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Johns Hopkins Study: Lockdowns Caused Massive Harm, Deliver No Benefit

re: Marty Makary

Is this study credible/reliable? Who knows for sure—it has plenty of weaknesses. But that doesn’t make its conclusions wrong.

And no-one has yet explained the huge surge in excess non-COVID deaths of younger people which have occurred—were they caused by the lockdowns or perhaps by the vaccines? A lot of unanswered and uncomfortable questions (for the authorities) remain.

To any rational person or apolitical professional, it was obvious very early on that lockdowns could never work and hurt the most vulnerable the most (the poor). Obvious, except to fools and fascists. Which is why all the normal rules had to be violated to impose them by force.

We now know that lockdowns not only did not work, but they caused massive harms, from excess deaths to lives ruined to delayed cancer care, etc. Harms that continue for many, though not for the ruling classes.

One wonders just how Sweden breezed-by while the USA self-immolated.

I’m no fan of meta analysis studies, but if a study cannot show show a strong benefit and it causes massive harm (or even some harm), that settles the matter.

Listen to listen to Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins comments on these findings.


By Jonas Herby, Lars Jonung, and Steve H. Hanke. Emphasis added.

...An analysis of each of these three groups support the conclusion that 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. SIPOs were also ineffective, only reducing COVID-19 mortality by 2.9% on average. Specific NPI studies also find no broad-based evidence of noticeable effects on COVID-19 mortality.

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. In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.

...An often cited model simulation study by researchers at the Imperial College London (Ferguson et al. (2020)) predicted that a 3 suppression strategy based on a lockdown would reduce COVID-19 mortality by up to 98%... Given the large effects predicted by simulation studies such as Ferguson et al. (2020), we would have expected to at least observe a simple negative correlation between COVID-19 mortality and the degree to which lockdowns were imposed.

... Fourth, unintended consequences may play a larger role than recognized. We already pointed to the possible unintended consequence of SIPOs, which may isolate an infected person at home with his/her family where he/she risks infecting family members with a higher viral load, causing more severe illness. But often, lockdowns have limited peoples’ access to safe (outdoor) places such as beaches, parks, and zoos, or included outdoor mask mandates or strict outdoor gathering restrictions, pushing people to meet at less safe (indoor) places. Indeed, we do find some evidence that limiting gatherings was counterproductive and increased COVID-19 mortality.


Policy implications

In the early stages of a pandemic, before the arrival of vaccines and new treatments, a society can respond in two ways: mandated behavioral changes or voluntary behavioral changes. Our study fails to demonstrate significant positive effects of mandated behavioral changes (lockdowns). This should draw our focus to the role of voluntary behavioral changes. Here, more research is needed to determine how voluntary behavioral changes can be supported. But it should be clear that one important role for government authorities is to provide information so that citizens can voluntarily respond to the pandemic in a way that mitigates their exposure.

Finally, allow us to broaden our perspective after presenting our meta-analysis that focuses on the following question: “What does the evidence tell us about the effects of lockdowns on mortality?” We provide a firm answer to this question: The evidence fails to confirm that lockdowns have a significant effect in reducing COVID-19 mortality. The effect is little to none.

The use of lockdowns is a unique feature of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns have not been used to such a large extent during any of the pandemics of the past century. However, lockdowns during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic have had devastating effects. They have contributed to reducing economic activity, raising unemployment, reducing schooling, causing political unrest, contributing to domestic violence, and undermining liberal democracy. These costs to society must be compared to the benefits of lockdowns, which our meta-analysis has shown are marginal at best. Such a standard benefit-cost calculation leads to a strong conclusion: lockdowns should be rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument.


WIND: the key point of all of this is crucially import here and everywhere: “costs to society must be compared to the benefits of lockdowns”. That is what was ignored, and is till being igonored. But do politicians ever compare costs to benefits in any area of policy? Maybe it is a fantasy to expect a pandemic to be any different.

Johns Hopkins University did not even issue a press release about this study. Someone in the press should ask them why, just to see them twist themselves into knots.

Citing GIGO numbers like (0.9%, 2.9%?) is absurd—they are on the order of random errors, rounding errors. When you have to look that hard for a benefit and all you get is a rounding error, the point is proven.

Here we are in 2022 having learned nothing, now soon vaccinating children as young as 6 months, for no benefit whatsoever, and all the harms known and unknown. For a virus that now poses far less risk than before! The same policy rapists are still at it, imposing their will by coercion and fearmongering. With no basis in science whatsoever.

As noted in the study and properly rejected, any “study” based on simulation or models is junk, whether it is COVID or climate science. Simulations and models are not, never have been, and never will be science. Popularity of viewpoint is not a qualifier.

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