Reprinted from Tom Woods:
No matter how you slice it, the numbers refuse to tell the story that lockdowns did any good.
Donald Luskin, in a Wall Street Journal article called “The Failed Experiment of COVID Lockdowns” (also adapted for the New York Post), tells us this:
“TrendMacro, my analytics firm, tallied the cumulative number of reported COVID-19 cases in each state and the District of Columbia as a percentage of population, based on data from state and local health departments aggregated by the Covid Tracking Project. We then compared that with the timing and intensity of the lockdown in each jurisdiction. That is measured not by the mandates put in place by government officials, but rather by observing what people in each jurisdiction actually did, along with their baseline behavior before the lockdowns. This is captured in highly detailed anonymized cellphone tracking data provided by Google and others and tabulated by the University of Maryland’s Transportation Institute into a ‘Social Distancing Index.’
“Measuring from the start of the year to each state’s point of maximum lockdown, which range from April 5 to April 18, it turns out that lockdowns correlated with a greater spread of the virus. States with longer, stricter lockdowns also had larger outbreaks. The five places with the harshest lockdowns — DC, New York, Michigan, New Jersey and Massachusetts — had the heaviest caseloads.
“It could be that strict lockdowns were imposed as a response to already severe outbreaks. But the surprising negative correlation, while statistically weak, persists even when excluding states with the heaviest caseloads. And it makes no difference if the analysis includes other potential explanatory factors, such as population density, age, ethnicity, prevalence of nursing homes, general health or temperature. The only factor that seems to make a demonstrable difference is the intensity of mass-transit use.”
They then repeated the study, this time to investigate the reopenings. They started from each state’s peak of lockdown and ended on July 31. They found that the states that opened up had the lightest caseloads, though the relationship was “fairly weak.” They also noted that the states that had the Sun Belt spike — which is over now — were not even the most opened up.
The Lancet, the prestigious medical journal, found similar results when comparing across countries: “A longer time prior to implementation of any lockdown was associated with a lower number of detected cases.”
The TrendMacro study is better, though, because instead of relying on stated government policy, they use mobility data to examine what people actually did (so Doomers can’t use the “people disobeyed the lockdowns” excuse).
Oh, one more thing:
The Washington Post is running this headline:
“Trump’s Disastrous Virus Response Is Veering Toward Another Terrible Turn.”
Why? Because Stanford’s Dr. Scott Atlas dares to speak about “herd immunity” — the strategy we all know has to be followed at some point, with the wreckage of the lockdowns piling up around us.
The Post says:
“This was the pandemic approach in Sweden, and it did not turn out well.”
But of course it did turn out well. Of the 5800 deaths in Sweden, about 4000 were in long-term care facilities of some kind — which are evidently atrociously run, and which the Swedes have admitted amounted to a major failure.
The issue, though, is how did the Swedish approach affect the general run of society? What happened in isolated long-term care facilities with no contact with the rest of society is obviously no commentary on the strategy as a whole. Just 18 deaths per 100,000 looks pretty good to me.
Meanwhile, there continue to be shouting matches about schools in the U.S., and even the ones that have opened are often forcing dystopian measures on the hapless kids.
If you’re having second thoughts about putting your children through this, it’s never too late to join the self-taught Ron Paul Curriculum.
Categories: Government Failures