Home Opinion OPINION: Media ignores study about harmful lockdowns. Color me surprised.

OPINION: Media ignores study about harmful lockdowns. Color me surprised.

The mainstream media, and apparently academic-types, decided to cower from a study showing lockdowns had little consequence in curbing infections during the ongoing pandemic.

Researchers, Carolina Journal reported, found lockdowns “have had little to no public health effects” while imposing “enormous economic and social costs” and should be “rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.” 

Neither the left-leaning media, nor the study’s authors, widely publicized the findings. 

Color me surprised. Seems it didn’t quite fit their fear-mongering agenda, though it effectively swept the legs of politicians and health experts who insisted they were simply trying to “keep us safe.”

The meta-analysis from Johns Hopkins University, CJ wrote, showed government-mandated lockdowns in America and Europe during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic only reduced the death rate by 0.2%, on average. 

Meanwhile, the lockdowns and suppression left the economy in tatters, and we’re still trying to sew it back together. For many businesses, the fabric was beyond repair. In shreds.

Students, also locked out, suffered learning loss that won’t be regained. Protecting our mental health, collectively and individually, wasn’t a priority, and many people won’t recover. Many never will, because they won’t have the chance.

“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,” wrote the authors, Jonas Herby, Steve H. Hanke, and Lars Jonung, experts on the law, economics, and global health. “In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.”

Yet the suppression of liberties continues. Vaccine mandates, masking rules, testing, and social distancing. As is a common refrain here, people should do as they please, within the law and respective of the rights of others. But don’t force it upon me, at the proverbial point of a gun. 

Leftist politicians have started loosening or eliminating the restrictions, but only because of the realization it’s no longer politically expedient or beneficial. Nevertheless, pockets of intransigence remain — in the city of Raleigh, for instance. In North Carolina schools. 

I’m not suggesting so-called progressives from the left, such as Roy Cooper and Mary Ann Baldwin, would eschew republican government for socialism and, gulp, autocracy. But I don’t think I’m being too hyperbolic in comparing the lockdowns early in the pandemic to the abhorrent way China is handling the debacle that is these winter Olympics.

Games taking place, as Jason Gay wrote Sunday in The Wall Street Journal, “in a strictly-contained bubble, with vigorous security, daily health monitoring and no interaction with the population at large. 

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“That means social distancing on the bus. Breakfast tables with plexiglass shields. Throat swabs taken down the hall. Hopefully it’s not a positive, with a ticket to a spartan quarantine motel.”

Some American health experts and politicians may come away envious. Zero-COVID, if only. Never mind the Chinese stonewalling about the virus, its propaganda, and abject denials. 

“China’s economy, which helped keep the world supplied with manufactured goods during its COVID fight,” writes the WSJ’s Holman W. Jenkins Jr.,“ is now becoming a drag on the global recovery because of domestic lockdowns. Look for China’s propaganda to become even more militant in trying to portray COVID as a foreign conspiracy.”

Don’t be afraid, but, for a moment, think about the Johns Hopkins study. Which few people read, or even heard about.

Dr. Martin Makary is a surgeon and public policy researcher at Johns Hopkins. In an interview with Fox News, Makary said, “Johns Hopkins itself did not even put out a press release about this study, and if you look at the media coverage, it’s one of the biggest stories in the world today, and yet certain media outlets have not even covered it.”

In January, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, named Makary his lead adviser on the pandemic response.

“The choice of Marty Makary … , “writes The Washington Post, “signals that Youngkin will upend the approach of outgoing governor and pediatric neurologist Ralph Northam to public policy at a critical time in the pandemic, political science and health experts say.

Other states should follow Youngkin’s lead, but, as with most things regarding this pandemic, politics will prevail. Northam knows as much. Remember, the political slide that veers to the left — not unlike the fake snow in China — can get mighty slippery. Politicians such as Youngkin are trying to make sure we don’t fall and hurt ourselves even more.

John Trump is veteran journalist and author of “Still & Barrel: Craft Spirits in the Old North State.” Republished from the Carolina Journal.

 

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