Lockdowns have actually failed to save any lives at all while causing enormous harm, finds a Johns Hopkins review. The report is the newest in a long line of condemnations of lockdown.
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COVID-19 confinement measures failed to save lives, according to the most thorough research ever released by one of the world’s most respected medical institutes.
The paper A Literature Review and Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Lockdowns on Covid-19 Mortality, co-authored by Jonas Herby of the Center for Political Studies in Denmark, Lars Jonung of Lund University in Sweden, and Steve Hanke of Johns Hopkins, was recently published in Johns Hopkins University’s Studies in Applied Economics. It is a meta-analysis of 24 studies (selected from a pool of over 18,000) that looked at how beneficial mobility and activity constraints were at lowering COVID mortality.
“An analysis of each of these three groups” — lockdown stringency index studies, shelter-in-place order (SIPO) studies, and specific non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI) studies — “support the conclusion that lockdowns have had little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality,” the study found. (NPIs are defined as “any government mandate[s] that directly restrict peoples’ possibilities, such as policies that limit internal movement, close schools and businesses, and ban international travel.”)
“More specifically, stringency index studies find that lockdowns in Europe and the United States only reduced COVID-19 mortality by 0.2% on average,” the abstract reads. “SIPOs were also ineffective, only reducing COVID-19 mortality by 2.9% on average. Specific NPI studies also find no broad-based evidence of noticeable effects on COVID-19 mortality.”
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“While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted,” the authors conclude. “In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.”
According to Joakim Book, who reviewed the meta-analysis for the Brownstone Institute, the authors avoided both the downfalls of earlier pro-lockdown research, like “forc[ing] data to fit a certain model” for a predefined outcome, and the perils of prior anti-lockdown compilations, such as “amassing confirming evidence for a certain hypothesis rather than comprehensively investigating how the full range of studies measure up.”
“The best case we can make for lockdowns is that the minor impact they may have had in temporarily averting deaths, are not worth the hassle, the pain, the societal upheaval, the misery and human suffering that accompanied them,” Book concludes. “Is anyone responsible ever going to admit that policy error?”
The report is the newest in a long line of condemnations of lockdown measures. In April 2021, Simon Fraser University economics professor Douglas Allen authored a study that found that although lockdowns saved 22,333 years of lost life, they also induced 6.3 million years of lost life, making the policy’s net long-term damage 282 times worse than its advantages, owing to the cumulative toll of cancelled or postponed care for other medical issues, as well as the mental distress of losing a loved one.
In October, Marine Baudin, Jérémie Mercier, and Denis Rancourt published a study that credited most of the COVID casualty count in the United States to “persistent chronic psychological stress induced by the long-lasting government-imposed societal and economic transformations during the COVID-era [which] converted the existing societal (poverty), public-health (obesity) and hot-climate risk factors into deadly agents.”
Many “COVID-19-assigned deaths may be misdiagnosed bacterial pneumonia deaths,” according to the study, and also that the “massive vaccination campaign… had no detectable mitigating effect, and may have contributed to making the younger population more vulnerable,” possibly by inspiring extremely risky behavior through overstated perceptions of vaccine efficacy.
In recent times, leading members in the federal health bureaucracy who had previously championed “devastating” responses to lockdown naysayers had also stepped back with their more constrictive prescriptions, referencing the omicron variant, vaccine accessibility, and sometimes even political pragmatism to justify their shift instead of acknowledging any mistake in their prior stances.