Roland Benjamin: COVID-19 Lockdown: The Preferred Intervention of the Elite

planetcovid-wide

It is commonly accepted that an effective vaccine for COVID-19 will save lives.

The vaccine, be it BioNTech’s, Moderna’s, or any other pharmaceutical intervention, will most effectively bring an end to the COVID era.  The “science” needed to bring this intervention into the world is astounding, with tens of thousands of test subjects undergoing trials for each version.  Months and months and months of careful testing, and yet A SINGLE ADVERSE EVENT among any of the study participants halts the progress.  One event.  Savings lives is critical, so long as no harm is done in the process.

Simultaneously, governments all over the world have become obsessed with their own interventions.  The non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) range from mask mandates, to required testing, to full scale economic lockdown.  In the most extreme, China even resorted to welding people into their homes.

There has been no shortage of speculation that the lockdowns have caused harm.  The argument has always been that they save lives by mitigating spread, but there really has not been comprehensive proof of that.  Florida and California, two comparable states in climate and demography, have had comparable disease spreads with remarkably different approaches to inhibiting its residents.  In other words, the NPIs adopted by California, draconian in some respects, have not proven any more effective than the “control group”…Florida’s non-interventionist approach.

As every state experiences the spread of COVID, it is impossible to find NPIs that have successfully mitigated the epidemic, short of outright martial law.  This brings it back to the concept of that single adverse event that stops pharmaceutical development.  Countless reports of suicide ideation, domestic incidents, and substance abuse have increased over 2020 as lockdowns in all of their flavors have remained in place.  Are these not “adverse events”?  Holding our elected executives to the same standard, every single lockdown would have been lifted immediately for its failure to produce the intended outcome, while also causing MULTIPLE ADVERSE EVENTS in certain parts of our society.

The reality is simple.  Public policy, and the NPIs that come with it, has largely been determined by those at elevated risk of contracting COVID yet have virtually NO RISK to livelihood by staying in their home until the dust settles.  On the contrary, other groups pay a steep price.  The young, the middle class/essential workers in industries like food services or manufacturing, and small business owners that operate in the world of human interaction suffer the most.  Students are at very low risk from this virus, and yet to protect the older, decision-making grownups in their lives, we lock them in a virtual classroom every other week.  The worker stocking shelves at the grocery store is unable to stay home and get a paycheck, so he is forced to work in order to pay his bills.  But heaven forbid he go catch a movie after work some night…that might put his betters at risk.  The owner of a bowling alley or a restaurant, having upended their world to comply with some effective, often arbitrary, public health standards are now told to “pause”.  Do lockdowns protect these people?  No.  The lockdowns protect the privileged among us.  They protect those that can work from their basement without worrying about missing a paycheck.  They do not protect those of us that have to SHOW UP!

Every extension of emergency declaration, and every new executive order, reminds us of the conceit our “leaders” hold.  In the most charitable view, they believe they are doing what is best.  But their own hubris blinds them from the adverse events they promote every day.  They do not believe common folk can survive without their beneficence.  Let them eat cake.

[This post was updated at 11:13 am with links added.]

Roland Benjamin is a resident of South Kingstown and owns a manufacturing business based in Smithfield.



  • Lou

    It appears the author’s entire argument is based on “A SINGLE ADVERSE EVENT among any of the study participants halts the progress”. Is this something new circulating on the alt-right websites (or elsewhere)? I’m not exactly sure what it’s referring to, especially coming after a sentence that acknowledges “The “science” needed to bring this intervention into the world is astounding, with tens of thousands of test subjects undergoing trials for each version.”

    Does the author believe that ADVERSE EVENTS should be ignored, in an effort to speed the availability of the vaccine, or that vaccine development was slowed because ADVERSE EVENTS had to be studied? Either way, no support is provided.

  • Monique Chartier

    Terrific post by Roland. With cases surging everywhere, including those places like California that locked down severely, it is abundantly clear that lockdowns do not work to tamp down COVID-19. So why do elite observers continue to advocate for them and, more importantly, why do certain political elites continue to impose them in the face of the now undeniable harm that they are causing?

    • Pjgj28a

      Another way to look at vaccine testing data-

      in addition to the people who received the vaccine in Phase 1/2/3 trials another roughly 20,000 people received a placebo.

      How many of them do you think ended up testing positive for Covid during the same evaluation period?

      5,000?
      50?

      Well, out of 20,000 people who did NOT receive the vaccine, 162 of them expressed symptoms of acute respiratory illness and tested positive for COVID-19 during the evaluation period.

      And out of those 162 in the placebo group who tested positive for Covid, THREE of them had ‘severe’ Covid. And only one of them was hospitalized.

      (The study also clearly defines ‘severe’ Covid by a quantitative measurement of oxygen saturation. So there was no subjectivity involved.)

      “So from the roughly 20,000 participants who did NOT receive the vaccine, 162 (0.8%) tested positive for COVID-19 during the evaluation period. And THREE (1.9% of the positive tests) had ‘severe’ Covid. [see page 30 of the report]

      Remember– this was a BIG test. Tens of thousands of people, from all walks of life, under uniform research conditions. So this is pretty pristine data.

      Yet the numbers show that 98% of the people who tested positive for Covid during the evaluation period had a mild case.

      It’s astonishing that they still want to shut down the economy given this data.

      Now, I’m not dismissing Covid. A lot of people have suffered from it, and a lot of people have died.

      But it’s absurd that COVID-19 has become a sacred, hallowed, untouchable topic that outweighs every other priority in our society.

      Covid is more important than any other medical condition. It’s more important than freedom. It’s more important than our value system. It’s more important than basic human decency and the ability to engage civilly with one another.

      Politicians and public health emperors don’t want a single person to die of Covid. But they don’t give a darn about suicide, drug abuse, alcoholism, domestic violence, and every other disease that’s going untreated right now because of the Covid hysteria.

      They’ll happily arrest people who dare to open their businesses.

      They’ll pepper spray people who, even if sitting by themselves, take off their masks.

      They’ll censor and cancel you for expressing a view that doesn’t conform to the fear narrative.

      They’ll shame and ridicule you if you have any concerns about the vaccine.

      And they want us all afraid and locked up against our will

      However just maybe they ought to ‘listen to the scientists’ and have a look at their own data for a change before abusing the Constitution and playing God with people’s lives.”

      • Rhett Hardwick

        “listen to the scientists”. I have noticed that much of the “science” will not survive testing by the “scientific method”. I have also noticed the rising popularity of the word “science”, that overrides everything.

      • Monique Chartier

        “Yet the numbers show that 98% of the people who tested positive for Covid during the evaluation period had a mild case”

        Right – this and the very high survival rate (99.9%) are the two “ugly” (meaning very good) data points that lockdown officials and pro-lockdown media outlets are carefully keeping mum about.

        • Lou

          If you’re confused about the effectiveness of preventative measures, I refer you to Justin’s article which finds that “Finally, the states that have had the lowest levels of social distancing behavior and mask wearing are currently suffering the worst outbreaks”) and “Overall, the correlation between social distancing in the fall and current case rates is a remarkable
          (by social science standards) -.74; and for case rates and mask wearing -.64.”

          See for yourself:
          https://kateto.net/covid19/COVID19%20CONSORTIUM%20REPORT%2026%20BEHAVIOR%20NOV%202020

  • Lou

    You “We the People” folks crack me up. You love direct democracy until say, an election doesn’t go your way…then you try to litigate it…in those evil activist courts.

    Take a look at this, and then tell me what the “We the People” think:
    A new poll of nearly 13,000 adults in the U.S. finds that almost two thirds (64%) of Americans would support their state instituting a one-month lockdown in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus. About three in 10 (29%) are opposed.

    https://www.wptv.com/coronavirus/study-finds-most-americans-support-lockdown-to-slow-covid-19-spread

    • Rhett Hardwick

      I wonder how many respondents believed that a one month lockdown would do it? I wonder what result if a three month lockdown was proposed.

      • Lou

        Probably more than if a 6 month one was proposed. What do you think?

        • Rhett Hardwick

          I don’t regard the “science” of shutdowns to be settled. That makes me very uneasy about destroying large portions of he economy. Further, it provides the government an opportunity to step in with “disaster loans”, with strings.

          • Lou

            But science doesn’t matter, right? It’s all about “We the People”. And the people have spoken.

  • ShannonEntropy

    I don’t know who said this but it was originally said about global warming and it’s trve about the kung flu too:

    ” I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people who say it’s a crisis act like it’s a crisis “

    Did you see where Queen Gina got caught violating her own lockdown rules *again* recently ??

    https://turtleboysports.com/idiots-defend-gina-raimondo-after-getting-caught-at-wine-and-painting-event-in-bar-without-mask-on-despite-health-director-having-commie-cold-new-orders-shutting-down-gyms-and-banning-events-like-thi/

    And I would believe “science” if the “scientists” didn’t change their opinion depending on which way the political wind was blowing. When Trump touted HCQ the AMA went nucking futs and said IT”S *POISON* !! DOESN’T WORK AND WILL **KILL YOU** !!

    … But now that Trump’s lost the election, the AMA admits the stuff actually works and now they endorse it’s use:

    https://lenbilen.com/2020/12/14/american-medical-association-rescinds-previous-statement-against-prescription-of-hydroxychloroquine-to-covid-19-patients/

    p.s. before Lou’s tapeworm dismisses that source as Right Wing Propoganda and LIES!!, here’s the original AMA statement:

    https://www.ama-assn.org/system/files/2020-10/nov20-handbook-addendum.pdf

    • Lou

      Dude, you are tough to take seriously when you cite Turtleboy as a news source. It seems to be pretty obvious from YOUR photo that the Governor is drinking a glass of wine. How do you suggest she do that with a mask on? What ” lockdown rules” do you suggest she is violating?

      You need to bring better game if you want to promote a conspiracy theory (ask Justin if you need some advice). When you cite a letter dated 10-30-2020 as proof that something happened after the election, you need to try again.

      • Pjgj28a
        • Lou

          I’ll ask the same question again snowflakes, what is the alleged “violation”? Was the restaurant operating illegally, or were you prevented from doing the same think if you wanted?

        • Monique Chartier

          Harsh, ineffectual lockdowns imposed by governors including Gina Raimondo have shoved 8 million people into poverty since June. And in the midst of this destruction and suffering, she chooses to attend a decidedly non-essential Wine and Paint event. This was a remarkably tone-deaf violation of her own executive order and, by her own standard, dangerous to public health.

          • Rhett Hardwick

            Ah yes, do as I say, not as I do.

          • Lou

            So, what specifically was the “violation”? Were you prevented from attending? You know, was it only for “elitists”?

            Again, how many deaths of Americans are necessary for you to support ANY restrictions?