Lockdowns Failed to Stop COVID, But Succeeded in Exposing the Hypocrisy of Politicians

In mid-2020, more than 17,000 health experts from around the world warned about the negative effects of lockdowns

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More than two years after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was widespread evidence of how the massive lockdowns did not help to reduce deaths due to the disease—this did not stop governments from paralyzing world economies.

Now, after millions of entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized companies, employees and self-employed workers were left with no income, some governments are reversing the measures and admitting — with their actions — that the mandatory lockdowns were not entirely efficient in preventing contagions and deaths from the virus.

Such is the case of Peru, which publicly stated that the curfews did not meet their objective: “There will be no more curfews in our country, this is terminated. The measure has health considerations, an evaluation has been made for several days on the impact of the curfew and we consider suspending it,” said the Minister of Health, Hernando Cevallos, on January 26.

For his part, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, announced the “end of the pandemic” with the elimination of measures such as mandatory masks, teleworking and vaccine cards. “We must learn to live with Covid in the same way we live with flu,” said British Health Minister Sajid Javid shortly after Johnson’s announcements.

A recently published study by Johns Hopkins University questioned the effect of confinement in reducing mortality. The study concludes that “the analysis fails to confirm that lockdowns have had a large, significant effect on mortality rates.” Hard (home) lockdowns reduced mortality by only 2.9%, according to this analysis.

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The researchers conclude that lockdowns have not been effective in reducing mortality, “at least during the first wave.”

The researchers argue that while the lockdowns are initially successful in reducing the spread of COVID, they later have the opposite effect because as perceived risk falls, people change their behavior. Additional consequences, they point out, include the fact that isolation has limited people’s access to safe places such as beaches or parks, pushing them to less ventilated locations.

Likewise, a report by the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), published in December 2020, states that “lockdowns do not control the coronavirus.” In the document, the organization stated that several studies indicate that “there is no relationship between lockdowns and virus control.”

“The virus is going to do as viruses do, same as always in the history of infectious disease. We have extremely limited control over them, and that which we do have is bound up with time and place. Fear, panic, and coercion are not ideal strategies for managing viruses. Intelligence and medical therapeutics fare much better.”

Quote from the AIER report.

In October 2020, more than 17,000 health experts from around the world warned about the negative effects of lockdowns. Epidemiologists Martin Kulldorff of Harvard University, Sunetra Gupta of Oxford and Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford created a manifesto against the confinement of the population as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The hypocrisy of those who imposed lockdowns

As the world came to a standstill with the supposed intention of controlling the spread of the coronavirus, authorities and personalities who spoke in favor of lockdowns violated the rules that they themselves encouraged.

Such is the case of California Governor Gavin Newsom, who attended a party in 2020 with executives of the California Medical Association, despite telling the public to avoid such gatherings during the pandemic. Photographs released by Fox showed at least 10 people seated together at a fancy table and none of them wearing masks.

A similar situation was repeated this weekend with Newsom after he was photographed without a facemask at the NFC Championship game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.

The governor was heavily criticized because California’s mandate requires residents to wear facemasks in all indoor and outdoor public spaces with 5,000 or more people, regardless of vaccination status. Earlier this month, state officials extended the facemask mandate until Feb. 15 due to an increase in COVID-19 cases.

Another government official who violated his own rules is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, who hosted parties at his own home during his confinement. A recent report states that, of 16 events organized by members of his government, the prime minister was present in at least two. In the wake of the scandal, Johnson announced the end of the pandemic in the UK and the elimination of the health regulations he himself violated.

In Argentina, President Alberto Fernandez also violated the quarantine he imposed on his country. The presidential family celebrated the birthday of Fabiola Yáñez, the president’s wife, at a gathering attended by more than a dozen people.

“I definitely realize that it should not have been done,” admitted Fernandez. “I regret that it happened (…) It will not happen again,” he said.

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