A new lockdown analysis by David Campbell and Kevin Dowd, entitled “Disregard of the Empirical; Optimism of the Will: The Abandonment of Good Government in the COVID-19 Crisis” has been published in the prestigious Studies in Applied Economics series from Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health and the Study of Business Enterprise. If this series sounds familiar, it is the same series that published the now famous article by Jonas Herbe, Lars Jonung and Steve Hanke that showed lockdown had little or no impact on COVID-19 mortality.
The accumulation of evidence that lockdown is a deeply ill-advised public health response threatens to leave the policy without anyone who will acknowledge their responsibility for it. Campbell and Dowd’s paper shows how shamefully slipshod the argument for lockdown was even at the time, in summer 2020, when it enjoyed the most powerful ideological and political support. Campbell and Dowd ask how it could be possible that a policy of this abysmal quality could ever be adopted. A widespread ignorance of the problems of determining whether the policy was needed or could even be implemented was, they suggest, subsumed under a fanatical commitment to political ‘will’ as the supposed solution of such problems.
The reason Campbell and Dowd’s paper appears only now is that, though it was originally commissioned for a special issue of a U.K. law journal, it was rejected by the permanent editorial board of that journal after what Campbell and Dowd describe as a wholly suspect reviewing process, which ended in no explanation for the rejection. Thus we have what appears to be yet another example of how the Covid disaster has involved a fundamental breakdown not only of good government but of public and academic debate, as views which challenge the manufactured consensus of ‘the Science’ are denied entry to such debate.
Read Campbell and Dowd’s paper here.