THE contrast between Piers Morgan and Mark Steyn could not be greater. And on Monday night, their respective shows made the point.
We saw the thin-skinned, pro-lockdown TV celebrity – perfectly profiled on TCW yesterday by Laura Perrins – versus the GB News broadcaster who, instead of blocking his critics, invites them on to debate with him.
Monday’s show underlined just how classy Steyn is. Having let rip on the supposed efficacy of the Covid booster jab a few days ago – calling it ‘total blithering codswallop’ – he came in for flak on Twitter from a former Government statistician, Jamie Jenkins.
Never mind that a leading medical publication, the New England Journal of Medicine, has said the booster’s continued universal use, in a misguided attempt to eliminate Covid, will limit its ability to lessen transmission.
Never mind that one of Britain’s most senior immunologists, Professor Angus Dalgleish, has said: ‘I am now seeing several people who have had the infection for the second time, all of them triple-vaccinated. So why are we even considering vaccine boosters when they increase the chances of infection?’
Despite such authoritative weapons in his argument armoury, Steyn gamely invited Jenkins on to his show to engage in a civilised debate about the data – and the statistician accepted.
Steyn had made three statements. The first was that ‘the triple-vaccinated are contracting Covid at approximately twice the rate of the double, single and unvaccinated’. The second was that the triple-vaccinated are being hospitalised overnight for Covid ‘at approximately twice the rate of the double, single and unvaccinated’.
In fact, as you can see if you watch their exchange, Jenkins picks up the presenter only on his third point – that ‘the triple-vaccinated are dying within 28 days (of a positive test) at a rate approximately three times higher than the rest of the population’.
That is what the table showed. However, Mark concedes Jenkins’s critique that the latter figures are for all-cause death following a positive test.
Then their debate gets stuck right into what the stats mean and what type of information, such as age standardisation, is needed to be able to draw proper conclusions.
Most intriguing of all is how the stats guy more or less ends up making all of Mark’s points. He reveals his own past questioning of a government narrative and totally concurs about the huge difference between what the numbers say and the Government’s pro-booster narrative, and that there is no justification for the Government telling people they need a booster. Delightfully, he ends up by ridiculing Spain’s holiday travel vaccine mandate.
It’s a fascinating watch and you can see it here.
Like Laura, I wouldn’t even think of wasting my time with Morgan when there’s a Steyn around.