A Most Expensive Hoax

The Seen and the Unseen

Every action has not one but many effects; of these many effects, only some — perhaps one — are intended, and others are unintended; some of the many effects are beneficial and others are harmful; some are immediate, and others delayed; some are foreseen and others not; some are known and others unknown; some are evident and others not. The world is complicated because things are connected and interrelated, and what happens in one part affects other parts, and all sorts of things are happening all the time and therefore it is hard to fully understand the consequences of any large-scale intervention.

The world in which actions have only intended, beneficial, immediate, foreseen, known and evident effects is not the world we live in. In our world, actions also have effects that are unintended, harmful, delayed, unforeseen, unknown and concealed. What does that imply, though? Should one do nothing in the face of uncertainty and risk? No. It means that one should have the humility to not presume to know what’s best for the world and be very hesitant to command others to do one’s bidding.

The government is supposed to work in the interests of the people. But that’s romantic nonsense. Politicians and bureaucrats — they constitute the government — are not perfect beings. Indeed, politicians are possibly more flawed than the average person. Politicians and bureaucrats don’t do anything that would not benefit themselves, and if they do what is in the public interest, it happens as an exception. Governments cause harm. And the larger the govenrment, the greater the harm.


The Chinese virus pandemic is devastating economies across the world. Most of the damage done is not the direct health and mortality effects of the virus but instead it is the damage public policy of lockdowns does to economies, and the indirect negative effect on disease and mortality.

The disease was thought to be extremely contagious and the case fatality rate high. It seemed like lockdown was the correct response to keep people safe from a medical disaster, and it appeared acceptable to pay the economic and health costs of lockdowns. But was it? Now we know better that lockdowns are wrong.

U.N. has estimated that 130 million additional people will starve this year as a result of the economic damage resulting from the lockdowns.[1] The 130 million are the poorest of the poor. Here the public policy of lockdowns basically sacrifices those 130 million poor to protect the lives of a couple of million rich people.

Dr Roger Hodkinson

Here are a couple of experts who are against the current public policy response to the pandemic. First, Dr. Roger Hodkinson, chairman of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons committee in Ottawa, Canada, CEO of a large private medical laboratory in Edmonton, Canada, and chairman of a biotechnology company in North Carolina, US, that sells Covid-19 tests. Dr. Hodkinson told government officials in Alberta during a zoom conference call that the current coronavirus crisis is “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public.”

A recording of the zoom conference call was uploaded to YouTube.[2] Since it’s just an audio call recording anyway, here it is for the record:

Dr Hodkinson’s position is unusual, to put it mildly.

“There is utterly unfounded public hysteria driven by the media and politicians. This is the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on an unsuspected public. There is absolutely nothing that can be done to contain this virus. This is nothing more than a bad flu season. It’s politics playing medicine and that’s a very dangerous game. There is no action needed … Masks are utterly useless. There is no evidence whatsoever they are even effective. It is utterly ridiculous seeing these unfortunate, uneducated people walking around like lemmings obeying without any evidence. Social distancing is also useless because COVID is spread by aerosols which travel 30 meters or so before landing … Positive testing results do NOT indicate clinical infection. It is simply driving public hysteria and ALL testing should STOP immediately … using the province’s own statistics the risk of death under 65 is 1 in 300,000. The scale of the response is utterly ridiculous … all kinds of business closures, suicides … you’re being led down the garden path.”

He said that the virus cannot be stopped and that the only thing to do is protect older, more vulnerable people; that mandotory mask mandates were completely pointless. 

“Paper masks and fabric masks are simply virtue signalling. They’re not even worn effectively most of the time. It’s utterly ridiculous. Seeing these unfortunate, uneducated people – I’m not saying that in a pejorative sense – seeing these people walking around like lemmings obeying without any knowledge base to put the mask on their face.”

He noted the unreliability of PCR tests, saying that “positive test results do not — underlined in neon — mean a clinical infection,” and that all testing should stop because the false numbers are “driving public hysteria.” To prevent further damage being caused by lockdowns, society must be opened immediately.

Dr Mike Yeadon

A video of Dr Mike Yeadon, former Pfizer vice president, was uploaded toYouTube. And promptly taken down by YouTube:

Here’s a copy of that video:

Mountain Lions vs Dogs

We are not very good at assessing risks. David Henderson over at Econlib.org quotes from a book he co-authored with Charles Hooper in 2006: 

How dangerous are mountain lions? The data tell an interesting story. Since 1980, there have been only 13 attacks in all of California (where David and Charley live) and three people have died as a result. Compare this with attacks by dogs. Each year in California, about 100,000 dog attacks cause their victims to get medical attention. This means that California residents are approximately 180,000 times as likely to be seriously attacked by a dog as by a mountain lion. But to really compare dogs and mountain lions, we need to check our base, because there are a lot more dogs than mountain lions. With so many more dogs running around, a reasonable person would expect more dog attacks. With about 8 million dogs and 5,000 mountain lions in California, we see that there are approximately 1,500 dogs for each mountain lion. Once we check our base and correct for the numbers of dogs and mountain lions, we see that dogs are still more dangerous, and in fact, the risk of serious attack from an individual dog is about 120 times that of the risk from an individual mountain lion. Mountain lions present a daunting and ferocious image, but with so few attacks, they must have very little interest in attacking people.

In the article, Dogs, Mountain Lions, and COVID-19, Henderson writes that “the risk to the young is extremely low” and quotes data from the Centers for Disease Control for the number of deaths between February 1, 2020 and November 7, 2020:

The number of Americans of age 15 to 24 who have died of COVID-19 is 410.
The number of Americans of age 15 to 24 who have died of all causes is 26,662.

He concludes: “Watch out for dogs, not mountain lions. If you’re young, watch out for deaths from other causes, not COVID-19.”

The Bottom Line

There are a couple of lights at the end of this tunnel: the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, both of which are 95% effective, and the herd immunity that is inevitable and the only way that pandemics end. The lockdowns are politically motivated and it’s what you’d expect from goverment overreach in a (mostly successful) attempt at getting more control over people.

Governments are evil. Watch out for the deaths governments cause, not Covid-19.

The Great Barrington Declaration

I have signed the Great Barrington Declaration as “A concerned citizen.”


[1] See my post on A Sensible Anti-Covid Strategy.

[2] Here’s the link to that video. However, Youtube is likely to take down that video. 


Author: Atanu Dey


5 thoughts on “A Most Expensive Hoax”

  1. Exactly what I have been trying to say. The response of public officials comes from a position of human arrogance – it could be unintentional in some cases – the thinking that our actions can prevent the force of nature.
    The fact that the virus is spreading in the area that it did not affect during spring and summer is a clear indication that none of our action can stop it.
    The lockdown is a Chinese authoritarian method that is causing untold damage throughout the world.
    Truly the biggest hoax and a cruel hoax played on the world.
    Very informative collection of videos/commentary


  2. I do not see any villains in the ongoing drama of humankind trying to deal with the Wuhan Virus.
    No-maskers have valid points.
    Mask/social-distancing-wallahs have valid points.
    No leader has got complete data. Just like economics, there are equal and opposite medical-experts recommending contradictory measures. What can a leader do?

    The prevailing confusion indicates that nobody has figured it out. I see no reason to staunchly support or oppose any of the approaches being tried out. Not yet.


    1. The virus has brought a major flaw of democracy to the fore. In democracies the leaders are guided by their next election and hence dont take any decision that can generate even slight bit of negative publicity. This is driven by media and media’s incentive is sensationalism – so they make a big deal about some rare case although statistically insignificant, the politicians (in democracies) have to take into account that rare case and thus take ruinous public policy decisions.
      The villain is MEDIA and authoritarian politicians!!!


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