Pandemic restrictions were an unmitigated failure, and the evidence base against the politicians and “experts” who imposed them and demanded compliance continues to grow.
And it raises some substantial questions about holding those responsible accountable for their actions. Especially as mask mandates return in certain parts of the country, with hints of more on the way.
Recently a new government report from the United Kingdom was released to little fanfare, which not-so-surprisingly mirrors the fanfare resulting from the release of new data from the CDC itself, showing how vaccine efficacy has fallen to zero.
Finally, Rochelle Walensky did acknowledge publicly that the vaccines couldn’t stop transmission. However it was already far too late to matter.
But all along the agency has strongly stated that the mRNA shots were effective at preventing hospitalizations. Or at least that the latest booster was effective, tacitly acknowledging that the original 2=dose series has lost whatever impact it once had.
What The Evidence Says About NPI’s
The UK’s Health Security Agency (HSA) recently posted a lengthy examination on the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions at preventing or slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
And at the risk of revealing a spoiler alert, it’s not good news for the COVID extremists determined to bring mask mandates back.
The goal of the examination was laid out succinctly; the UK’s HSA intended to use primary studies on NPIs within the community to see how successful or unsuccessful they were at reducing COVID infections.
The purpose of this rapid mapping review was to identify and categorise primary studies that reported on the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) implemented in community settings to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK.
Streamlined systematic methods were used, including literature searches (using sources such as Medline, Embase, and medRxiv) and use of systematic reviews as sources to identify relevant primary studies.
Unsurprisingly, they found that the evidence base on COVID interventions was exceptionally weak.
In fact, roughly 67 percent of the identified evidence was essentially useless.. In fact two-thirds of the evidence identified was modeling.
Two-thirds of the evidence identified was based on modeling studies (100 out of 151 studies).
There was a lack of experimental studies (2 out of 151 studies) and individual-level observational studies (22 out of 151 studies). Apart from test and release strategies for which 2 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were identified, the body of evidence available on effectiveness of NPIs in the UK provides weak evidence in terms of study design, as it is mainly based on modelling studies, ecological studies, mixed-methods studies and qualitative studies.
This is a key learning point for future pandemic preparedness: there is a need to strengthen evaluation of interventions and build this into the design and implementation of public health interventions and government policies from the start of any future pandemic or other public health emergency.
Modeling, as we know, is functionally useless, given that it’s hopelessly prone to bias, incorrect assumptions and the ideological needs of its creators.
The two paragraphs which followed are equally as important.
Low quality evidence is not something that should be relied upon for decision making purposes, yet that’s exactly what the UK, US and many other countries did. Fauci, the CDC, and others embraced modeling as fact at the beginning of the pandemic. They then repeatedly referenced shoddy, poor quality work because it confirmed their biases throughout its duration, with unsurprising results.
And this government report concurs; stating simply and devastatingly, “there is a lack of strong evidence on the effectiveness of NPIs to reduce COVID-19 transmission, and for many NPIs the scientific consensus shifted over the course of the pandemic.”
Of course the scientific consensus shifted over the course of the pandemic because, as we learned, it became politically expedient for it to shift.
As their paragraphs on the available evidence show, there was little solid, high-quality data showing that NPI’s were having a significant impact on the spread of the virus, a reality that had been predicted by decades of pandemic planning.
But the consensus shifted towards NPIs and away from something approaching Sweden’s strategy or the Great Barrington Declaration, simply because Fauci, the CDC, and other “experts” demanded it shift to suit their ideological aims.
The few high-quality studies on say, masking, that were conducted during the pandemic showed that there was no benefit from mask wearing at an individual or population level. And that is why the Cochrane review came to its now infamous conclusion.
Instead of acknowledging that they were relying on poor quality evidence, the “experts” operated with an unjustified certainty that their interventions were based on following “The Science™.” At every turn, when criticized or questioned, they would default back to an appeal to authority; that the consensus in the scientific community unequivocally believed that the evidence showed that lockdowns, mandates, travel restrictions, and other NPIs were based on the best available information.
After initially determining that the UK should follow Sweden’s example and incorporate a more hands-off approach that relied on protecting the elderly while allowing immunity to build up amongst the younger, healthy populations, Boris Johnson panicked, at the behest of Neil Ferguson, and terrified expert groups. Tossing out decades of planning out of fear, while claiming publicly to be following science.
Instead, a systemic, detailed review of the evidence base relied on by those same experts has now concluded that there never was any high-quality information suggesting that pandemic policies were justifiable. Only wishful thinking from an incompetent, arrogant, malicious “expert” community, and unthinking, unblinking compliance from terrified politicians using restrictions and mandates without care or concern for adverse effects.
While this new report wasn’t specifically designed to determine how effective NPIs were in reducing transmission, it’s clear and obvious conclusions give away that answer too.
If it were easy to prove that COVID policies and mandates had a positive impact on the spread of the virus, there would be dozens of high-quality studies showing a benefit. And those high-quality studies would be covered in this report, with a strong recommendation to reinstate such mandates in future pandemics.
Instead, there’s nothing.
Just exhortations to do better next time, to follow the actual high-quality evidence and not guesswork.
Based on how little accountability there’s been for the “experts” and politicians who lied about “The Science™,” there’s little doubt that when presented with the next opportunity they’ll be sure to handle it in exactly the same way.
Abandoning evidence in favor of politics.
Reprinted from the author’s Substack
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Source: Brownstone Institute Read the original article here: https://brownstone.org/