Welcome ladies and gents your on the Fresh FM show and today ‘cos ……[cue A-team muso]I love it when a plan comes together where going to be talking about Plan A & Plan B. Though if your the government you will insist just like the A- Team their is no Plan B.
Plan A is the current model of lock down & Plan B is some time referred to as the Swedish Model.
I say sometime as Plan B in fact has a few more safe guards aimed at protecting vulnerable parts of society after the lesson of the Swedish experience showed this is one areas it had miscalculated. And yes statistics and spin and interpretation of data will be a big part of the show today. Before we get into that however a bit of house keeping(Usual website koha busking tin rattling add on blurb cash and credibility factors).
This show today was oddly sparked by a comment on my social media When I noted is it not strange how this event has being devoid of government education of how we can improve out actual health and immunity to enhance odds as instead we get pushed masked sanitisers and the wonderful work of big pharma. I mean where are the posters saying put some garlic in your soup and help keep Count Covid form the door. I mean whee is the very basic good living advice things you can do your self with out needing a mandate a compliance or state nanny looking over you in full facial recognition digital clarity. This led some on my feed to remark “gee the Swedish herd immunity model did not seem to work out”
Um (shake head) a healthy immunity is not quite the same thing as herd community and should be encouraged whether your in lock-down or not. As I said when did living healthy suddenly go out of vogue. Personally curious to see if anyone done any studies on nation that history consuming fast foods and those who don’t susceptibility to Covid 19 just saying.
Before we get into this it time for a wee break and to day to suit that issue of statistics, lies & pie well tune out with Todd Snider – Statistician’s Blues. And were back your listening to Fresh FM the DEADLINE REPORT BEN VIDGEN INVESTIGATES (usual intro blurb times and web)
But lets get back to the idea the Swedish model is disaster. Will for starters that not even half correct.
Yes Sweden made an initial error of not putting in enough safe guard for the elderly. Sweden in fact has a proportionally higher populace of as their healthy system has produced results whee on average they live ten years longer than the rest of Europe on average. So higher death in the elderly was in hindsight going to be a factor that was overlooked.
One which Plan B, as supported by the following NZ academics, correct by adding additional safe guard for vulnerable populaces such as the elderly.
However regardless of initial errors spotted and adjusted accordingly the long term statistical results of Sweden have verse rest of Europe proved highly successful (tough even the initial spike was a result hardly at the bottom of the class).
Please see my website, of the same story where I will put the webcast script and visual up on Tuesday after show first broadcasts, for source material and visual graphs.
Speaking of which a wide spread meme – see website –attributed to Carol Rolwey (I think that was her name) who as far as I can tell has no actual specialist knowledge of outbreaks, suggest NZ was better off than Europe for going with Plan A.
Its a meaningless comparison to begin with becuase of differ demographic factors such as age, geo-graphical remoteness, population density, etc. Its however compounded by a further fudging of the data. And thus fails the A-B-C (Authenticate, Backed up data & Credibility) test.
So for example the meme compares NZ Vs Sweden’s economic impact by drawing off Sweden’s June 2020 post covid figures and NZ march (pre covid) quarterly 2020 figures. Which is just being a statistical dirt bag as you make sure the figure fit your argument by selective cherry picking aimed at producing said results.
Another example is the meme drew on NZ’s official stats unemployment figures which leave of long term unemployed statistics and those on wage subsides meaning instead of trading of 4.2 actual NZ unemployment is 8.6 bring in it on par with Sweden own post Covid 19 numbers. To be fair i have no idea ow Sweden gathers it own data but I am aware collection measure can greatly alter end results.
On that note.
In NZ we followed the Imperial College model based on seriously flawed epidemiology. Thus meaning our threat assessment model (the means by which minimised harm is assessed via formalised mortality economic social harm balancing equation) was also flawed from day 1.
(Expand upon what minimisation is)
The politics behind this sort of data picking mean in NZ we get to see almost daily head line in the Corporate owned and motivated media (for example see Covid 19 expert Jesse Mullgan TV presenter for The Story explain why professional epidemiologist are conspiracy theorist. which never address the fact that the Swedish fatality factors is based to begin with on a cautionary assumptive modelling which basically means that 50% of Sweden the death attributed to Covid 19 where in fact covid 19 like symptoms and may have in fact being based on pre-existing conditions.
Fact is diagnosis method of many nations vary so over all figures analyst is not as straight forward as it seems.
Regardless in NZ MSM readers can expect to see headline such as ‘Covid 19 coronavirus: Sweden records its highest death toll in 150 years’ – Yes will no big surprise this in fact is true in many countries are in that boat. To repeat there is no doubting this is serious global event . The question however is when assessing out threat response Plan A or Plan B was the maths correct when experts first crunched the number and picked a response hopefully on the goal of what would best achieve harm minimisation.
This core point seems missed in corporate msm coverage in NZ.
However when you wonder away from the NZ media example you begin to get a more balanced coverage of Sweden’s decision to play the long game for the purpose of reaching harm minimisation. And even here the widespread coverage generally contains the two main errors listed above;
1. The Swedish death rates are based on take no chance when in doubt its Covid 19 so national data comparison are fraught and subjective.
2. The acceptance of the Imperial College model is a guaranteed slow motion train wreck in action. Hows that?
Because the modelling was so exaggerated (as in over shot the moon not just a we bit off orbit wrong) decision makers to be blunt looked at the figures of causalities in their millions, looked at what this would do to their economies and calculated that less damage would be done (harm minimisation) if they went into lock down mode. However those calculations were based on bad math a statement which is a pure simple and exceptionally well documented fact not open to dispute or counter claim.
The Lockdown is now hurting the economy and the long term impact on health (not corporate profits which are at a century high ) for the population well be based on such things as can the state afford to build new hospitals (note Dunedin Hospital already down scaling and debatable if will get built at all), must we make wage cut back with out ambulance drivers such as is the case with St John in NZ (mean while racing gets 78 million bail out), what will be ambulance response times be, how many doctors can we afford, will cancer treatment go un-diagnosed etc etc etc. Fact is Covid 19 is opening the door for privatised health care where profits mean more than people.
In short NOT dealing with this with a Plan B ‘herd immunity response’ may end up in New Zealand cases exceeding the incorrectly forecast 60,000 deaths with out controls and the also incorrectly forecast 10,000 deaths with controls as NZ projections stated with input from the Imperial Colege and Neil Ferguson. Meaning, put simply, the decision to opt for Plan A Lockdown based on flawed mathematical modelling, as created by serial blunder, may end up killing more people than it could have saved even under the worse case scenario.
And it time to take a we break and mull that all over (A- Team Theme ) Cos their “NO Plan B”
Were back on Fresh FM with the DEADLINE REPORT (usal blurb)
The issue of how Plan A is in fact a killer on its own right and how the decision to accept statistic from a dubious serial blunder will cost lives has not being spelled out clearly enough for the public to fully comprehend the scale of the error made by this government an other government who chose to follow a model pushed by corporate lobbyist.
Nor the fact that clearly political decision has sparked a small academic civil war in the UK (independent academic verse corporate government lobbyist known as SAGE) unsurprisingly has received little attention in NZ from the corporate owned papers. Or the fact that visa same issue the UK top medical journal the Lancet has to date come out in favour of the non corporate backed rebels. Though to be fair that not as straight forward with many interpretation of what constitution herd immunity, containment (plan a) lock-down and whether to vaccinate or not.
The core point the independent are having a discourse the government of Johnston have agenda driven dictate which risk polarisation something I think Winston gets having hired Brexit boys Aaron Bank and Gilmore to do his strategy but I am not sure the PM is as she walks into a carefully laid Winston trap.
And lets hammer that point home some more. When on day 4 the Imperial College model was quickly rubbished as utter mathematical joke, by the rest of UK’s academia, what did it author Neil Ferguson do?
Will he bolted for home claiming he had being diagnosed with Covid 19. A falsehood which was unearthed when Ferguson (reminiscent of the New Zealand own Minister of surfing and biking i mean Health David Clark’s hypocrisy) was found going round to his neighbours home to bonk his wife as government screamed stay at home save lives. Suddenly his so called Covid 19 had cleared up
Perhaps no where in the history of mankind has there ever being better example of suspect expertism and politicians with agenda screaming ‘do as we say not as we do’. Not exactly what you call great role models for their own arguments really.
This however did not stop the jugger-naught from rolling and even thought Ferguson model was outed as an utter balls up, days afte being published, the train was permitted to leave the station. In the UK press article on the Ferguson projections wee a amended on line around march 27th with corrections which did not match up against the existing reports own text (while amended graphs can be seen to have being doctored when compared against published copy of those graph, such as the Imperial College own online news letter, are compared) added.
This process was duplicated in NZ around March 30th As MSM rants on about conspiracy theories and need for accuate data the fact is they can be caught with their pants down when it come to the issue of A-B-C and the maths history which lays behind Covid19 modelling. Not in fact un-similar to the Missile in Iraq conspiracy theory pushed by corporate MSM media involving Blair and a brigade of Yes Minister employee such as spin Doctor Ronnie Flanagan and Sir William Sargent for whom our own PM worked as a “senior policy advise” in revolving door of spin doctors, corporate lobbyists, politicians and pet academia selling Public Private Partnerships.
As today NZ get use to hearing all about ‘Science’ from the pink haired science “communicator” Sioux Wiles a graduated of the Imperial College UK and beneficiary of recent grant money.
A third error is to point to its economy and suggest it no worse off
This is an error as;
A) we have not seen how their response will impact recovery
B) this is always going to be a fact in Europe where EU means you do tend to have a joined at the hip economic model were eve you go in Sweden.
THE PLAN A VACCINE CRAP SHOOT
Yet the forth and largest error to date is the omission that Plan A needs one thing for it to actually work. At less if this is the case if Plan A is to be our go to response every time a potential pathogen rises it head. Which in fact is reality due factor such as climate and continued industrialism is highly likely. And next year it may not be covid 19 it may be something else.
Regardless Plan A need a vaccine.
Personally am a heretic in my social circle in that not only am I pro vaccine but I love them.
A good vaccine made well has when all is said and done have saved millions of lives. They are a scientific miracle.
However whats not being said. What Plan A advocates keeps glossing over are the facts that a vaccine, which does more good than harm, take years to develop and even then that is no guarantee it will work or (worse case scenario).
In fact done badly as the world leading virologist Otago University graduate Doctor Webster of the WHO notes, it could simply become a vector for viral cross contamination which brings the virus back with vengeance.
Polio is example of both originally polio vaccines saved millions of lives. However the same vaccine due to cost cutting measures, governments turning a blind eye to quality controls, poor administration of the vaccines applied incorrectly, have now seen polio surge back.
Vaccine giveth vaccine taketh-away and the latter is true when economics, political pressure and corporate lobbying arr added to the mix.
Plan A ultimately is a crap shoot where the public safety is the chips on the board. Where if it work corporates get the profit, politicians get the kudos. But if it a loss the public pay with their actual lives and the ruin of their livelihoods and quality of living.
Plan B in contrast deals with the long term reality “the long game” and works with what is available in the here to achieve harm minimisation.
Plan A is based on a maybe and is pushed by those keen to maximise profits not save lives. Plan A is being sold by those aligned with corporate goals and being sold large to politicians who eye is on the next election not the next decade when they wont be around to pay for the consequences of what happens when the gamble for a quick fix fails to emerge.
Plan B has the backing of independent scientist, not as New Zealand’s corporate media keeps falsely asserting ‘Conspiracy Theorist’ motivated by their concern over the omission of key facts by politicians, corporate media and the best ‘science’ money can buy.
The main problem with Plan A is its pushed by those with a clear agenda. Those who are using spin, pet academics and political ambition to push an idea based on bad math and the corporate science doga of the day (any one remember smoking was good for you) a maybe and in term of harm minimisation that rather worrying.
And on that note will end this who with another hit picked from the sound track of the A’Team “I pity the Fool’ sound trek You spin me right round by DEAD OR ALIVE
This is Ben Vidgen and you have being listening to the DEADLINE Report on Fresh FM ..mimic sound track cue song.