Saturday, October 31, 2020
Home COVID-19 It’s a pity Sir Keir can’t do sums

It’s a pity Sir Keir can’t do sums

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SIR Keir Starmer has called for a two-week lockdown. His reasoning is premised on some pretty dodgy arithmetic as revealed on Lockdown Sceptics yesterday. 

Starmer says: ‘The number of Covid cases has quadrupled in the last three weeks. Cases may be doubling as quickly as every seven to eight days. There are now more people in hospital with Covid than on March 23 when we went into national lockdown.’ 

Doubling every seven or eight days?  Now where have we heard that before? That’s right, on September 21st when Witless and Unbalanced presented us with their Graph of Doom predicting nearly 50,000 cases per day by October 13. How’s that getting on?

From the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM) you can see the numbers are nowhere near that. There were 17,234 cases (which includes false positives and people who are not symptomatic) on Tuesday – roughly a third of the predicted number – and the trend has been almost flat for a week. The Government has claimed it was the introduction of the Rule of Six on September 14 and the 10pm curfew on September 24 that has kept numbers down in their latest iteration of the ‘cases down, lockdown working, cases up, more lockdown needed’ strategy that can never be wrong. If that is the case why have the most restricted areas come to be the worst affected? And why have cases started to fall in Spain without closing bars or imposing harsh lockdowns? They can’t answer that question, but neither do they seem to care any more.

Source: Government

Looked at by specimen date, the curve is even flatter (note that the last four days will go up in the coming days). 

Has it ‘quadrupled in the last three weeks’ as Sir Keir asserts? Three weeks ago, on September 22, 4,926 ‘cases’ were reported, which means the number has trebled, not quadrupled, in that time. 

Is it now ‘doubling every seven days’? We don’t think so, Sir Keir. A week ago 14,542 ‘cases’ were reported. So it’s gone up by 19 per cent in the past week and appears to have slowed down. Where, we wonder, is Keir getting his data from? It doesn’t appear to be from the Government.

Maybe ‘cases’ will shortly start shooting up again, but that is no excuse for misrepresenting the current situation. Are they likely to though? 

Here are the positive rate curves for the UK, Spain and France, with little sign of runaway growth.

Source: Our World in Data

So you’d have to bet against it. Who will tell that truth to the electorate?

Thanks to Lockdown Sceptics for this analysis 

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Will Jones
Dr Will Jones is a maths graduate with a PhD in political philosophy and author of Evangelical Social Theology: Past and Present (Grove, 2017).He blogs at https://faith-and-politics.com/

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