Repeat after me (yes, this includes all you regulars, too): All models only say what they are told to say.
Now let’s see this headline: “COVID-19 misinformation cost at least 2,800 lives and $300M, new report says“.
The spread of COVID-19 misinformation in Canada cost at least 2,800 lives and $300 million in hospital expenses over nine months of the pandemic, according to estimates in a new report out Thursday…
The authors suggest that misinformation contributed to vaccine hesitancy for 2.3 million Canadians. Had more people been willing to roll up their sleeves when a vaccine was first available to them, Canada could have seen roughly 200,000 fewer COVID cases and 13,000 fewer hospitalizations, the report says.
Alex Himelfarb, chair of the expert panel that wrote the report, said that its estimates are very conservative because it only examined a nine-month period of the pandemic.
The two hundred and thirty page behemoth is called, for some vague reason, Fault Lines. Written by, they say, an “Expert Panel on the Socioeconomic Impacts of Science and Health Misinformation”. Experts.
And it was peer-reviewed! By named people, like, yes, “John Cook, Assistant Professor, Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University (Fairfax, VA).”
Let’s also talk about “systemic racism”, because why? Because our authors do: “[B]elief in conspiracy theories, for example, is linked not only to cognitive predisposition, but also to lived experiences and resulting levels of trust in authoritative knowledge institutions”.
Can there be unlived experiences?
“…First Nations…colonialism…ongoing experiences of racism and violence…stigmatization based on ethnicity…”
Wake up, dear reader!
What does all this have to do with the coroandoom? I don’t know. The authors find it all deeply relevant, though. They go on for dozens and dozens and dozens more of pages with stuff like this. Woke whining. Here’s something about Q-Anon, there’s something about the Soviet Union, it that corner is genetically modified food, and in this one homeopathy, and finally—and you could see this coming eighty two miles away—global warming. Excuse me. “Climate change.”
Belief in the “Deep State” and “Cultural Marxism”, we are told, brings one past the, yes, “Anti-Semitic Point Of No Return”. Why? Never mind.
It isn’t until we’re somewhere around page 55 that “vaccine “hesitancy” is brought in. And mostly about MMR and the like. And then it was back to “climate change” (p. 63). We learn “Misinformation has reduced public support for climate action”. Which special inset Box 3.3 “Framing Carbon Taxes as ‘Job Killing’.” Oh.
I guess the proper conclusion that allowing government, and its designees, more power and money to control “climate change” will harm individuals, such as by killing jobs—hello, Keystone Pipeline workers—is “misinformation.”
Which reminds us of our chant: In order for there to be Official Misinformation, there must necessarily be Official Truths, and et cetera. You know the rest.
They do, too. For they have subheadlines like (p. 136) “Curtailing Misinformation Through Legislation” and “Legislating transparency by mandating the disclosure or flagging
of misinformation would discourage its spread”. You get the idea. Official agencies must be in charge of producing, promulgating, and policing Official Truths.
Yet what does any of this have to do with coronadoom!? We don’t learn until the Appendix (p. 147), where they hide their model.
It is—don’t laugh—an “Agent-based model”, i.e. a simulation (my paragraphifications and emphasis, and cutting the references):
This type of model facilitates dynamic simulations, where heterogeneous individual “agents” (in this case, simulated people in Canada) are given characteristics that influence their outcomes….
The Panel used reported epidemiological data, which capture all the underlying dynamics that played out in Canada between March and November 2021 (e.g., masking, social distancing, lockdowns, personal behaviour).
In this model, the number of cases varies among scenarios because the incidence rate is different between vaccinated and unvaccinated populations, and misinformation alters how many of the agents are vaccinated.
The Panel’s model did not incorporate a transmission model because there was a lack of data on the impact of social distancing and masking.
Instead, given the model was built from real-world data, the results have accounted for social distancing and masking indirectly through the incidence rates.
In practice, vaccinated people are less likely to spread COVID-19 to others; since reduced likelihood of transmission is not captured in the model, the results are conservative.
If you can imagine the hubris behind the claim that they captured “all” dynamics—all!—you, too, can be a scientist.
You can go through the details at your leisure, but it comes down to this: this model was told to say “misinformation kills”. It was run, and it spit out “misinformation kills.”
The authors, amazed, gazed in wonder at this output and announced “misinformation kills.” Because science.
Readers might be interested to know what they report said about coronadoom vaccine injuries.
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