Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Stacy George, GOP candidate for governor of Alabama, seems to think healthy people can't die from COVID-19 -- a statement wildly out of touch with reality

Stacy George and his wife, on what must have been a slow news day


Who has made the most ignorant statement about COVID-19 in the history of the pandemic? There is a lot of competition for that "honor," including from a former president of the United States. But we have to give the award to a candidate for governor of Alabama. (Gee, there's a surprise.) From a report at al.com:

Alabama gubernatorial candidate Stacy George today criticized Gov. Kay Ivey for making comments that he said belittled people who choose not to get COVID-19 vaccinations.

George responded to statements Ivey made Thursday to reporters who asked the governor about Alabama’s rising COVID numbers and how to get more people to take the vaccine.

Ivey said, “I don’t know. You tell me.”

“Folks are supposed to have common sense,” she said. “It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down....I’ve done all I know how to do. I can encourage you to do something, but I can’t make you take care of yourself.”

Those comments marked a change in tone for Ivey, who has stressed personal responsibility as she has advocated for vaccinations and held news conferences when she received her shots in December and January.

George took offense at those comments, even though Ivey -- for once in her political career -- was absolutely right about something. In fact, multiple experts and frontline workers have said the Delta variant makes this a "pandemic of the unvaccinated." Ivey's words, it seems, simply were a statement of fact. Still, they ruffled Stacy George's feathers:

George, a correctional officer at Limestone Correctional Facility who announced his run for the Republican nomination on July 1, said he has not received a COVID-19 vaccine.

“I am one of those non-vaccinated people that Governor Ivey just scolded,” George said in a statement. “Unlike Governor Ivey I respect everyone who gets the vaccine as well as those like me that choose not to get the vaccine for various reasons. A governor should never belittle the people that disagree with her.”

George said he had a tough bout with COVID-19 last year and had fever for about seven days. Because of that, he said he believes he probably has antibodies to fight off the virus. But he said he would probably not receive the vaccine even if that was not the case, partly because he’s not in a high-risk population for serious illness from COVID.

In terms of ignorance, George was just getting warmed up:

I just don’t see the need in healthy people like myself being vaccinated,” George said. “And that’s my opinion. But I respect people that choose to be vaccinated. It’s just a personal choice. Kind of like the free enterprise works in Alabama.”

The virus is surging in Alabama. The state reported that 727 COVID patients are receiving care in Alabama hospitals as of Friday, the most since the end of February.

As of today, Alabama continues to have the lowest vaccination rate in the nation with 33.9 percent of the population fully vaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The more contagious Delta variant appears to be driving the rise in sickness.

Here are a few questions for Stacy George: (1) What makes you, a corrections officer, qualified to be governor of Alabama? (Answer: absolutely nothing); (2) How do you know you are super-duper healthy, considering you've already had COVID-19 once? Do you think all 4.2 million people who have died from COVID around the world were unhealthy to begin with? None of them were healthy?

And here is a message from planet Earth for the would-be governor: The coronavirus has a demonstrated capacity for turning healthy people into unhealthy people -- often in a span of about five days. And the virus has a demonstrated knack for turning unhealthy people into dead people. Stacy George's opinion appears to have no basis in scientific research, so it has pretty much zero value to Alabamians. And this opinion comes from a man whose "Que Sera Sera" approach to the virus already has failed to protect him once.

The good news? Stacy George has zero chance of becoming governor of Alabama, so hopefully no one will be sticking  a microphone in front of his face again anytime soon.


Anonymous said...

Izzat his wife number 5 or number 6?

Also Dunning-Kruger.

Anonymous said...

Get those microphones away from those guys.

legalschnauzer said...

George has had several wives? Didn't know about his marital record.

legalschnauzer said...

Here is some info on Dunning-Kruger Effect, referenced @11:52 --

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a hypothetical cognitive bias stating that people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability.

As described by social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger, the bias results from an internal illusion in people of low ability and from an external misperception in people of high ability; that is, "the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others".[1] It is related to the cognitive bias of illusory superiority and comes from people's inability to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, people cannot objectively evaluate their level of competence.

The effect, or Dunning and Kruger's original explanation for the effect, has been challenged by mathematical analyses[2][3][4][5][6][7] and comparisons across cultures.[8][9]

Outside psychology, non-professionals often invoke the Dunning-Kruger effect to insult people. Mark Murphy calls this abuse of the theory a form of "weaponized psychology".[10]

legalschnauzer said...

Here's more on Kruger-Dunning:

Original study

The psychological phenomenon of illusory superiority was identified as a form of cognitive bias in Kruger and Dunning's 1999 study "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments".[1] An example derived from cognitive bias evident in the criminal case of McArthur Wheeler, who, on April 19, 1995, robbed two banks while his face was covered with lemon juice, which he believed would make him invisible to the surveillance cameras. This belief was apparently based on his misunderstanding of the chemical properties of lemon juice as an invisible ink.[11]

Other investigations of the phenomenon, such as "Why People Fail to Recognize Their Own Incompetence",[12] indicate that much incorrect self-assessment of competence derives from the person's ignorance of a given activity's standards of performance. Dunning and Kruger's research also indicates that training in a task, such as solving a logic puzzle, increases people's ability to accurately evaluate how good they are at it.[13]

In Self-insight: Roadblocks and Detours on the Path to Knowing Thyself,[14] Dunning described the Dunning–Kruger effect as "the anosognosia of everyday life", referring to a neurological condition in which a disabled person either denies or seems unaware of their disability. He stated: "If you're incompetent, you can't know you're incompetent ... The skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is."[15]

In 2011, Dunning wrote about his observations that people with substantial, measurable deficits in their knowledge or expertise lack the ability to recognize those deficits and, therefore, despite potentially making error after error, tend to think they are performing competently when they are not: "In short, those who are incompetent, for lack of a better term, should have little insight into their incompetence—an assertion that has come to be known as the Dunning–Kruger effect".[16] In 2014, Dunning and Helzer described how the Dunning–Kruger effect "suggests that poor performers are not in a position to recognize the shortcomings in their performance".[17]

legalschnauzer said...

More on Kruger-Dunning:

Later studies

Dunning and Kruger tested the hypotheses of the cognitive bias of illusory superiority on undergraduate students of introductory courses in psychology by examining the students' self-assessments of their intellectual skills in inductive, deductive, and abductive logical reasoning, English grammar, and personal sense of humor. After learning their self-assessment scores, the students were asked to estimate their ranks in the psychology class. The competent students underestimated their class rank, and the incompetent students overestimated theirs, but the incompetent students did not estimate their class rank as higher than the ranks estimated by the competent group. Across four studies, the research indicated that the study participants who scored in the bottom quartile on tests of their sense of humor, knowledge of grammar, and logical reasoning, overestimated their test performance and their abilities; despite test scores that placed them in the 12th percentile, the participants estimated they ranked in the 62nd percentile.[1][4]

Moreover, competent students tended to underestimate their own competence, because they erroneously presumed that tasks easy for them to perform were also easy for other people to perform. Incompetent students improved their ability to estimate their class rank correctly after receiving minimal tutoring in the skills they previously lacked, regardless of any objective improvement gained in said skills of perception.[1] The 2004 study "Mind-Reading and Metacognition: Narcissism, not Actual Competence, Predicts Self-estimated Ability"[18] extended the cognitive-bias premise of illusory superiority to test subjects' emotional sensitivity toward other people and their own perceptions of other people.

The 2003 study "How Chronic Self-Views Influence (and Potentially Mislead) Estimates of Performance"[19] indicated a shift in the participants' view of themselves when influenced by external cues. The participants' knowledge of geography was tested; some tests were intended to affect the participants' self-view positively, and some were intended to affect it negatively. The participants then were asked to rate their performances; the participants given tests with a positive intent reported better performance than did the participants given tests with a negative intent.

To test Dunning and Kruger's hypotheses "that people, at all performance levels, are equally poor at estimating their relative performance", the 2006 study "Skilled or Unskilled, but Still Unaware of It: How Perceptions of Difficulty Drive Miscalibration in Relative Comparisons"[20] investigated three studies that manipulated the "perceived difficulty of the tasks, and, hence, [the] participants' beliefs about their relative standing". The investigation indicated that when the experimental subjects were presented with moderately difficult tasks, there was little variation among the best performers and the worst performers in their ability to predict their performance accurately. With more difficult tasks, the best performers were less accurate in predicting their performance than were the worst performers. Therefore, judges at all levels of skill are subject to similar degrees of error in the performance of tasks.

In testing alternative explanations for the cognitive bias of illusory superiority, the 2008 study "Why the Unskilled are Unaware: Further Explorations of (Absent) Self-insight Among the Incompetent"[21] reached the same conclusions as previous studies of the Dunning–Kruger ef

fect: that, in contrast to high performers, "poor performers do not learn from feedback suggesting a need to improve".

One 2020 study[22] suggests that individuals of relatively high social class are more overconfident than lower-class individuals.

Anonymous said...


legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for sharing @1:38. Interesting. This is from Associated Press:

Republican candidate for governor Stacy George has filed for divorce from his fourth wife.

The former Morgan County commissioner filed divorce papers Monday in his home county. He and Tammy George were married on May 19, 2012. His divorce papers say they have been separated since February 2013 and attempts at reconciliation are futile.

George, a state correctional officer, said Tuesday that he wanted to file before the June 3 Republican primary because he didn't want any voters to think Alabama would have a traditional first lady if he should win.

George says that after four marriages, he knows he's difficult to live with, but he's hopeful he will find the right woman the next time.

Unknown said...

I just lost 30 precious brain cells trying to cope with the IGNORANCE. THANK YOU for doing such excellent work telling the TRUTH. OMG I am afraid that the sheer number of /insert insult of your choice/ is going to absolutely tank what is left of our country just by body count alone. The CHILDREN! OMG.

Jim Beamer said...

Are we living in an Idiocracy of boobs, narcissists and self centered deviants?