Oops! Sorry, world! 9

Catastrophe. Cataclysm.

Have billions of lives been devastated and millions of people reduced to poverty by a computer software error? 

Thomas D. Williams writes at Breitbart:

The UK’s coronavirus lockdown was caused by “the most devastating software mistake of all time, in terms of economic costs and lives lost,” according to a report by a British newspaper.

The essay is referring to computer modeling by Neil Ferguson and his team at Imperial College London that predicted enormous deaths in the UK and elsewhere and led to draconian lockdown measures.

The Imperial College team published a 20‐​page report on March 16 forecasting that an uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 could cause as many as 510,000 deaths in Britain and as many as 2.2 million deaths in the United States.

The predictions, which were considerably wide of the mark were the result of radically deficient modelling, according to a report in British newspaper The Daily Telegraph by software developers David Richards and Konstantin Boudnik

Imperial’s unreliable microsimulation model moved policymakers to “mothball our multi-trillion pound economy and plunge millions of people into poverty and hardship,” the authors note.

The simulation code was so bad, the writers insist, that they “would fire anyone for developing code like this and any business that relied on it to produce software for sale would likely go bust.”

Imperial’s model “is vulnerable to producing wildly different and conflicting outputs based on the same initial set of parameters,” they state. “Run it on different computers and you would likely get different results. In other words, it is non-deterministic.”

In their contention that the Imperial model was “fundamentally unreliable”, the authors question why the government did not get a second opinion before radically altering the lives of millions of citizens.

The writers register their suspicion that “the [British] Government saw what was happening in Italy with its overwhelmed hospitals and panicked.”

Did the Ferguson team’s wildly wrong computer modeling also influence the US federal government’s decision to quarantine the entire population, causing businesses to close, many perhaps permanently, and impoverishing millions?

It seems that it did.

Can even the Midas touch of President Trump restore the lost wealth of America? Is there a doctor or magician who can resurrect the late economy?

A superb unappreciated president 11

While President Trump bears the heavy responsibility of dealing with a pandemic – and doing so very competently – the Democrats whinge and carp at every step he takes and sneer at him for everything he says. All their efforts are made with the object of obstructing and discrediting him. They don’t give a toss for the people they ache to govern.

In an article at Front Page titled America’s Superb Unappreciated President, John Perazzo writes:

The coordinated campaign of premeditated lies and smears that the Democrats and their media mouthpieces have been waging against President Trump ever since the word “coronavirus” first entered the American people’s consciousness, has been obscene. But there is something else that also needs to be addressed. Have you noticed that even now — after the life-and-death dangers inherent in the Democrats’ open-borders, catch-and-release immigration policies have been thoroughly laid bare by the current crisis — Democrats in public office have been utterly silent about those dangers? Have you noticed that they have not ventured even to speculate that perhaps President Trump’s pre-coronavirus warnings about the need to regulate our nation’s borders were well-founded and had absolutely nothing to do with racism?

This is because the Democrat narrative never changes in any significant way. It merely makes minor adjustments for the sake of political expediency. So because right now it would be politically inconvenient to link racism to the type of border security that is very obviously a matter of life-and-death for many Americans, the Democrats have simply found a new way of framing their “racism” charade. Thus have we heard one Democrat after another intone their latest mantra-of-the-moment: the notion that Trump’s use of the term “China [he says ‘Chinese’] virus” is damnable proof of his “racism”.

The Democratic Party has devolved into something quite diabolical. Its very considerable energies are now spent on little more than a constant stream of frenzied efforts to cover their political foes in rhetorical bird droppings. Aside from that, the party has nothing to offer the American people.

And Victor Davis Hanson writes at American Greatness:

Trump once enraged liberal sensibilities by issuing travel bans against countries in the Middle East, Iran, Nigeria, and North Korea as they could not be trusted to audit their own departing citizens. His notion that nations have clearly defined and enforced borders was antithetical to the new norms that open borders and sanctuary cities were part of the global village of the 21st century.

Trump certainly distrusted globalization. He has waged a veritable multifront war against the overreach of transnational organizations, whether that be the European Union or the various agencies of the United Nations. Even relatively uncontroversial steps, such as greenlighting experimental drugs and off-label uses of old medicines for terminal patients drew the ire of federal bureaucrats and medical schools as potentially dangerous or irrelevant in cost-benefit analyses.

Yet since the outbreak of the virus, Trump’s idiosyncratic sixth sense has come in handy. The country is united in its furor at China—even if it is giving no credit to Trump for being years ahead of where it is now.

No longer is there a national debate over the evils of “protectionism” and “nationalism”, but rather over how quickly and effectively can the U.S. return the manufacturing of key medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, strategically vital technologies, and rare earth metals to American shores. Offshoring and outsourcing are now more likely synonymous with tragedy than smart investment strategies. …

When Trump issued the key January 31 travel ban that suddenly stopped the arrival of 15,000 visitors per day to the United States from China, the Left was as outraged as it had been with the ban against Libya, North Korea, and Iran. Candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders saw an opening against their presumed 2020 opponent, and quickly sought to demagogue voters with “here-we-go-again” rhetoric that racist Trump is banning free travel of a marginalized people in his habitual “xenophobic” and “racist” fits. …

How odd that no prior critical major newspaper, network, or politician has now called for the end of such unnecessary and hurtful bans and the resumption of travel from China without further interruption …

We are learning, belatedly, that Trump was also rightly wary of transnationalism. The World Health Organization in the early weeks of the outbreak was mostly a paid-for Chinese megaphone. Its functionary director propagandized, on Chinese prompts, that the virus was likely not transmissible from human to human and that travel bans were ineffective and thus reflective of Trump’s repugnant views.

Americans were startled at how quickly the brotherhood of the European Union collapsed. Within days, individual countries were ignoring the Schengen open-borders rules and reinvented themselves as nations. None were eager to welcome in their neighbors. Few were willing to share medical supplies and key pharmaceuticals across ancient boundaries. …

The quite diverse manner in which Germany and Italy respectively reacted to the virus showed very little European commonality, but reflected that both were unique cultures and societies as they had been for centuries.

Here at home, under the present lockdown conditions, Americans worry about finding their needed but long-ago outsourced prescriptions and medical supplies, but they are not so fearful of running out of food or fuel for their vehicles and heat for their homes. Was it good then to have demanded expansions of native gas and oil production, to have supported pipeline construction and more fracking and horizontal drilling? Was it in retrospect wise or foolish to have tried vehemently to stop California authorities from releasing precious state and federal reservoir water out to sea thereby shorting the irrigation contracts of the nation’s most important food producer?

At such times as these, was it smarter to trust in bureaucracies like the CDC to issue test kits or to encourage private enterprise to step forward and become creative producers?

… as President Trump has done.

Could counties and states adapt better to the local and regional differences of the virus’s manifestations than a monolithic federal government?

President Trump believes counties and states can adapt better to local needs.

[The president’s] suspicions about China and globalization, his distrust of bureaucratic regulations, his support for domestic production of key industries, his promotion of the interests of farmers and frackers, and his vehement opposition to increased gun control, all reflect a world view of national and self-independence, in which Americans can only count on themselves and their fellow citizens.

He has been right all along.

Yet still half the nation fails to appreciate that he is a superb president.