As Biden promotes another lockdown, a top scientist expresses remorse for advocating for them
Joe Biden emerged from his basement to accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for president and immediately announced that, if elected, he would impose a national mask mandate. Biden then went on ABC News and promptly said he would “listen to the scientists” and shut down the U.S. economy again if they urged it.
As The Wall Street Journal quipped in an editorial: “Now we know why his advisers have kept Joe Biden under wraps.”
Biden, many Democratic governors and a few wobbly Republicans in the Never Trump precincts would do well to listen to Mark Woolhouse.
Earlier this year, Woolhouse, a professor of infectious diseases epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, was a member of the committee of experts in Britain that was advising Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the coronavirus. Also on that committee was Neil Ferguson, the architect of a now-discredited model that in the spring had predicted up to 2.2 million COVID deaths in the U.S.
Scientists in the Trump administration used that model to call for shutdowns. President Donald Trump himself and others on his team claimed that shutdowns had saved 2 million lives.
Over in Britain, Woolhouse and Ferguson, who later stepped down after reports that he violated lockdown rules he advocated so he could meet a woman he was having an affair with, cited the model to successfully urge Johnson to abandon his plan to weather the virus as Sweden did and shut down Britain.
Now, Woolhouse is expressing significant buyer’s remorse.
In an interview with London’s Daily Express this week, Woolhouse called the lockdown a “panic measure” that scientists seized on because “we couldn’t think of anything better to do.”
He also maintains that it should never be tried again.
“I believe history will say trying to control Covid-19 through lockdown was a monumental mistake on a global scale, the cure was worse than the disease,” Woolhouse said.
“I never want to see national lockdown again. It was always a temporary measure that simply delayed the stage of the epidemic we see now. It was never going to change anything fundamentally, however low we drove down the number of cases, and now we know more about the virus and how to track it we should not be in this position again.”
He added, “We absolutely should never return to a position where children cannot play or go to school. I believe the harm lockdown is doing to our education, health care access, and broader aspects of our economy and society will turn out to be at least as great as the harm done by Covid-19.”
Deepening his heresy, Woolhouse argued that a panel of coronavirus “scientists” must be broadened. It should include “equal input from economists to assess the damage to incomes, jobs and livelihoods, educationalists to assess the damage to children and mental health specialists to assess levels of depression and anxiety especially among younger adults, as well as psychologists to assess the effects of not being able to go to the theatre or a football match.”
Woolhouse further noted, “At the time I agreed with lockdown as a short term emergency response because we couldn’t think of anything better to do, but it was always clear that the moment we started to relax enough measures we were likely to see infection rates rise again either nationally or locally. My hope was that we would have learned how to handle the virus better so lockdown would no longer be necessary.”
Many of us have learned that lesson. Joe Biden obviously has not.
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