This is really interesting.
Government’s “experts” botched much of the Covid response. Fortunately other experts — scientists, economists, and web developers, are helping save lives.
Government predictions were way off. State vaccine websites didn’t work. Now government holds back vaccine doses, reserving them for 2nd-doses. But they could do more good as first doses.
“We have given out more than 20 million second doses,” Economics professor Alex Tabarrok points out. “Those could have been first doses.” He helped convince the British government to change to a first-dose-first policy.
American experts like Anthony Fauci oppose that, saying they’d need to do long trials to determine if that’s okay, and in “the amount of time that it will take … we will already be in the arena of having enough vaccines to go around anyway.”
That’s the wrong way to think about it, says Tabarrok. “You have to act decisively and you have to act quickly. Bureaucrats are just not used to doing that,” he says. “When you have a tiger chasing you in the forest, you don’t want to run a randomized controlled trial — should I run left or should I run right?”
England, which took his suggestion, is now beating America in vaccinating the most people.
Other non-government experts have stepped in and made things better. One data scientist living with his parents made models that were much better than government’s. They became widely used, and government modellers even asked him for advice.
One woman became so frustrated by Massachusetts’ vaccine website that she built her own, showing people where in the state vaccines were actually available: macovidvaccines.com. Within days, it was getting 400 hits a minute.