By Kyle Becker
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top Covid doctor, recently admitted that he knew ‘draconian’ lockdowns would ultimately damage schoolchildren. He admitted this on Wednesday. Watch:
“When you have a divisiveness in society where every time you say something, you have X number of people with social media immediately looking to attack it,” Fauci claimed in an interview at a three-day convention called The Atlantic Festival. “That adds to the understandable confusion when you’re dealing with an evolving outbreak. So what you were saying specific to your question, of course, when you make recommendations, if the primary goal, when you’re dealing with a situation where the hospitals were being overrun in New York, intensive care units were being put in hallways, you have to do something that’s rather draconian. And sometimes when you do draconian things, it has collateral negative consequences.”
“Just like when you shut things down, even temporarily, it does have deleterious consequences on the economy, on the schoolchildren, you know that,” Fauci continue. “But you have to make a balance when you’re dealing with, we know the only way to stop something cold in its tracks is to try and shut things down. If you shut things down, just for the sake of it, that’s bad. But if you do it with the purpose of being able to regroup so that you can then open up in a more safe way, that’s the best way to do.”
An exhaustive Johns Hopkins University comparative analysis published in January found that strict lockdowns failed to significantly reduce Covid-related deaths.
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“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 Washington Times reported. “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.
Importantly, the Covid lockdowns and policy mandates were unprecedented in their scope for any global pandemic in world history. They caused a massive amount of economic damage and social division, but produced virtually insignificant net benefits for public health.
“Overall, we conclude that lockdowns are not an effective way of reducing mortality rates during a pandemic, at least not during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the authors conclude. “Our results are in line with the World Health Organization Writing Group (2006), who state, “Reports from the 1918 influenza pandemic indicate that social-distancing measures did not stop or appear to dramatically reduce transmission.”
“The use of lockdowns is a unique feature of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the authors added. “Lockdowns have not been used to such a large extent during any of the pandemics of the past century. However, lockdowns during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic have had devastating effects. They have contributed to reducing economic activity, raising unemployment, reducing schooling, causing political unrest, contributing to domestic violence, and undermining liberal democracy. These costs to society must be compared to the benefits of lockdowns, which our meta-analysis has shown are marginal at best. Such a standard benefit-cost calculation leads to a strong conclusion: lockdowns should be rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, was a strong advocate of lockdowns; particularly, for the dubious reason of promoting vaccinations that do not stop the spread of the virus.
“China has a number of problems, two of which are that their complete lockdown, which was their approach, the strictest lockdown that you’d never be able to implement in the United States,” Fauci told MSNBC in an interview in April. “Although that prevents the spread of infection, I remember early on they were saying, and I think accurately, they were doing better than almost anybody else.”
“But lockdown has its consequences,” Fauci went on. “You use lockdowns to get people vaccinated so that when you open up, you won’t have a surge of infections.”
Dr. Fauci was confronted in late March on the BBC about whether the lockdowns were too ‘severe.’
“I’m interested in your reluctance to use the word ‘lockdown’,” the BBC interviewer said. “Do you think two years on that they were worth it or were they too severe?”
“You know, I don’t think we’re ever going to be able to determine what the right balance is,” Fauci claimed. “I think ‘restrictions,’ if you want to use that word, which I tend to shy away from ‘lockdown,’ they certainly prevented a lot of infections, prevent a lot of hospitalizations, and prevented a lot of deaths,” he claimed.
“Obviously, when you do have that kind of restriction on society, there are unintended negative consequences, particularly in children who are not allowed to go to school in the psychological and mental health aspects that it has on children, in the economic stress that it puts on society in general, on individual families,” he conceded. “Obviously those are negative consequences that are unintended.”
In March 2021, Dr. Fauci discussed lockdowns with Chinese Communist Party member, Dr. Zhong Nanshan, also known as “China’s Fauci,” in a virtual forum hosted by the University of Edinburgh.
“There’s a constant understandable need to open up the country and get back to normal,” Dr. Fauci said. “I keep getting asked that question every time I give an interview, every time I have a discussion, everyone wants to get back to some form of normality.”
“But if one does it too quickly, and as Dr. Zhong has mentioned what I often say, ‘jump the gun’ or do it too quickly, what happens is that you can get a resurgence of infection,” Dr. Fauci continued. “So the question is, what is the right balance of continuing to put stringent public health measures at the same time as you gradually open up the economy and open up the country.”
“It’s very risky. If you go too fast, you’ll have a setback,” Dr. Fauci went on. “If you go too slow, you have a lot of the suffering that Dr. Zhong spoke about, the mental health problems, the economic problems, it’s a very delicate balance that the students need to consider how difficult that type of balance is to maintain.”
Thus, Dr. Fauci appears to have hedged his statements repeatedly about the effectiveness of lockdowns. Fauci was also seemingly baffled about the relative success of states like Florida and Texas, which did their utmost to eschew the repressive measures the Covid Experts were advising. Some of the most controversial policies involved masking schoolchildren and shutting down schools.
A story in the New York Times gives the testimonials of 326 school counselors on the pandemic response’s effect on children.
“American schoolchildren’s learning loss in the pandemic isn’t just in reading and math,” the Times said. “It’s also in social and emotional skills — those needed to make and keep friends; participate in group projects; and cope with frustration and other emotions.”
“In a survey of 362 school counselors nationwide by The New York Times in April, the counselors — licensed educators who teach these skills — described many students as frozen, socially and emotionally, at the age they were when the pandemic started,” the report noted.
“Something that we continuously come back to is that our ninth graders were sixth graders the last time they had a normative, uninterrupted school year,” said Jennifer Fine, a high school counselor in Chicago. “Developmentally, our students have skipped over crucial years of social and emotional development.”
“Nearly all the counselors, 94 percent, said their students were showing more signs of anxiety and depression than before the pandemic,” the Times continued. “Eighty-eight percent said students were having more trouble regulating their emotions. And almost three-quarters said they were having more difficulty solving conflicts with friends.”
The COVID lockdowns will cause damage to the United States for many years to come, including a lasting toll on economic vitality, public health, and in terms of human lives. Cost-benefit analyses show the “shelter-in-place” policy was debatable at best, and unnecessarily damaging to the public at worst.
Such is the conclusion of recent academic studies, including those conducted by researchers at the RAND corporation, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the National Academy of Sciences.
“The huge collateral damage of lockdowns is becoming clear. Global unemployment has spiked. Hundreds of millions of children have missed school, often for months. Families have been kept apart. And much of the damage is still to come,” The Economist noted.
“A new paper published by America’s National Bureau of Economic Research (nber) expects that in poor countries, where the population is relatively young, the economic contraction associated with lockdowns could potentially lead to 1.76 children’s lives being lost for every covid-19 fatality averted, probably because wellbeing suffers as incomes decline.”
“Research is more divided over the second uncertainty: the benefit of lockdowns, or the extent to which they reduce the spread of, and deaths from, covid-19,” the report adds. “The fact that, time and again, the imposition of a lockdown in a country was followed a few weeks later by declining cases and deaths might appear to settle the debate.”
The NBER’s research was discussed at the Washington Times.
“What is less clear is whether the lockdowns served any useful medical purpose,” the Times notes. “Fortunately, two researchers at the RAND Corporation and two researchers from the University of Southern California have done an analysis of the medical value of the lockdowns (which they refer to as ‘sheltering in place,’ or SIP, policies). They looked at 43 countries and all of the states in the union, and published their assessment in June as a working paper of the National Bureau for Economic Research.”
“[W]e fail to find that SIP policies saved lives,” the NBER puts in blunt terms. “To the contrary, we find a positive association between SIP policies and excess deaths. We find that following the implementation of SIP policies, excess mortality increases.”
“So, the lockdowns didn’t reduce the number of deaths, failed to prevent any excess deaths, and in fact resulted in increased deaths,” the study found, as summarized by the Washington Times.
Thus, the Covid Experts’ response failed on nearly every metric, and there was never a strong body of research to support their “scientific” positions. Dr. Anthony Fauci can admit now that he knew lockdowns would harm schoolchildren. But this is information that would have been helpful for the public to know, say, two-and-a-half years ago.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Source: Becker News