Are We Listening to Trumped-Up Forecasts of COVID-19?

Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson speaks at a news conference in London, Britain January 22, 2020, in this still image taken from video. (Reuters)

Neil Morris Ferguson is a British academic who specializes in the patterns of spread of infectious diseases in humans and animals. He heads the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology in the School of Public Health and is the vice dean for academic development in the Faculty of Medicine at the Imperial College of London.

As you may recall, it was this Imperial College whose projection model pronounced that COVID-19 virus could kill 2.2 million Americans.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich offers a suggestion how a fruitless forecast so devoid of rhyme or reason could still fall in fertile soil: "Two generations of over-protecting our children, seeking safe places, announcing 'trigger warnings,' hyperventilating on social media, and having radio and TV starving for things to fill continuous 24/7 cycles, have all built up to a crescendo of noise."

Ferguson's projections were so "disconnected from common sense and reality," the former speaker continues, "[how was it] able to guide public policy? The truth is, we should have immediately expected these dire predictions to be complete bunk. It turns out the chief author, Neil Ferguson, has become famous for making wildly absurd predictions about public health issues. As the Committee To Unleash Prosperity reported in its newsletter, citing reporting by the British newspaper The Telegraph:

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"Ferguson has been wrong so often that some of his fellow modelers call him 'The Master of Disaster.'

"Ferguson was behind the disputed research that sparked the mass culling of 11 million sheep and cattle during the 2001 outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. He also predicted that up to 150,000 people could die.

"In 2002, Ferguson predicted that up to 50,000 people would likely die from exposure to BSE [mad cow disease] in beef. In the U.K., there were only 177 deaths from BSE.

"In 2005, Ferguson predicted that up to 150 million people could be killed from bird flu. In the end, only 282 people died worldwide from the disease between 2003 and 2009.

"In 2009, a government estimate, based on Ferguson's advice, said a 'reasonable worst-case scenario' was that the swine flu would lead to 65,000 British deaths. In the end, swine flu killed 457 people in the U.K."

After perfidiously lecturing the public on the dire need for strict social distancing, Dr. Ferguson resigned last week from his position as government advisor on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies after it became public that the professor was not abiding by his own counsel. No, Ferguson was committing adultery with a married woman with three children. His paramour defended the illicit, immoral fling by saying that "[she] does not believe their actions to be hypocritical because she considers the households [the one with her husband and the one with Ferguson] to be one."

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly," Psalm 1:1 advises.

Tucker Carlson does not beat about the bush in regard to Dr. Ferguson's story.

For good measure he throws in the double-dealing of Democrat New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Democrat Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Democrat CNN's Chris Cuomo and his brother, Democrat New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Let it be understood, however, that Democrats don't hold a corner on pretense and lack of virtuous character all alone. Republicans are likewise not beyond serious criticism. It reinforces that what has happened to and in America over the last 100 years is spiritual.

From 1774 to 1789, the Continental Congress served as the government of the 13 American colonies and later the United States. In 1776, it took the momentous step of declaring America's independence from Britain. Five years later, the Congress ratified the first national constitution, known as the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. The articles were in force until 1789, when the present-day Constitution went into effect.

In managing the "headwaters" of early America, the Continental Congress enacted on July 13, 1787, the Northwest Ordinance, outlining the criteria for the admittance of new states into the Union, including "a bill of rights protecting religious freedom, the right to a writ of habeas corpus, the benefit of trial by jury and other individual rights."

Concerning religious freedom, Article 3 of the Ordinance declared: "Religion, morality and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged."

The ordinance protected civil liberties and outlawed slavery in the new territories.

The major contributions to the current American culture pale in comparison to the influences that gave rise to the early American culture in 1787. To paraphrase Mark Steyn: "If public education is radically secular; if Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google manipulate social media and impose censorship discriminating against conservatives and those holding a biblical worldview; if Bill Maher, Howard Stern and Ellen DeGeneres are youth's tutors for common beliefs and social forms; if the next celebrity sex-tape is big news and something to be emulated, then having an 'R' behind one's name isn't going to make much difference."

Three things must occur for America to survive, according to A.W. Pink in Gleanings From Genesis:

1) Those with spiritual wisdom and insight should move from inside the church building into the culture outside, in order to follow up on Jesus' ekklesia kingdom assignment from Matthew 16:18.

2) Christians should begin to play the long game. In Genesis 15, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, promising him a son. Some 25 years later, God fulfilled His commitment, showing that "God is in no hurry working out His plans."

Genesis 21 reports that Abraham is now 100 years old and Sarah 90 and barren, but, as A.W. Pink points out, "such trifles present no difficulty to Him who is infinite in power. ... Faith is tried and tested in order to display its genuineness. A faith that is incapable of enduring trial is no faith at all."

3) For the reestablishment of a biblically based culture and using the founders' model to get America back to glory, Proverbs 24:10 prompts that "If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small." Distinguished Old Testament scholar and former Professor Emeritus of Hebrew and Oriental Languages William McKane adds to that: "It is when a man is hemmed in and trapped by adverse circumstances that his powers of endurance are stretched and an estimate of his toughness and stamina can be made."

Dr. Bruce K. Waltke, the foremost living authority on the wisdom literature found in the Old Testament, has the final word: "A person reveals the degree and extent of his strength by his conduct in crisis."

The good news is that friends of the American Renewal Project, Gideons and Rahabs, are rising up to stand:

Calvary Chapel in Bangor, Maine

Rob McCoy

Jack Hibbs

David Lane is the founder of American Renewal Project.

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