William M. Briggs website contains the following brief resume:
I am a wholly independent vagabond writer, statistician, scientist and consultant. Previously a Professor at the Cornell Medical School, a Statistician at DoubleClick in its infancy, a Meteorologist with the National Weather Service, and a sort of Cryptologist with the US Air Force (the only title I ever cared for was Staff Sergeant Briggs).
My PhD is in Mathematical Statistics, though I am now a Data Philosopher (I made that up), Epistemologist, Probability Puzzler, Unmasker of Over-Certainty, and (self-awarded) Bioethicist. My MS is in Atmospheric Physics, and Bachelors is in Meteorology & Math.
Author of Uncertainty: The Soul of Modeling, Probability & Statistics, a book which calls for a complete and fundamental change in the philosophy and practice of probability & statistics; author of two other books and dozens of works in fields of statistics, medicine, philosophy, meteorology and climatology, solar physics, and energy use appearing in both professional and popular outlets. Full CV (pdf updated rarely).
In his article, There Is No Evidence Lockdowns Saved Lives. It Is Indisputable They Caused Great Harm, posted May 14, 2020, Briggs takes you through the statistics–the number of cases and number of deaths per million population in countries of the world, large and small. He surmises that weather and density could be factors in the variability of statistical results, as well as age and health of its citizens. But in comparing countries based on the degree to which lockdowns were implemented, there is no evidence that lockdowns affected the outcomes.
In the end, it does not come down to country- or even city-level statistics. It comes down to people. Each individual catches the bug or not, lives or dies. Not because of their country, but because of themselves, their health, their circumstances.
What can we conclude? Only one thing: we cannot conclude that lockdowns worked.
The only evidence for lockdowns is the desire that lockdowns worked. That, and the embarrassment (and worse) in admitting to error. What politician anywhere will cop to ruining their economy and the lives of millions of their citizens? Who can say “Ah, it was only a few trillion”? This will not happen. It just won’t. All politicians will go on repeating that their lockdowns “saved lives”.
This virus, as viruses will, found its way to all corners of the world, and it affected different areas differently. End of story.
Nature gets no credit. Not for the creation of the virus, not for its highly variable spread, not for its highly variable infection rate, and certainly not for its hugely variable deaths caused. All those things were believed to be the responsibility of people. Nature has no real power, we think. It can be controlled to any degree of precision desired, if only we can muster sufficient political will and suppress our enemies.
We can credit, as we’ve already seen, the lockdowns for causing any number of difficulties, such as massive job loss, grief, disharmony, terror, and even death.
Chances are we can do little to prevent pandemics like this. It’s the expectation that we can that inspired the panic. If we don’t remove that expectation, we’re going to have to go through this again.
Finally, you may want to go to his website where he has curated some of his “classic posts.” He seems to be a voice of reason in a sea of hysteria and “scientific” hubris.