Saturday, September 25, 2021
HomeCOVID-19The case for lockdown is built on intellectual dishonesty

The case for lockdown is built on intellectual dishonesty

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DR John Campbell is one of the high priests of lockdown. Intelligent, articulate, scientific, he believes in handwashing, masks, social distancing and lockdown. His advocacy for vitamin D supplements is evidence-based and well argued. His discussion with David Davis MP on vitamin D is wonderful, not least because one is astonished by an MP showing so much scientific understanding. Campbell’s daily Covid updates are widely viewed.

But there, I am afraid, it stops. I cannot tell why. Campbell is an intelligent and scientific doctor of medicine. He knows the science and the medicine behind the Covid numbers and yet he bottles it. Completely. In his video blog of February 17 he discusses the graphs of Covid cases in Canada, the UK and the US.

‘ . . . Canada cases going down and this twin falling cases, once adjusted per capita, and really quite uncanny, again really quite uncanny between the UK and the United States.’

As we see, the numbers of Covid cases in the UK and US (and Canada) rise irregularly and then fall off in ways that are, in Campbell’s words, uncannily similar. 

Campbell explains. 

‘Now in the United Kingdom, where we are not as locked down as we were in the first lockdown, back in the first wave. I mean we say we are but in actual fact we are not but the cases are coming down due to pretty restrictive measures it has to be said. So that’s really why the cases are coming down in the UK.’

Fair enough. Even if we don’t agree, we get what Campbell is saying, that the harsh lockdown in the UK is the cause of the Covid cases dropping off. 

Then Campbell turns to the US. 

‘Now what I would like to do now is to explain in detail exactly why the cases are going down as they are in the United States. I want to explain this most welcome drop-off in exact detail and precisely. But of course unfortunately I can’t. I don’t think that anyone in the world can. I mean why are the cases coming down as nicely in the States? Now we are not saying we’re out of it yet: there’s no space for complacency. There’s a change in behaviour in the States on an individual family basis yes; there’s more mask wearing. But the last weekend people were flying around a lot. There’s still a lot of internal movement going on. There are restrictions on international flights, which is good, but it’s really quite hard to explain the fall in cases that we’re seeing in the States. I just think it’s the summation of millions and millions of individual behaviours, people are becoming accustomed to this idea of the pandemic and the need for restrictions.’

This is where Campbell bottles it. He knows the scientific method. He advocates taking vitamin D supplements because it makes a difference. But then intellectual honesty disappears.  Campbell refuses to acknowledge the logic of his own words, that the tight lockdown in the UK makes absolutely no difference to the way that our Covid numbers decrease. 

Note: To avoid any alteration in what Dr Campbell was saying, I have quoted him verbatim, rather than correct the inevitable and excusable stumbles which come from speaking without a script. 

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Mark Ellse
Mark Ellse is a physicist and author. He is a former headmaster, independent school inspector and A level chief examiner.

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