Commentary: Pandemic Lockdowns Were a Public Health Mistake

More evidence to confirm what many Republican lawmakers and free-market advocates such as Americans for Limited Government were saying from the start of the Covid pandemic, lockdowns would be one of the most tragic mistakes in American history.

The Rand Corporation and economists from the University of Southern California have released a new study examining the effectiveness of pandemic lockdowns, using data from 43 countries and all 50 US states.

“We fail to find that shelter-in-place policies saved lives,” the authors report. In the weeks following the implementation of these policies, excess mortality actually increases—even though it had typically been declining before the orders took effect.

And across all countries, the study finds that a one-week increase in the length of stay-at-home policies corresponds with 2.7 more excess deaths per 100,000 people.

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Commentary: When the Free Market Freezes over

Thucydides recalls a scene from the Peloponnesian War when the Athenians, fleeing before their enemies, come to the Assinarus River. They stop to drink from its flowing waters even as their foes bear down on them.

The Syracusans, Thucydides writes, “showered missiles down upon the Athenians, most of them drinking greedily and heaped together in disorder in the hollow of the river.” Then the Peloponnesians “came down and butchered them, especially those in the water which was thus immediately spoiled, but which they went on drinking just the same, mud and all, bloody as it was, most even fighting to have it.”

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