Rigorous new study of studies finds that lockdowns, not COVID, caused the destruction

COVID is blamed for the vast ruin and destruction of the past few years.

After all, there were a more than a million deaths in the U.S., mass layoffs, and the destruction of hundreds of thousands of small businesses.  There have been learning loss and speech delays in children, and depression and other mental health crises in teenagers.  There's the massive inflation seen today and a huge surge in the federal debt brought on by federal COVID spending, and let's not even get into the fraud.  There's also the refusal of workers to return to work, the still-empty churches and downtown office spaces, and countless other lingering negative effects.

COVID did it.  Blame COVID.  That's what the media and the bureaucrats and anyone getting rich off this pandemic do.

Except that it wasn't that little gift from the lab in Wuhan that did it.

All of the destruction, according to an important new meta-study (or study of studies) by noted economists Steve Hanke, Lars Jonung, and Jonas Herby, came from state-enforced lockdowns, not COVID.

The study has now become a book, titled Did Lockdowns Work?, and it can be downloaded here.

Respected economists have taken note and give their approval.

According to economist Brad Polumbo:

Pandemic-era lockdown policies may "represent the biggest policy mistake in modern times." At least, that's the conclusion reached by one of the authors of a major new study examining many government restrictions inflicted upon the public throughout 2020 and 2021. 

An updated, peer-reviewed meta analysis of lockdowns examining 22 relevant studies was just published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. In it, authors Lars Jonung, Jonas Herby, and Steve H. Hanke examined the lockdown policies enacted in the US, England, and Europe and compared them to the light-touch approach enacted in Sweden where minor government restrictions were paired with voluntary action driven by extensive public information and awareness campaigns. 

They find that in the US, extensive restrictions ranging from stay-at-home orders to business closures all combined to only save approximately 4,000 lives. Some particular policies, like gathering limits, actually increased COVID mortality. (As it turns out, much of the COVID-19 spread occurred at home). This is a far cry from the projections used early in the pandemic to justify lockdowns that estimated 2 million American lives would be saved. 

That's an academically rigorous study, and what it found was pathetic.  All that destruction through Western society, and instead of saving 2 million lives, as the adamant lockdown proponents at the Imperial College of London confidently forecast, the vaunted lockdowns saved...4,000.

It's not nothing, but it's not what they claimed.  They said 2 million in the U.S. alone and millions more elsewhere.

Turns out they had no idea what they were talking about, yet they had tremendous power to make their Frankenstein ideas come to life.

The Imperial College of London, as noted here, is getting famous for its junk science, and that's an extended record.

According to IEA, a rigorous academic think-tank in the U.K.:

  • Herby, Jonung, and Hanke conclude that voluntary changes in behaviour, such as social distancing, played a significant role in mitigating the pandemic – but harsher restrictions, like stay-at-home rules and school closures, generated very high costs but produced only negligible health benefits
  • COVID-19 lockdowns were "a global policy failure of gigantic proportions," according to this peer-reviewed new academic study. The draconian policy failed to significantly reduce deaths while imposing substantial social, cultural, and economic costs.
  • The comprehensive 220-page book, began with a systematic review of 19,646 potentially relevant studies. For their meta-analysis, the authors' screening resulted in the choice of 22 studies that are based on actual, measured mortality data, not on results derived from modelling exercises. A meta-analysis is considered the 'gold-standard' for evidence, as it combines comparable, independent studies to determine overall trends.

And not surprisingly, its pals are already trying to debunk this rigorous peer-reviewed study.

The Guardian's science editor, Ian Sample, couldn't come up with anything better than that the study "adds little insight."

In other words, they all knew this already, so nothing to see here, move along.

No, pal.  Anyone who questioned lockdowns in the past few years was branded anti-science, anti-people, a Nazi, and someone who belonged in prison, if not cast out from society.

They dismissed effective treatments such as ivermectin with grade school–style mockery — e.g., "horse paste" and "you are not a horse" — and pretended the effects of natural immunity didn't exist, which is first-year medical science, all to justify and extend lockdowns even as the destruction extended.

They went with a vengeance after anyone who questioned lockdowns.  They smeared top doctors such as those who signed the Great Barrington Declaration and authentic M.D.s such as Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, and they smeared inexpensive and effective treatments based on empirical evidence.  Remember how this black hero doctor who saved a whole nursing home full of patients in Texas got raked over the coals?  

A Galveston-area doctor, Dr. Robin Armstrong, who was in charge of a nursing home, found himself in the middle of the worst health care nightmare anyone can imagine: a COVID-19 outbreak, on a home full of elderly people, and he was in charge.  Odds were big they were going to die.  We already know what the coronavirus did to a nursing home in Washington State, and we have subsequently learned what inserting COVID-19 patients into unwilling nursing homes in New York City did to those populations.  Coronavirus + Nursing Home = Death Sentence.  That was what he was looking at.  In desperation, the Texas doctor decided to treat his threatened patients with hydroxychloroquine in a last-ditch effort to save them...and he called it right.  Unlike those other places, his patients got well.  His informed judgment saved the lives of a building full of nursing home patients, and he reported no bad side-effects such as heart problems brought on by the treatment.  He would have been justified to take such risks because his treatment was triage, and the alternative was the death sentence.  But there wasn't even that.  His patients lived, they regained their fragile health, and there were no stacked bodies or chaotic medical scenes in his part of Texas on his watch. 

That's frankly a story of heroism, and the brilliant medical man should be celebrated for the huge number of lives he saved.

The lockdown idiocy extended from the top to the very bottom.  I remember when my elderly parents were sick by COVID during the first wave of the pandemic, and the whole household, including even the cats, had COVID symptoms, yet I didn't have a trace of it in that same household based on my being treated with ivermectin.  I was told by a San Diego County public health bureaucrat over the phone that I needed to wear a mask around the house.  I knew I was being fed a line, and it wasn't about science.  I remember police patrolling our neighborhood looking for mask violators, because I was out walking on the sidewalk without one (fresh air science!) and, suspecting nothing, put my mask on and approached the cop car to ask if I could help them...and found out that I was what they were looking for — a mask violator. Who the hell gave that order?

It all comes back to us:

The Guardian piece gets worse the more you read — it complains that the study of studies didn't include the opinions of epidemiologists, and instead just used (rigorous) economic studies by economists.  That's a textbook case of blaming COVID instead of the lockdowns for the mass ill effects in society.  The topic was lockdowns, which are an economic phenomenon, not a disease.  Why the heck should they use the opinions of medical people, who research the disease itself?  Consulting them provides about as much insight as consulting a wokester college student or a taxi driver.  Economists study economic effects; medical researchers study viruses under microscopes. 

And how's this for a stupid weaselly understatement from one of these vaunted epidemiologists?

Prof Rowland Kao, an epidemiologist at Edinburgh University, said specific details about the UK's lockdown matter too. In the first lockdown, care homes suffered brutal, disproportionate death rates because, despite the restrictions, residents were not adequately protected from infected patients arriving from hospitals. "As it stood, lockdown without protection of people in care homes wasn't in a position to achieve one of its most important potential outcomes."

"Wasn't in a position"?  What kind of cover-your-ass statement is that?  People in old-age homes were literally trapped like prisoners with diseased patients rolling in from the hospitals and couldn't get out.  Not surprisingly, they died by the tens of thousands and, worse still, were forced to die alone.

That's the kind of phrase you use when maybe you can't attend a distant nephew's wedding, not one of the great mass-death crimes of the 21st century that has yet to see anyone punished.  This was lockdowns, not COVID, killing people.  All they had to do was let the patients out of that death trap, and they'd be alive today.

It's all part of the continuing campaign to blame COVID instead of lockdowns for the death and havoc wrought in society from the pandemic.  We all know why they're doing it: blaming COVID ensures that what's blamed is a thing, not a person who made a lethal decision.

It's nothing but a red herring.  This study of studies shows conclusively that lockdowns were a disaster, and because it was lockdowns, and not the disease, that wreaked the havoc, someone needs to be held accountable.  Society was shut down based on junk science and fear.  Not only do incompetents and chiselers and power-mongers need to be held accountable, but laws need to be made to ensure that these bureaucrats and their allies never have this kind of power again.

This study is important for advancing that critical change.

Image: Screen shot from Rolling Stones video via YouTube.

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