreak. Does a national lockdown make any sense? Why did the scientists that governments listen to seem to get the numbers all wrong? And why have other scientists who challenged the accepted wisdom been silenced and ignored? What are the numbers? Today on the Liberty Report...
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Resistance Strengthening: Small Business Defying Coronavirus Lockdown

From New York to Texas and beyond, small business owners are pushing back against local and state governments who have deemed their livelihoods to be "non-essential." Can the authorities stop this growing revolt? Plus, only government could bankrupt the medical system during a "pandemic" - US hospitals going broke. Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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New Anti-China Propaganda Uses Russiagate Playbook

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A rabid anti-China propaganda campaign has spread through the media since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The hysteria seems to be just as contagious as the virus, as Americans are bombarded with anti-China stories from the pages of The New York Times to segments on Fox News. Both Republicans and Democrats are arguing the other side is not tough enough on China as they gear up for the 2020 election.

Since Donald Trump was elected president, the unfounded claim that Russia meddled in the 2016 election was spread far and wide by intelligence officials and liberal media outlets.

A common tactic used to promote the Russiagate narrative was unnamed officials making statements to the press without providing evidence or any factual basis to their claims. Another common tactic was frequent media appearances by former intelligence officials, like James Clapper and John Brennan, usually making wild accusations about Trump and Russia. These tactics are being repeated to promote an anti-China narrative.

The New York Times ran a story on April 22nd titled, "Chinese Agents Helped Spread Messages That Sowed Virus Panic in US, Officials Say." The article says rumors that were spread through text messages and social media posts in mid-March that claimed the Trump administration was going to lock down the entire country to combat coronavirus were boosted by "Chinese operatives." The authors’ sources are "six American officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to publicly discuss intelligence matters."
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Narrative Managers Argue China-Like Internet Censorship Is Needed

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Neoconservative publication The Atlantic has published an article authored by two university professors titled “Internet Speech Will Never Go Back to Normal”, subtitled “In the debate over freedom versus control of the global network, China was largely correct, and the US was wrong.”

The article is actually worth reading in full, not just because it’s outrage porn for anyone who values human communication that is unregulated by oligarchs and government agencies, but because it’s actually packed full of extensively sourced information about the way Silicon Valley tech giants are collaborating with western governments to censor speech. The only difference between this article and something you might read on some libertarian website is that this article argues that all of these regulations on speech are a good thing.

Here’s an archive of the article if you don’t want to give clicks to The Atlantic, whose editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg once assured the world that “the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality.” Do give it a look if this interests you and you have time.
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RPI's McAdams on SkyNews Australia: 'Experts' Totally Failed on Covid-19

How will the United States manage opening up its economy after the coronavirus shutdown? Ron Paul Institute Director Daniel McAdams is interviewed on SkyNews Australia on how incredibly wrong the "experts" have been on the "pandemic" of 2020. Americans are furious at the mistakes of their government and are out in the streets demanding their rights to go back to work...
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