Jay Bhattacharya on Uncommon Knowledge
Hoover’s Peter Robinson does an excellent job of interviewing Stanford’s Jay Bhattacharya on various aspects of the COVID pandemic and lockdown.
I recommend the whole thing: it’s all informative, especially for those who might have forgotten what facts about the pandemic “we” were pretty sure of when.
I want to highlight two things.
First, something Jay said that I don’t quite understand. At about the 3o:00 point, Jay states that the fact that child abuse figures fell is not evidence that child abuse fell. He points out that one of the main ways we know that child abuse occurs is that it is noted at schools and schools, of course, particularly government ones, were shut down. Then Jay goes on to say we had a huge increase in child abuse, unmeasured, that was not dealt with.
My question: If it was unmeasured, how do we know it happened? I see his theoretical point: that when child abuse is not reported, the cost of engaging in it falls, and so more of it is engaged in. That’s the law of demand. But I don’t see how Jay can know it was a huge increase, as opposed to, say, a small increase.
Second, deaths from COVID in Florida, which had less drastic and shorter-lived lockdowns and California, which had extensive, long-lasting lockdowns. At about the 48:00 point, Jay points out that 85-year-olds have had a lower incidence of death from Covid in Florida than in California; 75 to 84-year-olds, ditto; 65 to 74-year-olds, ditto.
Again, watch the whole thing.