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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Dr Siouxsie Wiles MNZM recently detailed the "Red Flags" identifying false and misleading information.

You just know this has to be good.

Her red flags:

Are they downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic? Are they claiming that most people survive Covid-19 just fine? That it’s just a bad flu?

Well, there are numerous studies to draw on. For example, Stanford Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology John P. A. Ioniddis estimates the global infection fatality rate at 0.15-0.20% (0.03-0.04% in those <70 years).

Most people do survive Covid-19 just fine.

For the USA covid-19 is worse than the 1957 ’flu but not as bad as 1936. The IFR for the Spanish ’Flu was 2 percent with 99 percent of excess deaths aged under 45.

The median age of death from Covid-19 in Western Countries is 80 plus years.

The risk of catching and dying from Covid-19 varies 10,000-fold according to age.

For the young and the healthy, it’s a bad ’flu.

Are they emphasising your personal choice and freedoms over acting for the collective good?

Tyrants always appeal to the collective good. And dictate what is required. It's no surprise those advocating lockdowns, masks, social distancing and quarantine promote the “collective good’. Or that those wary of government advocate freedom and choice.

Are they pushing some supplement as a cure or treatment for Covid-19?

As just one example, according to Dr Wiles, Dr Stephanie F. Ling and her colleagues peddle disinformation with their study finding a correlation between vitamin D and reduced risk of mortality.

It’s just a study amongst the multitude but it hardly classifies as misinformation.

[I]s the information presented in a way that seems designed to make you angry or scared. Good information put out to help you make an informed choice won’t do that.

The irony is that Stuff and their experts make me angry and many people scared by reporting apocalyptic predictions with no grounding in fact. Too many of their stories recort what “could” happen rather than what has happened.

Mentioning facts, reminds that Dr Wiles doesn’t produce any.

This from Stuff begging for a dollar; “The safety of all New Zealanders relies on everyone getting important information -- based on science and facts”. Stuff is invariably deficient in both. Hint: science is not a person, organisation, or prediction; it is the method of critically testing ideas.

Those who would have us Follow the Science are the new totalitarians. It’s not just that they don’t distinguish “ought” from “is”, they don’t even care for what “is”.

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