by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Aaron Ginn wrote a long, charts-and-statistics-filled blog post at Medium arguing that the available public health data shows that COVID-19 is less easily transmitted, less fatal, and more likely to fade away with the hot weather than the conventional wisdom would have you believe. Medium deleted the post, which is now hosted at ZeroHedge. Deleting arguments like Ginn’s is a bad and dangerous way to handle the still-roiling debate over what governments and society should do in order to react to the disease.
Whether or not you agree with Ginn’s arguments for, say, reopening schools, people like Ginn and Justin Hart are asking some important and detailed questions about what we know about the progress of the coronavirus. I am squarely in the camp that thinks swift and aggressive public steps have been a sensible and necessary response to a serious public health threat. We can come back more easily from the economic damage of an overreaction than from letting the virus run wild to see if it’s really as bad as we think. But it is unhelpful and hazardous to ignore the real, human costs of protracted lockdowns, which will require increasily strong justifications the longer they drag on. …
… Too many experts have an insular tendency to assume they will be believed just from credentials, because their friends believe them that way. And too many hear clever amateurs say “I’m asking questions” and immediately treat them like Holocaust deniers or moon-landing skeptics, when we are in fact dealing with a data set that is evolving daily and full of uncertainties. Interrogating the elite, expert narratives is important. That is doubly true when you remember that most of the population is getting its information from ignorant second-hand sources that are just as likely to be too alarmist as too dismissive.