Dr. Neil Ferguson (1)
I have already discussed Dr. Neil Ferguson with regard to the Imperial College Model. But his contribution to what is certainly a deep wounding of Western Civilization continues to be highlighted in many articles. For example, here is a summary of the influence of his model on initial (and continuing) COVID-19 public policy (emphasis added).
In the current crisis the most alarming model, nay probably the most influential in the implementation of the draconian quarantines worldwide, projected a maximum of 2.2 million American deaths and 550,000 United Kingdom deaths unless there were severe restrictions for 18 months or until a vaccine was developed. The primary author: Neil Ferguson. …
Then a funny thing happened. A mere nine days after announcing his model, Ferguson said a better number for the U.K. would be only 20,000. The equivalent would be fewer than 80,000 American deaths.
The mind simply boggles at this sequence of events. Dr. Ferguson’s predictions created a massive panic in both government officials and the general population. The response in the West was a near uniform (Sweden excepted, and universally denounced) imposition of draconian, open ended lockdowns of social and economic commerce.
And yet, in the space of nine days this man and his model reduced the number of predicted deaths by a more than a factor of 27! Note that nine days is far too short a time for any government policy to have taken effect fully, let alone turned the tide in number of deaths. No, this was the admission of a massive, incredible error. But the damage had already been done. Here’s how one correspondent from the United Kingdom describes the situation (which is very similar to our own here in many States of the United States).
Well, this is where it really starts to matter. We are about a fortnight from the moment when huge numbers of jobs will be in danger of permanent extinction.
The only choice will be to spend so much non-existent money that even the wild gamblers who have taken over HM Treasury are scared to do it.
But here’s the problem for Mr Bumble [Boris Johnson, Prime Minister]. He did not just panic himself. He spread fear far and wide. More than half the population have been literally scared silly.
You meet them on pathways and pavements, flinching with real alarm at the approach of another human being as if bubonic plague were abroad. They genuinely fear to go back to normal life.
The above last two sentences accurately describe what is certainly a plurality (and maybe a majority) of people in the United States. Thus, even if all our States were completely opened tomorrow our social, religious and economic lives would continue to suffer great self-inflicted harm.
What boggles the mind to an even higher level is the fact that Dr. Ferguson and his models have built a track record of massive failure over decades. This article provides a good summary (emphasis added).
When it comes to wildly inaccurate predictions Prof. Ferguson’s work at Imperial College has a long and distinguished history. In 2002, he said that 50,000 people in the UK would die from “mad cow disease”, to date less than 200 have passed away; he predicted 200 million global deaths from the H5N1 bird flu. Currently it is a suspected factor in the deaths of 455 people world wide; in 2009 he told the UK Government that 65,000 could die from swine flu in the UK and worked with the World Health Organisation to predict millions of deaths from the H1N1 global flu pandemic.
Suspected resultant UK deaths from swine flu were estimated to be 457 and the global total showed 18,500 laboratory-confirmed deaths from the H1N1 pandemic. …
While Prof. Ferguson and his Imperial College colleagues have been consistently wrong they have also been unquestioningly believed by governments and intergovernmental bodies on every occasion. Seemingly without reservation.
Despite the clear evidence to the contrary, policy makers from all political parties have shown tremendous loyalty to Imperial College’s silly data models. In doing so, they have not only ignored the researchers woeful history of failed predictions but have also denied the scientific evidence which usually contradicts them.
In no way can basing policy decisions on Imperial Colleges computer models be considered science led decision making. Quite the opposite.
The last four sentences constitute a definitive description of our incompetent elite masters. Dr. Ferguson and his models do not have credibility because of their track record of predictive accuracy, because the exact opposite has occurred. No, he has credibility because of his academic credentials and position. His models have credibility because they were developed in an academic institution with high prestige.
The reality is likely that government officials give this pathetic failure of a modeler credibility because he will always give them reasons to expand their power. The fear of mass death will always affect a significant portion of the public, who will then willingly cede another portion of their liberty in exchange for “safety” from the phantom, stupidly inaccurate predictions form the likes of Dr. Ferguson.
But it’s actually far worse than this, so stay tuned.