Readers will recall that I calculated various cost-benefits ratios for the lock-down policy that was pursued in Australia, based on a method suggested by Bryan Caplan and adapted for Canada by Douglas Allen.
Depending upon the assumptions in the scenarios, they estimated a range from 6,882 through to 194,953 people dying from Covid. Let’s look at the worst case scenario – 194,953 would have died with an unmitigated response (i.e. not mandatory social distancing and no voluntary social distancing either). The cost-benefit ratio is then 2.24. Even in the very worst case the Australian lockdown cost twice as much as the benefits.
Well today Scott Morrison boasted that 30,000 lives had been saved.
“The average fatality rate in the OECD countries, so I am talking about countries that have similar health systems, similar advanced economies, the average fatality rate in OECD countries is 1314 per million. In Australia that figure is 35.7.”
“Now, what that means is had Australia experienced the same rate of fatality from COVID as countries like us all around the world, there would have been more than 30,000 more fatalities here in this country.”
Okay – plugging 30,000 saved lives into the cost-benefit formula implies that saving those lives cost a mere 14.9 times more than the benefits.