Yesterday, Illinois Governor Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker announced from the economic rubble of his once prosperous state, that he would move forward with “phase 4” of his soviet style lockdown.
“Not only is Pritzker delaying the economic recovery of the state, but his actions have put Illinoisans at risk and may be causing many deaths of his constituents,” said James L. Tobin, economist and president of Taxpayers United of Illinois (TUA).
According to Scott W. Atlas M.D., a physician and senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, lockdown policies have created the greatest global economic disruption in history, with trillions of dollars of lost economic output. “The cure is bigger than the disease at this point,” said Atlas. “150,000 new patients with cancer are diagnosed every single month in the United States. Most of them are not getting diagnosed.”
Stanford epidemiologist John P.A. Ioannidis states, “We lack reliable evidence on how many people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 or who continue to become infected. Better information is needed to guide decisions and actions of monumental significance and to monitor their impact.”
“Three months after the outbreak emerged, most countries, including the U.S., lack the ability to test a large number of people and no countries have reliable data on the prevalence of the virus in a representative random sample of the general population,” wrote Ioannidis.
“In the absence of data, prepare-for-the-worst reasoning leads to extreme measures of social distancing and lockdowns. Unfortunately, we do not know if these measures work. School closures, for example, may reduce transmission rates. But they may also backfire if children socialize anyhow, if school closure leads children to spend more time with susceptible elderly family members, if children at home disrupt their parents’ ability to work, and more. School closures may also diminish the chances of developing herd immunity in an age group that is spared serious disease.”
Ioannidis warns, “One of the bottom lines is that we don’t know how long social distancing measures and lockdowns can be maintained without major consequences to the economy, society, and mental health. Unpredictable evolutions may ensue, including financial crisis, unrest, civil strife, war, and a meltdown of the social fabric. At a minimum, we need unbiased prevalence and incidence data for the evolving infectious load to guide decision-making.”
John P.A. Ioannidis is professor of medicine and professor of epidemiology and population health, as well as professor by courtesy of biomedical data science at Stanford University School of Medicine, professor by courtesy of statistics at Stanford University School of Humanities and Sciences, and co-director of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS) at Stanford University.