Issues & Insights

Still More Evidence That Lockdowns Were A Massive Waste Of Time, Money, And Lives

John SnapeCreative Commons

I&I Editorial

The nation’s economy is on track to drop by more than 30% in the second quarter. Unemployment is well into the double digits. Half of small businesses might close in the next six months. All for naught, it would appear, giving the growing pile of evidence that the economic lockdowns didn’t work.

The latest evidence comes from a report out of JP Morgan Chase & Co. this week. It finds that there’s been no increase in cases or deaths as other nations and U.S. states start reopening. This flies directly in the face of all the public health expert predictions of a major spike once people started moving about.

“Virtually everywhere, infection rates have declined after reopening, even after allowing for an appropriate measurement lag,” says the report’s author, Marko Kolanovic, a quantitative strategist at JPMorgan. “This means that the pandemic and COVID-19 likely have (their) own dynamics unrelated to often inconsistent lockdown measures that were being implemented.”

Another research paper released in early May, this one by Thomas A. J. Meunier of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, found that the lockdowns in western Europe had no evident impact on the epidemic.

“Comparing the trajectory of the epidemic before and after the lockdown, we find no evidence of any discontinuity in the growth rate, doubling time, and reproduction number trends,” Meunier says.

In the United Kingdom, the disease reached its peak on April 8, which, given the way it progresses, means the peak infection was around March 18, according to Oxford University professor Carl Heneghan. That’s almost a week before the UK went into lockdown mode.

Bloomberg’s Elaine He looked at the data from Europe, compared it with their different strategies to deal with the outbreak, and concluded that “there’s little correlation between the severity of a nation’s restrictions and whether it managed to curb excess fatalities.

Meanwhile, India’s massive lockdown – the largest in the world – is coming under attack for being ineffective. India now has more than 100,000 confirmed cases and is seeing the fastest growth in South Asia.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the lockdown has failed,” an epidemiologist who is a member of the Indian government’s coronavirus task force told The Caravan magazine. “Social distancing, wearing masks, and hand hygiene work. Together, these measures reduce the rate of transmission. However, to date, there is no evidence that lockdowns can cut down transmission.”

And Sweden, which had come under harsh attack from public health experts for not imposing an all-out lockdown, is now being held up by the World Health Organization as a model for the future.

Dr. Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergencies expert, said that “Sweden represents a model if we wish to get back to a society in which we don’t have lockdowns.”

Instead of issuing stay-at-home orders and forced business closures, Ryan said Sweden “put in place a very strong public policy around social distancing, around caring and protecting people in long-term care facilities.”

As we noted recently, Swedish infectious disease expert Johan Giesecke, writing in the medical journal Lancet, says “It has become clear that a hard lockdown does not protect old and frail people living in care homes — a population the lockdown was designed to protect. Neither does it decrease mortality from COVID-19, which is evident when comparing the United Kingdom’s experience with that of other European countries.”

We also pointed to a paper by Lyman Stone, an adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, which looked at the available evidence and concluded simply that “lockdowns don’t work.” Stone found the death rate climbing after the lockdowns went into effect in the U.S.

Don’t expect anyone to admit they were wrong. The public health community – which has been peddling wildly exaggerated predictions of deaths – will never do so. Nor will Democrats and the press – which are committed to the narrative that every death in the U.S. is President Donald Trump’s fault. Trump isn’t likely to, either, since he agreed to shutting down the economy after he started taking his cues from public health doomsayers.

This isn’t to say that no action was needed to cope with this uncharted virus. That’s not the argument any of these researchers are making. What they are saying is that the lockdowns weren’t based on sound science, and that far less intrusive measures would likely have been just as effective, if not more so, without destroying the economy.

To be sure, there are studies claiming that the lockdowns reduced infections and saved lives.

But as JP Morgan’s Kolanovic noted, “Unlike rigorous testing of potential new drugs, lockdowns were administered with little consideration that they might not only cause economic devastation but potentially more deaths than COVID-19 itself.”

Where’s the “party of science” when you need it?

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

We Could Use Your Help

Issues & Insights was founded by seasoned journalists from the IBD Editorials page. Our mission is to use our decades of experience to provide timely, fact-based reporting and deeply informed analysis on the news of the day.

We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we think our approach to commentary is sorely lacking both in today’s mainstream media and on the internet. You can help us keep our mission going. If you like what you see, feel free to visit our Donations Page by clicking here. And be sure to tell your friends!

You can also subscribe to I&I: It's free!

Just enter your email address below to get started.

I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.

21 comments

  • And the Monday morning quarterbacks come out of hiding. Not one of you would have done better. Trump was told he faced an epidemic that had the potential of milling millions. There was no hard data on which to make a decision as the Chinese weren’t sharing what they had. Besides, we can never know how it would have turned out as we can’t do a mulligan.

    • Trump had his hand forced. If he didn’t shut down on the advice of “experts”, every death would be his.

      • This. The evil buggers in the press are still trying to make every death Trump’s personal responsibility while ignoring Cuomo’s ridiculou stupidity.

    • The CDC just published an updated estimate of the mortality rate of 0.26%, but Trump did have a pandemic to fight, albeit one much more of hysteria than infectious disease.

  • Masks, social distancing and enhanced hygiene were what held down the rates for South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan. They did not close their economies down. The lesson is pretty clear what worked and what just increased the damage. Tracing, while very valuable early on for most diseases, loses its feasibility once the disease is widespread and since this virus has lots of asymptomatic carriers, it is not nearly as effective with this one. Waiting for a vaccine, infinite testing with armies of tracers is just going to prolong the reality that we are hurting ourselves beyond what was inevitably going to be a blow to many travel and crowd oriented businesses.

    • After the first two weeks during the ‘unknown period’ it switched from safety over to control. So the scamdemic has been mostly about how much control the politicals can push onto the people before the people get wise to whats happening and push back.

  • The COVID-19 “science” is the actual statistical numbers. The pandemic is hard on the elderly, with those 65 and older accounting for 80% of the U.S. deaths. In the United States, the population age 65 and over represent about 15 percent of the population. It does not make a lot of statistical sense for our elected leadership to be blind to the “real science numbers” and hold the other 85 percent of the population (approximately 280 million) hostage, which results in catastrophic damage to the economy.

  • When the facts finally emerge – in months, or years as they usually do – it will be clear that the Virus was seized upon as a way to damage and rid the nation of President Trump, and the people of freedom. Lock down the people, shut down business, stop everything, excepting abortions of course, force the economy to crash and chaos to reign.
    It happened before; Germany after WW1, Russia after deposing the Tsar, China after the civil war.
    The results? Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. And the deaths of millions upon millions of people and the un-dead living in misery, starvation, and fear.

    • IMO this was by accident or design, a gambit by China to cripple nations around the world and better position its self as a global power broker. China has been working on this since at least 2017 when they opened their only bio 4 level lab.

      Consider in 2017 the Italian science program Leonardo talking to lab techs in the newly opened lab. What were they working on??? Attaching a bat virus to a sars virus to ‘study’ what the results were. What was the message given when this covid-19 virus appeared?? A mutated bat virus that came from a fish market, where no bats are sold. Also to consider China destroyed their ‘samples’ and refused any outside investigators or assistance.

      Consider also China slammed the door shut within their own country for travel but did nothing about their citizens traveling internationally, by the 10’s of thousands. Also the WHO working closely with China to spread the message theres no worries, can’t be spread from human to human contact. The WHO director Tedros was helped into that position by…. China. And Tedros has history of covering up outbreaks.

      So why would China initiate a biological warfare act against the world. First off China captured a huge portion of the manufacturing and was/is a global supplier for much of the worlds consumer, technological, medical needs etc. China, currently is using trade as a stick to force countries around the world to cave into Chinas demands. China went on the gambit of having a faster recovery than every other country which would position them early for power and wealth. Thats why they slammed the door to internal travel.

      So why isn’t the virus more deadly if it was a biological weapon. Again the gambit is to cause as much damage as possible and make those targets of the virus spend enormous resources to combat it. As in any war casualties are more injurious to an enemy than outright killing. You make your enemy risk more personnel and spend enormous resources retrieving and repairing those combatants.

      Unlike the ‘regular’ influenza, the covid virus was designed to create fear and cause an incapacitation of the target countries worldwide. The covid is far less deadly and willing politicals USED this weapon of an enemy to see just how far towards totalitarian control the people would allow themselves to be pushed.

      China is likely quite happy with how things turned out. They are attempting to bully Australia into trade deals entirely favourable to China and openly threaten Australia near daily. China is also trying to ‘renegotiate’ the deal they just signed with the USA. South China Sea excursions, Hong Kong strong arming etc are all China ramping up its warfare on the world basically, trying to position itself on the worlds throne. Its will end badly for them tho.

      And this is the abridged readers digest version… things to ponder and research.

      • Our communists and fellow travelers in America are cheering this. The error the CCP made is that the west is the buyer of their product. They failed to factor this in, if, if, we drop them as a supplier.

  • I see all the articles on the lock downs not being a proper response and I have one word for all of them: Horseshit! Beyond the fact that all of the publications are written by and for people who need a healthy stock market to remain in business, they are ignoring the facts that are freely available to any one with a functioning computer and a brain. All you need to know is to compare California,Washington, and Oregon with New York. The West Coast states all instituted early stay at home orders and avoided huge numbers of deaths and infections. New York put its own SAH order in place just four days later. California had the same number of cases as NY on the day the orders were instituted and has 90% fewer cases and deaths, Washington and Oregon even less. And Washington had many more cases than NY by the time the SAH orders were instituted. Or one could just look at Sweden; they did nothing to control the virus. They now have 33K cases, 4K deaths and their economy is in the toilet and they will be months before they get control of the viral spread. In a country of 9.4 million people, they have infected 3.5% of the population. Their death rate is greater than 12%. At that rate, they are on a course to kill 400,000 of their population. Try applying those numbers to the US, and right now we would have 12.6 milion infected, and 158,000 dead. That’s actually a fallacious number of dead, because with that many infections, the health care system would be overwhelmed, and basically anyone who needed ICU care (5-8%), or as many as 1 million would die. So anyone who claims SAH was not necessary is talking out of their ass. And those numbers are optimistic. Overwhelm the health care system and even the most basic care is not available. The death rate would probably move up to around 25%. We are hurting with the numbers we have now. Think about increasing those numbers tenfold. Want to know what a ignorant response looks like. Just look at the miles of mass graves being dug in Brazil. That’s what focusing on the economy and business as usual gets one.

    • Now compare NY to Florida where Florida was nowhere near as draconian as Baby Doc Cuomo and has a larger and older population than NY. Florida deaths 2,901. NY deaths 28.868. Explain that

      • dslm seems to not understand SAH was to “flatten the curve,” not to reduce death the number of deaths or later death rates. if Sweden is having a problem with COVID similar to our own, they’re having it without the self-inflicted wounds, at least.
        The first rule of medicine: Do no harm.

    • You should change your username to Cherrypicker1. You’re merely lining up numbers that differ by complexities far greater than your comparison implies, and ignoring everything that runs contrary to your preferred pet narrative. The Arizona Dept. of Health has done extensive serosurveys which peg the real mortality rate between 0.2% and 0.3%. The latest from the CDC is 0.26%. There has probably never been a historical event in the history of human civilization that killed greater than 12% that didn’t involve a volcano.

      No,dslmn, the sky isn’t falling. That’s an acorn.

  • Get real. All this dumb stunt proved is that capitalism is a joke no better than communism. Everyone loves to point at the Soviets or Venezuela and laugh. If this dumb virus had been a real threat, your precious economy would have been just as dead as theirs.
    The banking system is a house of cards that needs magic money from the fiat printer to last three months, profit-hungry pirates left our borders wide open for foreign diseases to pour over, they sent all of our medical manufacturing to a third-world dump along with everything else just for a few more shekels in the mcmansion, and now 90% of the pointless garbage people do for a living is completely unessential as agriculture dumps food in the ditches because there isn’t a profit in delivering it.
    You learned nothing and now you’re ready to rush right back into the mess fully aware that if a real disaster hit, your nation’s trash economic system is completely unprepared to cope with it.

  • I have friend who is a doctor at a major hospital. They were told to mark every death with underlying conditions a ‘covid19’ death. She said it’s freaking rigged.

  • The tribe swill are fine with this. They will do ANYTHING to destroy this country…

  • They were already aware that a lock down wasn’t a viable response if for no other reason than the collateral damage it would do. See this abstract from a study done by Johns Hopkins University (certainly not an obscure source of research articles) in 2006:
    http://www.upmc-biosecurity.org/website/resources/publications/2006/2006-09-15-diseasemitigationcontrolpandemicflu.html

    From the paper:

    “The negative consequences of large-scale quarantine are so extreme (forced confinement of sick people with the well; complete restriction of movement of large populations; difficulty in getting critical supplies, medicines, and food to people inside the quarantine zone) that this mitigation measure should be eliminated from serious consideration.”

    This is almost certainly not the only such recommendation in professional literature. Yet the advice doesn’t seem to have been given serious consideration (except in Sweden).

  • The lockdowns were never only about preventing the spread of COVID-19. They were potentially an exercise in mass control and surveillance, a great many systems for which are being deployed right now even as the virus dissipates. Contact tracing, for instance, is of little use once a virus is loose in the general population — yet many governments are rolling it out over the summer anyway, along with changes to smart phones over which we have no control that will allow contact tracing apps to be installed, and then we’ll have to prove we’re immunized before returning to work or renewing our driver’s licences. It’s reasonable to speculate that if this was a “dress rehearsal” to monitor the public response, a truly virulent manmade virus might be released so as to legitimate an extraordinary and permanent limit to our rights.

  • [print-me target="#post-%ID%"]

Subscribe to Issues & Insights via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to I&I and you can receive notifications of new articles in your email. It’s simple, and free.

Join 4,246 other subscribers

Donations

If you like what you see, feel free to leave a donation. You can also set up regular donations if you like. Just click on the Tip Jar above. It will take you to a PayPal donations page. Your contributions will help us defray the cost of running this site. (Please note that we are not set up as a charitable organization, so donations aren't tax deductible.) Thank you!

About Issues & Insights

Issues & Insights is run by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

%d bloggers like this: