The Faulty Models and Fear-Mongering Behind Global Lockdowns

By Rob Shimshock | May 21, 2020 | 5:33pm EDT

Faulty scientific models and media fear-mongering perpetrated the economic catastrophe caused by global coronavirus lockdowns, according to a data-intensive analysis put together by tech entrepreneur, veteran, and bioengineer by education Yinon Weiss at RealClearPolitics.

COVID-19's infection fatality rate for most individuals under the age of 65 equaled that of driving 13 to 101 miles each day. Survival rate after contracting the virus is 99.99 percent for healthy people under the age of 50 and, while New York City experienced an infection rate of over 25 percent, 99.98 percent of individuals under 45 recovered.

Imperial College epidemiologist Neil Ferguson's March 16 report predicted that 500,000 British would perish from coronavirus and, when applied to the United States, projected that the nation would experience more than 2 million deaths. Ferguson's model was egregiously flawed and the epidemiologist resigned after a March 17 presentation he gave that may have resulted in the infection of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and after he broke lockdown measures he had supported to have an affair with a married woman.

Weiss posits that there is reason to believe that lockdowns were inconsequential, as Sweden did not close borders, businesses, restaurants, or primary schools and did not mandate mask-wearing, and 99.998 percent of the under 60 population survived with hospitals operating well within capacity.

While the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimated a 2,800-person daily death toll with a final death count of 75,000 for Sweden if the nation did not lock down, Sweden's daily deaths peaked at a figure 75 percent lower than the baseline projection and 96 percent below the worst-case estimate.

Furthermore, Uppsala University in Sweden predicted 90,000 deaths in a month due to COVID-19 without a strict quarantine; the country actually suffered around 3,500 deaths.

American research institutions were not exempt from erroneous projections. Columbia University predicted on March 29 that New York City would need 136,000 hospital beds, but only just above 12,000 COVID-19 patients were ever hospitalized concurrently. 

Weiss suggests that instead of quarantining young people and sometimes compelling nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients, America should have let young people build herd immunity while keeping nursing homes locked down.

Rob Shimshock is the Commentary Editor at He has covered education, culture, media, technology, and politics for a variety of national outlets, hosted the Campus Unmasked YouTube show, and was named to The Washington Examiner's "30 Under 30" list. Shimshock graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Media Studies.

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