Doherty Report: Australia’s roadmap to 6-12 months of lockdowns

On August 3rd the Prime Minister released the Doherty Modelling Report which is a complex model based detailing Australia’s roadmap through the Covid pandemic using vaccines, social restrictions, lockdowns, and, as far as I could tell, more assumptions than common sense.

This 66 page report appears to be using an insane level of sophistication applied rather dubiously. e.g. page 35 has

fraction = -log(TP1) / (log(TP2) – log(TP1))

where fraction is the relative amount of time each state spends under stage 5 lockdowns. I didn’t know you could model tyranny, but it looks like you can.

With all this modeling, they come up with a bunch of different scenarios showing how many people get sick over what time frame and how many die.

I’ve done plenty of modeling and the #1 thing you have to do when you’ve created a model is to test it against REALITY.

In the scenarios from the Doherty Report (pp19-20), the number of kids under 15 dying from Covid in the first six months ranges from 29 to 86.

That seemed like a lot to me. So I checked the data in England for the number of kids under 15 who died in the first six months. The total was 12 of a population of 10,192,089, or 1 per million. For the entire pandemic the total is only 29 in England with a population about twice that of Australia.

Kid deaths per million in first six months:
Australia: 6
England: 1

Somehow the Doherty Report determined that the child mortality rate with be six times that of the UK. This is clearly absurd.

It does beg the question: if this one provable data point misses reality by a factor of six, are any of the other data likely to be even close?

To be fair to Professor Jodie McVernon and her University of Melbourne staff, they did make the point that vaccinating kids under 16 has minimal impact. I actually find this simultaneously shocking and refreshing: either she didn’t get the memo from Pfizer, or she simply ignored it rather than recommend more needless deaths.

Furthermore, they do understand that these vaccines are only designed to reduce symptoms and not reduce actual infections. And she didn’t have access to this CDC report published just 12 hours ahead of hers which showed that in a 469 case sample of mainly delta variant:

a) vaccination didn’t reduce infection rates (it never did — just reduces specific symptoms);
b) vaccination reduced symptomatic infection by just 21% — well below the 95% in the studies submitted to the FDA; and
c) vaccinated individuals returned similar PCR test results, indicating they probably have similar viral loads and are just as infectious.

So the assumptions on the impact of vaccines are likely to be wrong by orders of magnitude over a few weeks. On the bright side, her study showed that Australia can get through this pandemic in six months with a vaccination rate of just 50% (of those over 16) and only partial social restrictions:

Doherty Report page 49

Best of all, we’re only talking about 10,311 lives in the worst case. That’s the way I read it. I do wonder if whoever drew this cheeky chart was trying to pull one over the prof. Somehow, when ScoMo and the premiers saw this chart they determined that the bottom right chart is the best option. Well, that and the corresponding chart 3 pages later:

Doherty Report page 52

Under this scenario, there would be no more than 2 deaths a day until well beyond the next two elections. Best of all (for the dictators), this would require strict TTIQ (Test, Trace, Isolate, Quarantine) for the foreseeable future and would no doubt require Dan Andrews and his ilk to shoulder the heavy burden of unlimited emergency powers forever.

So what we’ve got to look forward to for the next two years based on this flawed model with its amusing calculations and outdated assumptions is 47-67% of the time under lockdown, dropping to just four months a year in a parallel universe with an 80% vaccination rate with vaccines that work.

Notably, the words “lives” and “saved” don’t appear in this report at all. It’s like one of those green energy reports which talks about lower carbon emissions but not the impact on global temperature rise or climate change.

The word “death” comes up 30 times though, so let’s talk about death. In the worst case scenario on page 19, 10,311 Australians die, the vast majority of them over 60. Assuming (generously) an average of 25 years lost per life, that’s around 250,000 years. Using the Australian Bureau of Statistics value of an Australian life of $200,000 per year, they are worth $50 billion. That is, it’s worth spending up to $50 billion saving them instead of spending that money on alternatives such as new hospitals, better healthcare, and helping war veterans.

I wouldn’t begrudge spending tax payer money on saving a few Australian lives. $50 billion sounds about right. But how much more?

The commonwealth government has ALREADY spent and committed SIX TIMES this amount. Not to mention the much higher price the private sector has had to pay.

For all this, we get our liberties taken, businesses destroyed, and lockdowns out to the horizon. Well done Australia.

And this only gets us to phase 2 of the 4-part plan. Incidentally, Pfizer is up 20% and Qantas is down 20% since I recommended them, so both positions are profitable.

It’s so ironic that I live in a military dictatorship and value my freedoms too much to return to a liberal democracy.