Lockdowns in the U.S. and Europe had little or no impact in reducing deaths from COVID-19, according to a new analysis by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
The lockdowns during the early phase of the pandemic in 2020 reduced COVID-19 mortality by about 0.2%, said the broad review of multiple scientific studies.
“We find no evidence that lockdowns, school closures, border closures, and limiting gatherings have had a noticeable effect on COVID-19 mortality,” the researchers wrote.
But the research paper said lockdowns did have “devastating effects” on the economy and contributed to numerous social ills.
“They have contributed to reducing economic activity, raising unemployment, reducing schooling, causing political unrest, contributing to domestic violence, and undermining liberal democracy,” the report said.
“Such a standard benefit-cost calculation leads to a strong conclusion: lockdowns should be rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument,” the paper concluded.
Early on, many states and 186 countries imposed bans on work, socialization, in-person schooling, travel and other restrictions to limit the spread of the disease, citing recommendations by top health care experts.
Researchers at the Imperial College London, for example, predicted that such steps could reduce death rates by up to 98%.
That never happened, according to the new study by researchers Steve Hanke, Jonas Herby, and Lars Jonung at Johns Hopkins.
Lockdowns had little or no impact on COVID-19 deaths, new study shows – Washington TimesLockdowns had little or no impact on COVID-19 deaths, new study shows – Washington Times