You may not be familiar with the name of Donald Henderson. Dr. Henderson was an epidemiologist and is one of those credited with eradicating smallpox. I wanted to pass along a quote of his I stumbled across:

The interest in quarantine reflects the views and conditions prevalent more than 50 years ago, when much less was known about the epidemiology of infectious diseases and when there was far less international and domestic travel in a less densely populated world. It is difficult to identify circumstances in the past half-century when large-scale quarantine has been effectively used in the control of any disease. The negative consequences of large-scale quarantine are so extreme (forced confinement of sick people with the well; complete restriction of movement of large populations; difficulty in getting critical supplies, medicines, and food to people inside the quarantine zone) that this mitigation measure should be eliminated from serious consideration.

I do not pass this along as dispositive but as evidence that epidemiologists do not speak with one voice on this subject.

11 comments… add one
  • Guarneri Link

    Right. So I read that at Zerohedge this AM. Right or wrong it just shows that we have no real experts. Just opinions. Polluted opinions. But bona fide disastrous results.

    Now, que Steve. It’s from Zerohedge so the guys full of shit………… cause it goes against steve.

    As you like to say, go to Zerohedge and read the whole thing.

  • I didn’t get it from Zerohedge but from another source.

  • jan Link

    I also read that quote from zerohedge this morning. Perhaps, Dave, your source will have better Democrat-approved credentials to at least be processed before being thrown away, by some here, as nothing more than right-wing drivel.

  • Jan Link

    My own “BTW“ –

    The CDC is now questioning the earlier claim that COVID remains on some surfaces for as long as 3 days. There are also questions about airborne spreading of this virus, especially when temperatures over 77 degrees are unsustainable for this virus.

    There continue to be doctors questionIng how more lethal COVID is from a bad case of the flu.

    There are questions about when this country was first exposed to COVID, or how many people already have been exposed and built up immunity to this virus.

    There are a multitude of opposing responses to the use of various antivirals medications, especially the HCQ cocktail.

    Dr. Birx and others are questioning the mortality figures reported by the CDC, believing them to be significantly higher than they really are.

    Doctors are reporting they are being pressured to put the cause of death as COVID, whether or not a patient actually died because of this virus.

    The use of masks by lay people continues to be controversial – some medical experts saying they are more symbolic than helpful, while others assert they actually do more harm than good. Social distancing has also undergone scrutiny, as to whether or not this tactic has been as good of a means to curtail this virus like many experts posit.

    More and more medical personnel are seeing the draconian response to this virus being politically advanced as part of a social experiment, and a way to ultimately gain more power by the party always endorsing big government.

    Voices are growing louder involving the negative side effects of focusing only on COVID and neglecting everything else. A petition of 600 doctors was just submitted to the WH, supposedly representing even a larger swath of physicians, calling attention to how lopsided our pandemic response has become.

    Finally, what has actually been nailed down about this virus? Predictions have been derived from disastrous computer modelIng. The word “science” has been so broadly splattered around, as a reason to legitimize a stance, that it has become meaningless. There have been so many screw-ups by the CDC, demographic red flags missed, the creation of police states by massively quarantining healthy people, and yet we still continue to plod along stoking the fires of fear, to what end?

  • steve Link

    Interesting that you included that quote but left out the following.

    “Travel restrictions, such as closing airports and screen- ing travelers at borders, have historically been ineffec- tive.” Guess you just had to preserve Trump’s signature accomplishment didnt you?

    So a show of hands. How many besides me read the whole piece? Be honest. I am sure some might go back and read it. Anyway, he pretty much says nothing but vaccines work. (Maybe antivirals) He is 78 when he wrote this and he was largely writing about the flu. So, in that context maybe he was correct. We knew then and know now how to make vaccines against the flu. While some people think the flu can be transmitted by pts before they are symptomatic, they probably arent as infectious as when they have symptoms. This is unlike Covid where they are probably most infectious in the day before they have symptoms. So isolating symptomatic flu patients and wait for the vaccine is probably realistic, especially since in the last 100 years we haven’t seen flu patients die at anywhere near the rate we have seen with Covid. (All those flu deaths were for a whole year, not just a few months.) We have never seen hospitals have to quadruple ICU capacity in response to flu.

    So what would Henderson say if faced with Covid? Beats me, and no one here knows either. That said, I think your point stands that “epidemiologists do not speak with one voice on this subject.” We already knew that. Anders Tegnell is the epidemiologist running the Swedish effort. I have already said that in the long run his plan might be better because it is more sustainable. The Swedish people support it.

    So we have Tegnell. We have Henderson, whom you selectively choose to believe. His views on isolation are words of wisdom. His advice about travel restrictions you just ignore. And then we have hundreds of other epidemiologists and public health people all around the world who think otherwise.


  • Guarneri Link

    That’s my point, Dave. Zerohedge, like many sites, is mostly just a vehicle for putting out articles. But I guarantee you once many people , especially the OTB or steves of the world see zerohedge, they discount it. Better to polly parrot CNN, MSNBC, The Atlantic, PBS………..they are credible. (snicker)

    No consideration of the arguments or facts.

  • The Swedish people support it.

    I think that’s the key sentence in your comment, steve. Lots of different strategies might work with enough public support. That what we’re doing here in Illinois isn’t working is evident not merely from the statistics (if it had worked there would have been a steep decline in the number of cases diagnosed and deaths one month or two months after the beginning of the lockdown—there wasn’t) but because people are not complying with it at an accelerating pace. Pritzker originally announced his intention of keeping the state closed indefinitely but got so much criticism he was forced to step back from that. What actually happens next is anybody’s guess.

    The situation nationally is even worse. There was no possibility of any plan that would have broad national support for two reasons 1) circumstances vary too much from place to place and 2) 40% of the people would have opposed any plan that Trump put out. When I read people’s complaints about the lack of a national lockdown early on, I always think: “So, you wanted Trump to declare martial law on March 1?”

  • whom you selectively choose to believe.

    I neither believe nor disbelieve. I posted the quote because I thought it an interesting contrast. Note the title of my post. Note the tone of my post. Note my observation at the end.

  • steve Link

    Note the quote you chose and what you left out. It i just weird that you cite an article where the guys gores everyone’s oxen, but you only choose one to highlight. It is fascinating that Drew and jan have been bashing there experts, until they find one that they can agree with, and even then they have to cherry pick. Meh.



  • Jan Link

    It is fascinating that Drew and jan have been bashing there experts, until they find one that they can agree with, and even then they have to cherry pick.

    Some “experts“ rely on their Ivy League credentials and politically correct affiliations. I’m usually not overly impressed by these people. Other lesser known people, in the same field, have hands on experience, using common sense rationales, and are not afraid to question consensus thinking. These are the people who seem to make more inroads in identifying and solving problems.

  • steve Link

    “Some “experts“ rely on their Ivy League credentials and politically correct affiliations.”

    So you are clearly an expert on epidemiologists and public health people. Which ones are relying solely upon Ivy League credentials and politically correct affiliations? Also, bonus point for answering this. Had you ever even heard of David Henderson before this?


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