Covid: Propaganda seems to trump reality in Scotland and the US – Brian Wilson

Scotland has a higher death rate than Donald Trump’s America and it doesn’t seem to do the SNP any harm, writes Brian Wilson.

Saturday, 19th September 2020, 12:30 pm
Socially distanced fans watch as the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Houston Texans at American football (Picture: Jeff Roberson/AP)
Socially distanced fans watch as the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Houston Texans at American football (Picture: Jeff Roberson/AP)

The more evidence of carnage to jobs, businesses, town centres – the list is long – the less convinced I am of our risk-damage balance.

Covid-19 risk dominates everything. But other health implications and economic damage inflicted on communities also matter. There has to be some trust in common sense.

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The credibility of edicts depends on confidence in quality of evidence and I find some of it pretty flaky. Take one example. I heard Jason Leitch talking about football grounds.

Neil Lennon had wondered aloud why he could watch an NFL game in Kansas City with 18,000 in the stadium while ours are empty. This was loftily dismissed by Leitch who said he had checked out Kansas City.

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“Their death rate is the same as our case rate,” he asserted. “I don’t think we should be taking our example from Kansas City. I don’t think we should be taking our example from America.” That sounded sufficiently implausible to justify a little research. There have been 1,838 deaths in Missouri, population 6.14 million, which includes Kansas City. Neighbouring Kansas has recorded 586 deaths in a population of 2.8 million. In Scotland, we have had 4,236 deaths out of 5.5 million and 23,573 identified cases.

Professor Leitch then told business body FSB Scotland that tests are currently “a bit rubbish”, leading to false results. An eminent virologist described this admission as “astonishing”, meaning decisions are based on “opinion” rather than “actual evidence”.

The Kansas City anecdote supports that suspicion. And anyone who assumes Covid-19 will damage Donald Trump, forget it. Scotland has a far higher death ratio than the US and it doesn’t seem to have done our incumbent politicians a bit of harm.

Controlling the airwaves trumps reality!

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