A new study out of the renowned Johns Hopkins University has concluded that global lockdowns have had a much more detrimental impact on society than they have produced any benefit, with researchers urging that they “are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.”
The study was authored by Jonas Herby, special advisor at Center for Political Studies in Copenhagen, Denmark; Lars Jonung, professor emeritus in economics at Lund University, Sweden; and Steve H. Hanke, a Professor of Applied Economics and Founder & Co-Director of The Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise.
The authors wrote that “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 focus of the study, according to the authors was to “determine whether there is empirical evidence to support the belief that ‘lockdowns’ reduce COVID-19 mortality.”
The researchers defined lockdowns as “any government mandate that directly restrict peoples’ possibilities, such as policies that limit internal movement, close schools and businesses, and ban international travel.”
The researchers further noted that “To answer our question, we focused on studies that examine the actual impact of lockdowns on COVID-19 mortality rates based on registered cross-sectional mortality data and a counterfactual difference in-difference approach.”
In other words, did lockdowns reduce COVID deaths?
The conclusion is no.
“Lockdowns have had little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality. 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 study notes.
It adds “shelter-in-placeorders (SIPOs) were also ineffective, only reducing COVID-19 mortality by 2.9% on average,” further noting “Specific non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI) studies also find no broad-based evidence of noticeable effects on COVID-19 mortality.”
In other words, lockdowns don’t do anything to save people from COVID.
The authors concluded, “our meta-analysis fails to confirm that lockdowns have had a large, significant effect on mortality rates.”
In a further analysis of “lockdown vs. no lockdown, facemasks, closing non-essential businesses, border closures, school closures, and limiting gatherings,” the study also found “no broad-based evidence of noticeable effects on COVID-19 mortality.”
The findings bolster a host of previous scientific findings that all conclude lockdowns are ineffective instruments of virus control, and have actually caused more damage to people’s health and well being.
Stanford University professor of medicine Jay Bhattacharya noted last year that in years to come lockdowns will be looked back upon as the most catastrophically harmful policy in “all of history”.
The epidemiologist added “Every single poor person on the face of the earth has faced some harm, sometimes catastrophic harm, from this lockdown policy,” adding that “We will be counting the catastrophic health and psychological harms, imposed on nearly every poor person on the face of the earth, for a generation.”
A peer reviewed study by Stanford researchers found that mandatory lockdowns do not provide more benefits to stopping the spread of COVID-19 than voluntary measures such as social distancing.
The researchers found “no clear, significant beneficial effect of [more restrictive measures] on case growth in any country.”
The effects of lockdown have been devastating, with leading cancer charities in the UK warning that there is a crisis underway with huge numbers of people not receiving referrals or treatment because they’ve been told to stay at home and not to burden the National Health Service.
According to Professor Karol Sikora, an NHS consultant oncologist, there could be 50,000 excess deaths from cancer as a result of routine screenings being suspended during the lockdown in the UK.
Professor Richard Sullivan also warned that there will be more excess cancer deaths in the UK than total coronavirus deaths due to people’s access to screenings and treatment being restricted as a result of the lockdown.
His comments were echoed by Peter Nilsson, a Swedish professor of internal medicine and epidemiology at Lund University, who said, “It’s so important to understand that the deaths of COVID-19 will be far less than the deaths caused by societal lockdown when the economy is ruined.”
A major study by German scientists at Munich University also found that lockdowns had no effect on reducing the country’s coronavirus infection rate.
“Statisticians at Munich University found “no direct connection” between the German lockdown and falling infection rates in the country,” reported the Telegraph.
The World Health Organization’s Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge also warned governments should stop enforcing lockdowns, unless as a “last resort,” because the impact on other areas of health and mental well-being is more damaging.
NEW: WHO Europe Director, Hans Kluge tells me, no government should enforce another national lockdown unless it is absolutely necessary, a last resort— Darren McCaffrey (@darrenmccaffrey) October 13, 2020
He says damage to other health areas, mental health, domestic violence, schools and cancer treatment is too great pic.twitter.com/jzbh9YbH7z
Kluge’s warning matched that of the WHO’s special envoy on COVID-19, Dr David Nabarro, who told the Spectator in an interview that world leaders should stop imposing lockdowns as a reflex reaction because they are making “poor people an awful lot poorer.”
WATCH: Dr David Nabarro, the WHO's Special Envoy on Covid-19, tells Andrew Neil: 'We really do appeal to all world leaders: stop using lockdown as your primary control method'. Watch the full interview here: https://t.co/XLdaedsKVS #SpectatorTV @afneil | @davidnabarro pic.twitter.com/1M4xf3VnXQ— The Spectator (@spectator) October 9, 2020
The warnings resonate with numerous other experts who have desperately tried to warn governments that lockdowns will end up killing more people than the virus itself, but have been largely ignored.
Germany’s Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Muller, warned that COVID-19 lockdowns will result in “one of the biggest” hunger and poverty crises in history.
“We expect an additional 400,000 deaths from malaria and HIV this year on the African continent alone,” Muller said, adding that “half a million more will die from tuberculosis.”
Muller’s comments arrived months after a leaked study from inside the German Ministry of the Interior revealed that the impact of the country’s lockdown could end up killing more people than the coronavirus due to victims of other serious illnesses not receiving treatment.
Another study found that lockdowns will conservatively “destroy at least seven times more years of human life” than they save.
A Guardian analysis has found that there have been thousands of excess deaths of people at home in the UK due to the lockdown.
Government data showed that England’s lockdown caused an extra 1 million people to become addicted to alcohol since the start of the pandemic.
Figures released by the the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that there were 8,974 deaths “from alcohol-specific causes” in 2020, an 18.6% increase compared with 2019.
Experts in the fields of health, academia and charity have warned that the lockdown in the UK is creating a runaway pandemic of anxiety and depression. Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind said “It’s no understatement to say that the nation is facing a mental health pandemic.” Since the lockdowns, hospitals have reported an explosion in suicides and intentional injury.
Infectious diseases expert and University of Edinburgh professor Mark Woolhouse acknowledged that the decision to lockdown the UK was a “crude measure” that was enacted because “we couldn’t think of anything better to do.”
Woolhouse said the lockdown was a “panic measure” and a “monumental mistake on a global scale,” adding “I believe the harm lockdown is doing to our education, health care access, and broader aspects of our economy and society will turn out to be at least as great as the harm done by COVID-19.”
Another infectious diseases expert Professor Steven Riley warned that current research “certainly doesn’t support the conclusion that lockdown is working.”
As we further previously highlighted, a data analyst consortium in South Africa found that the economic consequences of the country’s lockdown will lead to 29 times more people dying than the coronavirus itself.
Experts have also warned that there will be 1.4 million deaths globally from untreated TB infections due to lockdowns.
In addition, a study published in The Lancet that notes “physical distancing, school closures, trade restrictions, and country lockdowns” are worsening global child malnutrition.
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