New report shows how the lockdowns have harmed health care

Proponents of the COVID lockdowns claim they are prioritizing public health over "mere" economic concerns.  However, a new report from the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) calibrates the overall cost of lockdowns, not just in terms of lost jobs, education, and economic output, but in the reduction of health care.

"In the debate over coronavirus policy, there has been far too little focus on the costs of lockdowns," the AIER report states.  Indeed, those concerned about the costs of the lockdowns are routinely castigated as greedy, more concerned with profits than with human life.  However, as the AIER report shows, the lockdowns have failed on their own terms — they have exacted an enormous toll on the nation's mental and physical health.

According to the report, which cites to official sources, during late June 2020, 40% of U.S. adults were struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues.  Of individuals aged 18–24, 25.5% considered suicide.  Between April and October, the portion of emergency visits related to mental health for children (5–11) increased by 24% and 31% for 12- to 17-year olds compared to 2019.  In addition, more than 40 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality.

The obsessive focus on COVID has also led to a deterioration in the quality of health care overall, the report shows.  Some examples:

  • Diagnoses for six types of cancer (breast, colorectal, lung, pancreatic, gastric, and esophageal) have declined 46.4% compared to 2018.
  • Pancreatic cancer diagnoses have dropped 24.7% compared to 2018.
  • Breast cancer diagnoses have dropped 51.8% compared to 2018.
  • There was a 38% decrease in ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) treatments in nine major hospitals across the U.S.

Unless you think COVID has miraculously cured cancer and heart disease, then these missed diagnoses and treatments will likely result in increased mortality in future years.  But CNN won't be posting those deaths, so will anyone notice?

You can follow Nicholas J. Kaster on Twitter.

Image: krustovin, Pixabay.

Proponents of the COVID lockdowns claim they are prioritizing public health over "mere" economic concerns.  However, a new report from the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) calibrates the overall cost of lockdowns, not just in terms of lost jobs, education, and economic output, but in the reduction of health care.

"In the debate over coronavirus policy, there has been far too little focus on the costs of lockdowns," the AIER report states.  Indeed, those concerned about the costs of the lockdowns are routinely castigated as greedy, more concerned with profits than with human life.  However, as the AIER report shows, the lockdowns have failed on their own terms — they have exacted an enormous toll on the nation's mental and physical health.

According to the report, which cites to official sources, during late June 2020, 40% of U.S. adults were struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues.  Of individuals aged 18–24, 25.5% considered suicide.  Between April and October, the portion of emergency visits related to mental health for children (5–11) increased by 24% and 31% for 12- to 17-year olds compared to 2019.  In addition, more than 40 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality.

The obsessive focus on COVID has also led to a deterioration in the quality of health care overall, the report shows.  Some examples:

  • Diagnoses for six types of cancer (breast, colorectal, lung, pancreatic, gastric, and esophageal) have declined 46.4% compared to 2018.
  • Pancreatic cancer diagnoses have dropped 24.7% compared to 2018.
  • Breast cancer diagnoses have dropped 51.8% compared to 2018.
  • There was a 38% decrease in ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) treatments in nine major hospitals across the U.S.

Unless you think COVID has miraculously cured cancer and heart disease, then these missed diagnoses and treatments will likely result in increased mortality in future years.  But CNN won't be posting those deaths, so will anyone notice?

You can follow Nicholas J. Kaster on Twitter.

Image: krustovin, Pixabay.