How The Flatten the Curve Argument For Lockdowns Always Contained False Assumptions

Last Updated on September 30, 2021 by Shaun Snapp

Executive Summary

  • Flatten the curve as a concept was presented as the logic for lockdowns.
  • How accurate were the assumptions under this concept?


Governments and public health spokesmen like Dr. Fauci have supported and performed lockdowns globally. In another article, I cover how there was never any scientific support for the lockdowns. In this article, I will show how the “flatten the curve” concept contained a series of false assumptions.

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Agreeing to Lockdowns Under the Assumption That The Government Knew Something

The explanation of lockdowns has been that they are temporary and that anyone who disagrees with the lockdowns is unreasonable and “anti-science” as they are only temporary.

Flattening the Curve?

  • If one recalls, the focus was not using the health care system to deal with covid cases.
  • This policy was ineffective because most medical systems (like putting people on ventilators) did not work.
  • Hospitals treated a lot of people, but they did not do much for them. As is normally the case, the medical system took full credit for people who recovered through the natural immune systems of their bodies.
  • Hospitals began draping themselves in glory, and routinely stated that “heroes” worked at these hospitals.

The “Heros Work Here” signs began popping up around hospitals in the US at the height of the pandemic. 

This is a non-analytical way of interpreting and presenting a pandemic and is presents the false assertion that the hospitals were doing a great deal for the corona patients. This is a pandemic, there is no reason to adopt a siege mentality in response.

Ignoring Effective Treatments

There are several drugs and even vitamins, each whose effectiveness is documented in studies at the website However, because most of these items were not on patent, they were rejected by the pharmaceutical-controlled medical establishment. And people that used them were pilloried as “Trump supporters,” “anti-science,” “conspiracy theorists,” or even “white supremacists” by the establishment (and pharma controlled) media. A more accurate description would have been “those not controlled by pharmaceutical companies.”

This graphic was repeatedly used to promote the lockdown, and it was based on not overstressing the health care system. However, this implies that hospitals had effective treatments for patients when they did not.

This concept is explained in an article in the New York Times in March of 2020.

False Assumption #1: The Medical System Had a Way of Effectively Treating Coronavirus Patients

Both curves add up the number of new cases over time. The more people reporting with the virus on a given day, the higher the curve; a high curve means the virus is spreading fast. A low curve shows that the virus is spreading slower — fewer people are diagnosed with the disease on any given day. Keeping the curve down — diminishing the rate at which new cases occur — prevents overtaxing the finite resources (represented by the dotted line) available to treat it.

The gentler curve results in fewer people infected at this critical moment in time — preventing a surge that would inundate the healthcare system and ultimately, one hopes, resulting in fewer deaths. “What we need to do is flatten that down,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during the coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on a Tuesday evening in early March. “You do that with trying to interfere with the natural flow of the outbreak.”

This is the assumption regarding the health system being able to do something to treat coronavirus patients.

This turned out to be a false assumption.

The quote refers to guidance by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, headed by Dr. Fauci. However, both ignored the scientific literature that predated the corona pandemic, which is that lockdowns are ineffective against viruses.

False Assumption #2: Getting the Outbreak Over Quickly Would Lead to Panic

Some commentators have argued for getting the outbreak over with quickly. That is a recipe for panic, unnecessary suffering and death. Slowing and spreading out the tidal wave of cases will save lives. Flattening the curve keeps society going.

This presumes that this “panic” would be a more significant dislocation than that caused by a lockdown (which is how to “flatten the curve.”) However, as I cover in this article, the evidence is that the lockdowns increased rather than decreased overall mortality.

Furthermore, locking down a society does not “keep society going.” It dramatically curtails society.

False Assumption #3: Health Care Capacity Cannot Triage Out Coronavirus Patients

Think of the health care system capacity as a subway car that can only hold so many people at once. During rush hour, that capacity is not enough to handle the demand, so people must wait on the platform for their turn to ride. Staggering work hours diminishes the rush hour and increases the likelihood that you will get on the train and maybe even get a seat. Avoiding a surge of coronavirus cases can ensure that anyone who needs care will find it at the hospital.

There is a double false assumption contained in this quote.

First, it makes the same “effective treatment” assumption already discussed above. Hospitals could have admitted they did not have an effective treatment and triaged out coronavirus patients from treatment. They also could have ignored the pharmaceutical company-dominated advice and used the effective treatments — that can be administered on an outpatient basis. But they did not do either of these things. It is important to recollect that hospitals do not set policy or treatments — they are controlled by a medical establishment that must conform with the powerful entities in the field. They also believe they have to be “doing something” even when they do not have effective treatments to offer.


The concept of flattening the curve sounds informative and based on science, but it was based on false assumptions. These false assumptions have not been acknowledged. And the concept was used to justify locking down societies, which was inconsistent with the pre-existing scientific literature.

This flatten the curve concept, became a meme, and an unquestioned “wisdom.” To object to it at the time meant you were “selfish” and “in favor of killing people.” It also illustrates the problem with superficial analysis and “easy to understand” graphics that seek to oversimplify analysis and use this oversimplified analysis to control public health policy.

The graphic “made sense.” It was intuitively correct. It just happened to be based on false assumptions.