A man crosses an empty expressway during a complete lockdown amid growing concerns of coronavirus on March 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
By Paul Best | Fox News
Lockdowns only reduced COVID-19 mortality by .2%, study finds: ‘Lockdowns should be rejected out of hand’.
The Johns Hopkins University study also found that shelter-in-place orders reduced COVID-19 mortality by 2.9%.
“While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted,” the researchers wrote. “In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.”
The researchers – Johns Hopkins University economics professor Steve Hanke, Lund University economics professor Lars Jonung, and special advisor at Copenhagen’s Center for Political Studies Jonas Herby – analyzed the effects of lockdown measures such as school shutdowns, business closures, and mask mandates on COVID-19 deaths.
“We find little to no evidence that mandated lockdowns in Europe and the United States had a noticeable effect on COVID-19 mortality rates,” the researchers wrote.
The researchers also examined shelter-in-place orders, finding that they reduced COVID-19 mortality by 2.9%.
Studies that looked at only shelter-in-place orders found they reduced COVID-19 mortality by 5.1%, but studies that looked at shelter-in-place orders along with other lockdown measures found that shelter-in-place orders actually increased COVID-19 mortality by 2.8%.
The researchers concluded that limiting gatherings may have actually increased COVID-19 mortality.
“[Shelter-in-place orders] may isolate an infected person at home with his/her family where he/she risks infecting family members with a higher viral load, causing more severe illness,” the researchers wrote.
“But often, lockdowns have limited peoples’ access to safe (outdoor) places such as beaches, parks, and zoos, or included outdoor mask mandates or strict outdoor gathering restrictions, pushing people to meet at less safe (indoor) places.”
The researchers also examined studies that focused on specific lockdown measures and found that the only intervention that reduced COVID-19 mortality was the closure of non-essential businesses, which reduced mortality by 10.6%, but this effect was likely driven by the closure of bars.