- - Sunday, March 29, 2020

Dr. Eran Bendavid and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professors of medicine at Stanford University, published an article in the March 24 edition of The Wall Street Journal, stating the following: 

“Fear of Covid-19 is based on an estimated mortality rate of 2% to 4% … We believe this estimate is deeply flawed.” 

Drs. Bendavid and Bhattacharya continue:

“The true fatality rate is the portion of those infected who die, not the deaths from identified positive cases. The latter rate is misleading because of selection bias in testing. The degree of bias is uncertain because available data are limited … If the number of actual infections is much larger than the number of cases — orders of magnitude larger — then the fatality rate is much lower as well. That’s not only plausible but likely based on what we know so far.” 

After summarizing all presently available data from China, Italy, Iceland, and the United States, the authors conclude: 



“An epidemic seed on January 1 implies that by March 9, about six million people in the U.S. would have been infected. As of March 23, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 499 Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. If our surmise of six million cases is accurate, that’s a mortality rate of 0.01%, assuming a two-week lag between infection and death. This is one-tenth of the flu mortality rate of 0.1%. Such a low death rate would be cause for optimism … If we’re right about the limited scale of the epidemic, then … we should undertake immediate steps to evaluate the empirical basis of the current lockdowns.” 

I repeat, “This is one-tenth of the flu mortality rate of 0.1%”.

Why are we not demanding that our elected officials tell us why they are dismissing such positive information?  

Why? 

Have we really become this intellectually obtuse and this addled in our social comforts? 

Do we not care about our freedom, or at least that of our progeny, enough to ask a few questions?  

For example:

Is it possible that, as we sit stupefied on our mounds of toilet paper, that Huxley’s hierarchy is smiling at just how easy it was to control an ideologically complacent people?

Are Orwell’s oligarchs grinning from ear to ear at how quickly we all agreed to submit?  

Is it possible that the smart folks in Belgium, Beijing and the Beltway who fancy themselves our rulers, are watching?

Are they taking notes?

Are they as amazed as we are at how fast entire nations of fearful children were seduced by the tunes of political Pied Pipers promising protection from the “rats” of man’s mortality?  

Why are we not nervous as we watch how easily an entire planet was brought to its knees by the decisions of so few?  

Are “We the People” … a citizenry that is clearly defined by our eternal liberties and not just our temporal lives — truly this eager to set aside nearly all of our God-given freedoms for the fleeting promises of financial protection and personal health? 

Is an entire globe of nearly 8 billion people this willing to be conquered without anyone firing a single shot?  

“Conspiracy theory,” you shout. 

Really?  

Consider this: 

“If we see continued noncompliance [we] will step in and shut off their water and power. You know who you are, you need to stop it. This is your chance to step up and shut it down — because if you don’t, we will shut you down.” — Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti

And this:

“All public and private in-person gatherings of 10 or more individuals are prohibited … The authorized punishments for conviction are … confinement in jail for not more than twelve months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.” — Virginia Governor, Ralph Northam 

And this: 

“The COVID19 bill is a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.” — Democratic Majority Whip, James Clyburn

And, finally, this:

“We take some pride in the fact that Democrats in the Senate and the House were able to flip this … We have some other things we want to do, but first, we want to take pride in what [we’ve done]. We want more …” — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi 

C.S. Lewis once admonished that before we read any new books, we should first read a dozen or more of those that are old. He, thus, encouraged us to set aside our inclination to “chronological snobbery” and humble ourselves before the wisdom of the ages.   

In that spirit, I close: 

“After the Age of Utopias came what we may call the American Age … Men seemed to have solved the social riddle … It went with a buoyant optimism [but], that optimism has [turned] into pessimism. For, the Slump [has] brought even more disillusionment than the War. A new bitterness, and a new bewilderment, [runs] through all social life … The Brave New World is more of a revolution [than] Utopia.” — G.K. Chesterton (1932)

• Everett Piper, former president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, is a columnist for The Washington Times and author of “Not A Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery 2017).

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