The COVID lockdowns will cause damage to the United States for many years to come, including a lasting toll on economic vitality, public health, and in terms of human lives. Furthermore, cost-benefit analyses show the “shelter-in-place” policy is debatable at best, and unnecessarily damaging to the public at worst.
Such is the conclusion of a number of recent academic studies, including those conducted by researchers at the RAND corporation, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the National Academy of Sciences.
“The huge collateral damage of lockdowns is becoming clear. Global unemployment has spiked. Hundreds of millions of children have missed school, often for months. Families have been kept apart. And much of the damage is still to come,” The Economist recently noted.
“A recent paper by Francesco Bianchi, Giada Bianchi and Dongho Song suggests that the rise in American unemployment in 2020 will lead to 800,000 additional deaths over the next 15 years, a not inconsiderable share of American deaths from covid-19 that have been plausibly averted by lockdowns,” the report continued. “A new paper published by America’s National Bureau of Economic Research (nber) expects that in poor countries, where the population is relatively young, the economic contraction associated with lockdowns could potentially lead to 1.76 children’s lives being lost for every covid-19 fatality averted, probably because wellbeing suffers as incomes decline.”
“Research is more divided over the second uncertainty: the benefit of lockdowns, or the extent to which they reduce the spread of, and deaths from, covid-19,” the report adds. “The fact that, time and again, the imposition of a lockdown in a country was followed a few weeks later by declining cases and deaths might appear to settle the debate. That said, another recent nber paper failed to find that countries or American states that were quick to implement shelter-in-place policies had fewer excess deaths than places which were slower to act. A paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a scientific journal, by Christopher Berry of the University of Chicago and colleagues, cannot find “effects of [shelter-in-place] policies on disease spread or deaths”, but does find “small, delayed effects on unemployment”.
The NBER’s research was recently discussed at the Washington Times.
“What is less clear is whether the lockdowns served any useful medical purpose,” the Times notes. “Fortunately, two researchers at the RAND Corporation and two researchers from the University of Southern California have done an analysis of the medical value of the lockdowns (which they refer to as ‘sheltering in place,’ or SIP, policies). They looked at 43 countries and all of the states in the union, and published their assessment in June as a working paper of the National Bureau for Economic Research.”
“[W]e fail to find that SIP policies saved lives,” the NBER puts in blunt terms. “To the contrary, we find a positive association between SIP policies and excess deaths. We find that following the implementation of SIP policies, excess mortality increases.”
“So, the lockdowns didn’t reduce the number of deaths, failed to prevent any excess deaths, and in fact resulted in increased deaths,” Tom Basile writes in the opinion piece.
“We failed to find that countries or U.S. states that implemented SIP policies earlier, and in which SIP policies had longer to operate, had lower excess deaths than countries/U.S. states that were slower to implement SIP policies,” the NBER researchers added.
The public health guidance on lockdowns, masks and vaccines has been presented as dictates from health “experts” that is meant to be taken without policy debate. However, science is not a matter of “consensus,” but an ongoing process of hypothesis testing that implies questioning, and public policy entails making trade-offs, as the above-presented research demonstrates.
One of the most damaging effects of the mask mandates and lockdowns has been to America’s schoolchildren. The policies have been implemented with seemingly zero concern over whether the costs are disproportionately falling on the future of the nation.
The CDC’s latest figures show that there have been 326 COVID-19-related deaths from COVID-19 out of a population of 74.2 million young people since the pandemic began. This is a survival rate of 99.9997%.
In October, the Annual State of Mental Health in America showed that anxiety and depression nationwide had hit an all-time high, and was hitting ‘young people the hardest.’ Its key findings:
- Youth mental health is worsening: 9.7% of youth in the U.S. have severe major depression, compared to 9.2% in last year’s dataset. This rate was highest among youth who identify as more than one race, at 12.4%.
- Young people are struggling most with their mental health: The proportion of youth ages 11-17 who accessed screening was 9 percent higher than the average in 2019.
- Rates of suicidal ideation are highest among youth: In September 2020, over half of 11-17-year-olds reported having thoughts of suicide or self-harm more than half or nearly every day of the previous two weeks. From January to September 2020, 77,470 youth reported experiencing frequent suicidal ideation.
Then there is the damage being caused by childhood masking. A recent University of Florida laboratory analysis of a sample of children’s masks suggests that masking young, healthy persons may not only be unnecessary, it may be harmful to their health. The results of a small sample of masks showed the presence of 11 dangerous pathogens, including the bacteria that cause pneumonia, tuberculosis, diphtheria, and meningitis. The results were shown by the group Rational Ground.
“A group of parents in Gainesville, FL, sent 6 face masks to a lab at the University of Florida, requesting an analysis of contaminants found on the masks after they had been worn,” Rational Ground said. “The resulting report found that five masks were contaminated with bacteria, parasites, and fungi, including three with dangerous pathogenic and pneumonia-causing bacteria. Although the test is capable of detecting viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, only one virus was found on one mask (alcelaphine herpesvirus 1).”
JAMA recently published scientific research that shows that children were consuming six times the carbon dioxide levels breathed in by adults from wearing the masks.
“Many governments have made nose and mouth covering or face masks compulsory for schoolchildren. The evidence base for this is weak,” the credentialed scientists wrote. “The question whether nose and mouth covering increases carbon dioxide in inhaled air is crucial. A large-scale survey in Germany of adverse effects in parents and children using data of 25,930 children has shown that 68% of the participating children had problems when wearing nose and mouth coverings.”
“The normal content of carbon dioxide in the open is about 0.04% by volume (ie, 400 ppm),” the research stated. “A level of 0.2% by volume or 2000 ppm is the limit for closed rooms according to the German Federal Environmental Office, and everything beyond this level is unacceptable.”
The researchers also advised that children not be forced to wear masks.
“This leads in turn to impairments attributable to hypercapnia,” the researchers continued. “A recent review concluded that there was ample evidence for adverse effects of wearing such masks. We suggest that decision-makers weigh the hard evidence produced by these experimental measurements accordingly, which suggest that children should not be forced to wear face masks.”
The problematic mandate of childhood masking is compounded by recent evidence of pericarditis/myocarditis in young subjects following childhood vaccinations.
The Centers for Disease Control advisory group last week released a statement on the ‘likely link’ between COVID-19 vaccinations and heart inflammation in rare cases. In over 300 cases of reported myocarditis or pericarditis, a Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccination preceded the heart condition.
Earlier, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed the use of the experimental Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccines in children as young as 12. That guidance has not been reversed, despite the concerning early findings.
The latest scientific research suggests that public health policy makers made evidence-free recommendations so that the public felt an increased sense of security. The officials seemed to be motivated to avoid accusations that they were doing ‘nothing’ to slow the transmission of the virus. Indeed, scientists have also confessed political bias was a consideration in their policy positions.
Unfortunately, the latest scientific evidence, consistent with what many critics have said from the beginning, is that many of these policies may caused more harm than good, including damage to the country that will last for years to come.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.