As part of a series of posts dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for the financial world, George Calhoun discusses the idea of Federalism in the United States.
The article delves into the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, characterizing it as the worst global public health emergency in a century. It emphasizes the critical role of data in crisis response, highlighting the need for accurate, accessible, and freely shared information. The global response to the pandemic relied heavily on understanding the virus's origin, nature, and trajectory. The narrative then shifts to the concept of a "data emergency," specifically focusing on China's handling of COVID-19 information. The article contends that gaps and distortions in epidemiological data were not only a consequence of the fast-paced and uncertain early months of the pandemic but also a result of deliberate information suppression policies in China. The Chinese government's actions, particularly withholding, altering, and destroying critical data, are criticized for contributing to the data emergency, ultimately hindering global efforts to combat the virus.tory, as well as effective strategies for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
China's zero-COVID policy, initially touted as a success, came under scrutiny as it abruptly shifted, exposing a large population to the highly contagious Omicron variant. Concurrently, the suppression of key COVID data intensified, with mass testing eliminated and essential statistics no longer reported. This raised concerns about the accuracy of China's COVID-related information, leading to widespread public distrust. The analysis then delves into the gaps in China's epidemiological data, citing a history of public health scandals and cover-ups in the country. It highlights instances of medical professionals and researchers facing gag orders, persecution for revealing information, and laboratories refusing to cooperate with international requests for data. Three approaches are discussed to assess the credibility of China's official COVID statistics: analyzing raw mortality figures, comparing reported infection and mortality rates with comparable countries, and scrutinizing the reported case-fatality rate. These analyses reveal significant discrepancies, with implausibly low mortality rates reported by China compared to similar nations.
Further exploration includes the examination of excess mortality, where the article estimates the true impact of the pandemic on China. Various models and approaches converge on estimates ranging from 1.5 to 3.5 million excess deaths, indicating a substantial under reporting of COVID-related fatalities. Factors such as age, vaccine efficacy, and healthcare facilities are considered as potential contributors to the severity of the impact in China. This article underscores the consequences of China's data suppression, emphasizing the global economic repercussions and the toll on Chinese citizens. The estimated excess mortality figures serve as a stark reminder of the costs imposed by the Chinese government's cover-up and suppression of critical information during the COVID-19 crisis.
Dr. George Calhoun, a distinguished figure in the field, serves as the Director of the Hanlon Financial Systems Center and is the Founder & Director of the Quantitative Finance Program at the Stevens Institute of Technology. Bringing 25 years of experience in the high-tech segment of the wireless communications industry, he is also an accomplished author, with several books on wireless technology to his credit. His most recent work, "Price & Value: A Guide to Equity Market Valuation Metrics," was published in 2020 by Springer/Apress, adding to his extensive contributions to the field.
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