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New Research Shows Coronavirus Lockdowns Cost More Lives Than They Saved

By Don Via Jr. | Waking Times

A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research has put yet another nail in the already closed coffin of the pro-lockdown narrative.

Over the past twelve months economic researchers, data analysts, medical professionals, and policy critics alike — as well as we journalists who’ve covered their findings — have all collectively reported ad nauseam the absolutely useless farce that was, and in many places still are, the use of stay at home orders and other lockdown policies as a means of combating Covid-19.

Just within this month alone, TFTP has covered two major findings regarding the study of the impact of lockdowns. On June fifth, an MIT scientist reported a data analysis of the economic impact of the lockdown — noting that whilst it played a key contributing role to the sharp rise of unemployment, it did not make a significant reduction in deaths.

And just days ago, on June 22, a Harvard University study reiterated the fact that while this policy did not save lives it simultaneously decimated the economy; while modern robber barons such as Zuckerberg, Gates, and Bezos saw their portfolios expand exponentially. This was yet another report that, much like the aforementioned, did not receive national headlines from the corporate media.

Now this most recent study from the NBER compounds these findings even further. After analyzing data from 44 countries and all 50 states, they have found that not only have these restrictions not saved lives, and greatly exacerbated the destruction of the working class — but have in fact resulted in an increase of excess mortality. At the end of the day, they cost more lives than they saved.

Among the findings for the study, the authors conclude —

  • In every region the study observed, it found that the utilization of stay-at-home mandates resulted in either no change or increases in excess deaths.
  • In every U.S. state, the study found either “no change in excess deaths, or in many U.S. states, spikes in excess deaths following the implementation of shelter-in-place policies.”
  • Countries and states that had longer duration stay-at-home mandates were found to have had higher excess deaths.
  • Countries or states that implemented stay-at-home mandates earlier did not have lower excess deaths than countries and states that were slower to put restrictions in place.
  • States did not see decreases in excess deaths until 20 weeks after the lockdown policies were brought into effect.
  • An exception was found in the countries Australia, Malta, and New Zealand, and the island of Hawaii where the shelter-in-place orders that were issued showed a slight decrease in excess deaths.

Unfortunately reports like this are becoming commonplace among those who “follow the science”, that is, those of us who actually do so rather than simply claiming to, only to then regurgitate whatever narrative is parroted by propagandists.

These consequences and much more have already been recounted by this author in a previous piece for The Free Thought Project. In January we covered a report from the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief demonstrating the impact of worldwide lockdowns and their far-reaching socio-economic ramifications.

Chiefly among them, the devastating nature in which these policies have been found to have undone the last 30 years of progress made against extreme poverty. More so, that hundreds of millions of people are now being pushed towards famine as a direct result of lockdowns.

Most shockingly of all, the pandemic projection models which were used as the justification for global lockdowns were found to be completely inaccurate and unreliable from the start. They were so flawed, the Imperial College professor who designed said projections was fired from his position for disregarding his own data and breaking restrictions.

These are just a few of the so-called unintended consequences to human health and life that came with shutting down the entire world on a whim. Not once did our pundits or politicians ever encourage strengthening the building blocks of basic health such as nutrition or exercise. They didn’t mandate an uptake in vitamins and nutrients, fresh air, sunlight, or fruits and vegetables, proper sleep, clean water, or extra cardiovascular conditioning.

None of the strategies that are actually capable of naturally strengthening the human immune system were mentioned. Instead, they went straight for the most absurd authoritarian measure — measures that, in many cases, actually obstruct those very same building blocks for a naturally healthy body.

The consequences were monstrous. In addition to the financial impacts, other costs of living are skyrocketing. It has now been thoroughly documented that lockdowns have to lead to a drastic rise in all of the following —

All the while, the world’s poor and working-class are decimated as wealthy elitists and political predators capitalize upon the largest transfer of wealth and power in human history.

To be quite blunt, these policies should be regarded as a crime against humanity.

It goes well beyond a nauseating example of government malfeasance. Policymakers were rash, reactionary, and criminally negligent. Blood is on their hands and a lot of it. We should all be quite frank about it; the decisions of lawmakers to enact these policies are directly contributory to the deaths of countless people. They are culpable, and liability should most certainly be applicable.

Manslaughter is generally defined as the unintentional killing of another human being. So while democide may not fit the bill due to a seeming lack of intent behind these killings; what does one even call mass state-sponsored criminally negligent manslaughter? Is there even a word for it? If not someone ought to think of one quick because there are a lot of government officials that deserve to be charged with it.

About the Author

Don Via Jr. is an independent researcher and journalist from central Virginia, who has dedicated the last ten years to studying history, political science, geopolitics, and covert operations, and raising awareness about government corruption and abuses. His work has been featured in publications such as Activist Post, Waking Times, and others. He is the founder of the independent media outlet Break The Matrix, where more of his work can be found. As well as on associated social media on MeWeTwitter, and Minds.




Public Health Officials Are Lying About Lockdowns

https://youtu.be/3cjgicrA504

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Initial modeling predicted COVID-19 would have a fatality rate of 2% to 3%. In reality, it’s nowhere near that, except for the elderly. One research team puts the overall infection fatality rate for all age groups at 0.32%
  • Modelers were also incorrect when they predicted that 70% to 80% would get infected before herd immunity would naturally allow the spread of infection to taper off. More than a dozen scientists now claim the herd immunity threshold is below 50%, perhaps even as low as 10%
  • Since lockdowns are a public health intervention aimed at saving lives, both the benefits and the costs of this strategy must be calculated and taken into account
  • The cost for lockdowns in Canada, in terms of Quality-Adjusted Life Years and Wellbeing Years, is at least 10 times greater than the benefit. In Australia, the minimum cost is 6.6 times higher, and in the U.S., the cost is estimated to be at least 5.2 times higher than the benefit of lockdowns
  • Researchers have estimated that in order to “break-even and make a radical containment and eradication policy worthwhile,” the infection fatality rate of SARS-CoV-2 would need to be 7.8%

As Ivor Cummins demonstrates in the video above, available data reveal lockdowns have been completely ineffective at lowering positive test rates, while extracting a huge cost in terms of human suffering and societal health. All of the reports and studies reviewed in his video are also available on his website, TheFatEmperor.com.1

To that long list of pieces of evidence, we can add yet another report from Canadian pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Ari Joffe, which shows lockdown harms are about 10 times greater than the benefits.2

In his 51-page paper,3 “COVID-19: Rethinking the Lockdown Groupthink,” Joffe reviews how and why initial modeling predictions failed to match reality, what the collateral damage of lockdown policies have been, and what cost-benefit analyses tell us about the efficacy of the lockdown strategy.

Mortality Predictions Were Staggeringly Wrong

While initial models predicted 510,000 Britons, 2.2 million Americans, and 40 million people worldwide would end up dead from COVID-19 unless suppression tactics such as lockdowns were implemented at least two-thirds of the time for the next two years,4 such prognostications have turned out to be complete hogwash.

As noted by Joffe, the lethality of SARS-CoV-2 was quickly shown to be nowhere near as high as the 2% to 3% initially predicted. He writes:5

“The WHO recently estimated that about 10% of the global population may have been already infected, which, with a world population of 7.8 billion, and 1.16 million deaths, would make a rough approximation of IFR [infection fatality rate] as 0.15% …

A serology-informed estimate of the IFR in Geneva, Switzerland put the IFR at: age 5-9 years 0.0016%, 10-19 years 0.00032%, 20-49 years 0.0092%, 50-64 years 0.14%, and age 65+ outside of assisted care facilities 2.7%, for an overall population IFR 0.32%.

Similarly, a large study from France found an inflection point in IFR around the age of 70 years … By far the most important risk factor is older age. There is a ~1000-fold difference in death risk for people >80 years old versus children.”

Herd Immunity Threshold Vastly Overestimated

Modelers were also incorrect when they predicted that 70% to 80% would get infected before herd immunity would naturally allow the spread of infection to taper off.

In reality, the herd immunity threshold has turned out to be far lower, which removes the justification for social distancing and lockdowns. More than a dozen scientists now claim the herd immunity threshold is likely below 50%,6 perhaps even as low as 10%.7,8 Data from Stockholm County, Sweden, show a herd immunity threshold of 17%.9 In an essay, Brown University professor Dr. Andrew Bostom noted:10

“Lead investigator Dr. Gomes, from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and her colleagues concluded: ‘naturally acquired immunity to SARS-CoV-2 may place populations over the herd immunity threshold once as few as 10-20% of its individuals are immune.’11

Separate HIT [herd immunity threshold] calculations of 9%,12 10-20%,13 17%,14 and 43%15,16 — each substantially below the dogmatically asserted value of ~70%17 — have been reported by investigators from Tel-Aviv University, Oxford University, University College of London, and Stockholm University, respectively.”

How could they get this so wrong? Herd immunity is calculated using the reproductive number, or R-naught (R0), which is the estimated number of new infections that may occur from one infected person.18 R0 of below 1 (with R1 meaning that one person who’s infected is expected to infect one other person) indicates that cases are declining while R0 above 1 suggests cases are on the rise.

It’s far from an exact science, however, as a person’s susceptibility to infection varies depending on many factors, including their health, age, and contacts within a community. The initial R0 calculations for COVID-19’s herd immunity threshold were based on assumptions that everyone has the same susceptibility and would be mixing randomly with others in the community.

That doesn’t happen in real life though. According to professor Karl Friston, a statistician, “effective susceptible population,” meaning those not already immune to COVID-19 and therefore at risk of infection, was never 100%. At most, it was 50% and most likely only around 20%.19

Despite the mounting of such data and the clear knowledge that lockdowns were causing unimaginable harm to mental health, physical health, education, and local economies, lockdowns were repeatedly implemented in various parts of the world.

The initial modeling report from the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team actually admitted it did “not consider the ethical or economic implications” of the pandemic measures proposed, noting only that “The social and economic effects of the measures which are needed to achieve this policy goal will be profound.” Today, we have a much better grasp on just how profound the social and economic effects have in fact been, and they’re devastating.

Stark Reality Facing Off Against Fiction

When we consider the path forward, it’s important to separate the fiction created and promulgated by Imperial College modelers and other doomsday prophets within our government and various health agencies, from more objective, reality-based data.

The fact that lockdowns are still being implemented tells us they’re still operating based on fictional assumptions. The answer is to push back with real-world data and refuse to acquiesce to fantasy doomsday scenarios.

We also need to insist on formal cost-benefit analyses. To this day, no government has presented such an analysis to the public, which is what prompted Joffe to investigate the matter. As noted by Joffe in an interview with Toronto Sun columnist Anthony Furey:20

“Since lockdowns are a public health intervention, aiming to improve the population wellbeing, we must consider both benefits of lockdowns, and costs of lockdowns on the population wellbeing.

Once I became more informed, I realized that lockdowns cause far more harm than they prevent … Emerging data has shown a staggering amount of so-called ‘collateral damage’ due to the lockdowns.”

Collateral damage cited by Joffe include:21

82 million to 132 million more people affected by food insecurity
70 million being pushed into severe poverty
1.7 million mothers and infants dying due to interrupted health care
Millions of deaths caused by other infectious diseases due to interrupted health care services (such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV)
Millions of children losing future earning potential and life span due to school closures and educational shortfalls
Millions of women affected by worsened or pandemic-initiated domestic abuse
Unemployment, which is one of the strongest risk factors for early mortality, reduced life span, and chronic disease
Increased loneliness and all the adverse health conditions associated with it
Increased homelessness
Mental health deterioration across society and an increase in “deaths of despair”
Increases in opioid-related deaths
An 83% increase in excess deaths from dementia in England/Wales in April 2020, and an increase in Alzheimer disease and dementia deaths in the U.S., attributed to lack of social contact22

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Lockdowns

Essentially, Joffe’s paper is the cost-benefit analysis of lockdowns that should have at least been attempted before being implemented worldwide and then kept in place for months on end. In his interview with Furey, Joffe explains his approach:23

“In the cost-benefit analysis I consider the benefits of lockdowns in preventing deaths from COVID-19, and the costs of lockdowns in terms of the effects of the recession, loneliness, and unemployment on population wellbeing and mortality.

I did not consider all of the other so-called ‘collateral damage’ of lockdowns mentioned above. It turned out that the costs of lockdowns [in Canada] are at least 10 times higher than the benefits. That is, lockdowns cause far more harm to population wellbeing than COVID-19 can.”

A primary benefit of the lockdowns was supposed to be the prevention of COVID-19 deaths. As detailed in Joffe’s report,24 “Using the age distribution of deaths and comorbidities, in the U.K. the average person who died due to COVID-19 had 3 to 5 healthy years left to live.” That’s a Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY) score of 3 to 5, which equates to a Wellbeing Years (WELLBY) score of 18 to 30.

Joffe presents data showing that lockdowns “saved” 58.5 QALY or 360 million WELLBY, at most, seeing how herd immunity threshold and infection fatality rates are far lower than predicted. Joffe suspects the total number of deaths actually prevented by lockdowns is fewer than 5.2 million.

Meanwhile, the cost of the lockdowns in the U.K., in terms of WELLBY, is five times greater than might optimistically be saved, and may in reality be anywhere from 50 times to 87 times greater.

As mentioned by Joffe in the interview quoted above, the cost for lockdowns in Canada is at least 10 times greater than the benefit. In his report, he cites data showing that in Australia, the minimum cost is 6.6 times higher, and in the U.S., the cost is estimated to be at least 5.2 times higher than the benefit of lockdowns.

A cost-benefit analysis performed for New Zealand, which looked at the cost of adding just five extra days of “COVID-19 alert level 4” found the cost in QALY was 94.9 times higher than the benefit. In his report, Joffe also cites research estimating that in order to “break-even and make a radical containment and eradication policy worthwhile,” the infection fatality rate of SARS-CoV-2 would need to be 7.8%.25

No matter how many non-COVID deaths are falsely attributed to COVID-19, you’re not going to reach that level of lethality, which means lockdowns are robbing the population of more life than the virus.

CDC Inflated COVID-19 Deaths by 1,670%, Violated Fed Law

Indeed, according to an October 2020 peer-reviewed study26,27 by the Public Health Policy Initiative of the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention inflated COVID-19 mortality statistics by 1,670%, yet we’re still nowhere near a fatality ratio of 7.8%.

According to that study, the CDC appears to have violated federal law, including the Information Quality Act in Section 515 of Public Law 106-554 and the Paperwork Reduction Act codified at 44 USC 3501, and by doing so, the CDC was able to bypass essential oversight by the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

It’s an eye-opening report, which I encourage you to read through. It can offer a sobering reality check if you’re still worried. For example, on page 20, there’s a graph comparing the COVID-19 fatalities based on the CDC’s illegally updated reporting guidelines, against the fatality count had they continued using the guidelines that had been in use for the past 17 years.

As of August 23, 2020, the CDC reported a COVID-19 death toll of 161,392. Meanwhile, the more accurate fatality rate, using the standard reporting guidelines that had been in place since 2003, was a mere 9,684. No matter what data sets we look at, we find that the COVID-19 pandemic has been grossly overhyped and kept alive long past its natural expiration date.

How Did We Get Here and How Do We Move Forward?

Joffe answers these questions in his interview with Furey, stating:28

“[The] initial modelling and forecasting were inaccurate. This led to a contagion of fear and policies across the world. Popular media focused on absolute numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths independent of context. There has been a sheer one-sided focus on preventing infection numbers.

The economist Paul Frijters wrote that it was ‘all about seeming to reduce risks of infection and deaths from this one particular disease, to the exclusion of all other health risks or other life concerns.’ Fear and anxiety spread, and we elevated COVID-19 above everything else that could possibly matter.

Our cognitive biases prevented us from making optimal policy: we ignored hidden ‘statistical deaths’ reported at the population level, we preferred immediate benefits to even larger benefits in the future, we disregarded evidence that disproved our favorite theory, and escalated our commitment in the set course of action …

Each day in non-pandemic years over 21,000 people die from tobacco use, 3,600 from pneumonia and diarrhea in children under 5-years-old, and 4,110 from Tuberculosis. We need to consider the tragic COVID-19 numbers in context.

I believe that we need to take an ‘effortful pause’ and reconsider the information available to us. We need to calibrate our response to the true risk, make rational cost-benefit analyses of the trade-offs, and end the lockdown groupthink.”

He repeats these sentiments in his report, in which he stresses the need to focus on protecting those at highest risk for severe COVID-19 and death thereof. This includes:

  • Hospitalized patients
  • Nursing home residents
  • Crowded institutions such as homeless shelters, prisons, and any large gathering
  • People over the age of 70, especially if they have severe comorbidities

In these instances, universal masking and other infection control strategies are warranted, Joffe says. The rest of the population can and should go back to normal life. Certainly, people should not be universally treated as high risk. The closing of schools, for example, is likely to have far-reaching and devastating consequences that are completely unnecessary. As noted by Joffe:29

“We need to keep schools open because children have very low morbidity and mortality from COVID-19, and (especially those 10 years and younger) are less likely to be infected by, and have a low likelihood to be the source of transmission of SARS-CoV-2.”