Summarised by Centrist
In his article “Claims about New Zealand saving 20,000 Covid lives are inaccurate and meaningless”, Professor Ananish Chaudhuri of the University of Auckland disputes an opinion piece from Michael Baker and his epidemiologist colleagues.
Baker’s article claims 20,000 lives saved by comparing New Zealand’s excess mortality with the US, UK, and Sweden, and taking the highest of these, the US. Why take the highest instead of Sweden’s 7,480? Comparing to more similarly sized countries, or Australia, gives a number between 3,580 and 10,820.
The claim has many further issues. Chaudhuri says “Lives saved” is not a meaningful measure in public health literature; the usual measure is “quality adjusted life years” saved. It also ignores how the definition of a COVID-19 death in most countries (ie. with COVID, not from COVID) did not mean that someone actually died from COVID.
Chaudhuri says Baker and colleagues are either unable or unwilling to acknowledge the massive collateral damages of the policies they espouse, and that it is well-established that lockdowns have no effect on mortality.