How profoundly has science been corrupted by politics? Which elements of the mainstream COVID narrative—and which “conspiracy theories”—are demonstrably false? How do we sort through the tidal wave of information, misinformation, and disinformation that’s washing over us, and honestly search for the truth?
First we have to be willing to rethink our earlier positions if it turns out they were wrong. For example in July I published “Judging the Covid-19 Pandemic: Excess Deaths Is the Best Metric”. In it, I argued that the CDC’s overall death count—which as of today tells us that more than 300,000 “excess deaths” occurred in 2020—is probably reasonably reliable.
But on today’s show, Josh breaks a huge story: Johns Hopkins University economist Genevieve Briand’s “debunked” analysis, according to which there have been few if any excess deaths in 2020, may be accurate. Josh suggests that when the CDC tells us there have been 300,000 excess deaths (presumably mostly from COVID) they are relying on the Farrington algorithm, which deliberately overstates death counts in expectations that they will rise. Dishonestly applied, the Farrington algorithm could be used to overstate death counts. And according to Josh, a soon-to-be-released scientific paper will argue, in detail, that this is precisely what has happened. (As soon as that paper is released, I will link to it in the comments section here.)