David Reagor, who is running for county council previously published his startling view point that progressive Democrats as a whole are morally unfit for any public office. https://losalamosreporter.com/2020/06/22/progressive-democrats-abandon-the-moral-code-of-abraham-lincoln/
He has been equally emphatic, and wrong, on his reasoning skills in the Covid crisis.
In the Los Alamos Reporter on October 13 he states that“In the USA the disease has cost 200,000 lives and a total of 2 million life-years lost. The lockdown has put almost 20 million people out of work. [And] a long-term bout of unemployment (>6months), takes a year off your life expectancy.” https://losalamosreporter.com/2020/10/13/reagor-lockdowns-create-poverty/
He appeals to dubious sources to argue, the lockdown is “…far exceeding the public health effect of the disease and making little difference in the disease impact.”
Let’s break this down. He is implying that effectively 270,000 lifespans will be taken by unemployment due to a hypothetical 20 million years in stress-related life span reduction ( equivalent to 270,000 lifespans of 72 years). And he wants you to compare this to the number of people that Covid has actually killed in the last 6 months.
As Wolfgang Pauli once remarked about an illogical argument, “That is not only not right; it is not even wrong“.
First off, those hypothetical person-years lost to unemployment, will be spread out over many decades, perhaps 40 to 60 years, if that is even true at all. Whereas, the very real 200,000 Covid deaths are mainly in the last 6 months. Moreover, his numbers are factually wrong. The current unemployment is not 20 million but 12.3 Million. The rate of people looking for work is same as in 2012, and lower than the rate during the Bush administration (Bureau of Labor Statistics). I don’t recall millions dieing of unemployment under President Bush.
Moreover, only about half of the current unemployment rate is attributable to a Covid-imposed slowdown since there was, of course, unemployment before Covid struck. And on top of that, the number of excess deaths over normal, not simply the 200,000+ deaths recorded as Covid-caused, was well over 270,000 by August. https://www.ft.com/content/a2901ce8-5eb7-4633-b89c-cbdf5b386938
But I think Wolfgang Pauli would emphasize that even if his facts and analysis had been right, his logic is wrong. Mr. Reagor should be comparing projections to projections. That is, projections of how many lives would be lost with or without the shutdown. The 200,000 deaths are not a projection, and they happened in spite of the lockdown. Even our president is quick to claim the number of dead was projected to be over 2 million by now if there had been no closures. If 2 million perish all at once, it creates its own economic repercussion and thus increases unemployment even without a lockdown. And worse, that would continue to grow exponentially without sufficient precaution.
What’s scary here is that Mr Reagor is asking to be placed into public office where he will need to reason logically and to gather information for decisions that affect our community health.
Now I have consistently advocated for a mixture of balanced outlooks and political philosophies on the council, and clearly one does have to consider public safety holistically as there is a reasonable balance to strike. No need for panic, but prudence.
But Mr Reagor is not reasonable, prudent, or balanced. I’m puzzled how he can unequivocally dismiss Democrats as morally unfit to run cities and then imagine he can ever be an effective or useful member of our collaborative town council. But we can understand how this happened: Mr Reagor provides the sources that formed his thoughts. For example, in this article he cites “http://Revolver.news” which is a sketchy extremist propaganda website. News reputation services like Mediawatch rate it a 9.5 out of 10 on their scale of news polarization, indicating cynically calculated information distortions. (take a peek, it’s a hoot!) Mr Reagor fails to note that the quotes he cites in his own article above are taken from a “declaration” that the only sensible policy is Herd Immunity. https://gbdeclaration.org/#read
I’m not opposed to looking at things from different views, but Mr Reagor appears too far from the norm to be of any use on our county council. Why bother when we have many sensible alternatives running for the office spanning a variety of views and parties. In our little science town, councilors have no business echoing extreme and irrelevant national political polarization. I want someone who can think critically and doesn’t think it’s okay to pass along unvetted information and pre-packaged outrage from unreliable web sites. https://ladailypost.com/letter-to-the-editor-reject-partisan-council-candidate/
If you correct just his facts, or just his analysis, or just his logic, it reverses the conclusion. Clearly either he has started with a conclusion and tried to support it, or he just isn’t up to the job of formulating original public policy. His election would be an active detriment not an asset to the town.
For example, imagine Mr Reagor had been on our council in April when he argued that “Compared to Influenza and other illnesses, COVID-19 is a far lower threat to otherwise healthy people….Just open everything, stores, recreational facilities, restaurants, and services.” https://losalamosreporter.com/2020/04/20/reagor-reopening-our-economy/ He even repeats that in his present letter published Oct 13.