During the 2020 election, multiple public health “experts” claimed President Trump had “blood on his hands” and was responsible for “preventable” loss of life. They expressed confidence that things would improve with a Biden administration, “which is likely to bring a science-based approach to containing the virus.” An editorial in the highly regarded and allegedly apolitical New England Journal of Medicine, wrote that “inappropriate government policies” were responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands, labeled the Trump administration as “dangerously incompetent” and directed its readers (without mentioning his name) to vote for Biden who would set things right.
Things didn’t work out that way.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has just released data showing that 60,000 more Americans died in 2021 from COVID-19 than in 2020. The rate of COVID-19 associated deaths in 2021 rose 20% from 2020, despite the benefit of vaccines that only became widely available in 2021, multiple new therapies, more clinical experience resulting in improved treatment protocols, and a nationwide travel mask mandate imposed immediately after Biden’s inauguration at the beginning of 2021.
The data highlight the failure of policies promoted by experts, in and outside of government, to effectively address COVID. Many of the policies lacked an evidentiary basis. Some ineffective, harmful policies were prolonged for political reasons.
We now know that, throughout 2021, the pandemic was mishandled:
LOCKDOWNS FAILED: There was little or no evidence to support the lockdowns and school closures these experts urged the federal, state, and local governments to impose. Multiple studies have confirmed they were ineffective. A review and meta-analysis by Johns Hopkins researchers found that lockdowns had minimal impact on health, only reducing COVID-19 mortality by 0.2%.
Governors of states like Florida, where lockdowns and mask mandates were lifted earlier than other places, were labeled “murderers.” Yet a recent study by University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan and colleagues shows that these governors were right. Comparing data from all 50 states, it found that limited lockdown states had smaller economic losses than states that stuck with them, but did not suffer worse health outcomes — age-adjusted mortality was unrelated to lockdown induced reductions in economic activity. The losses from these policies though, are real, and in the case of lost schooling, large and permanent.
FOREVER MASKING WAS WRONG: Similarly, the CDC promulgated and clung to masking guidelines for schools and mandates for transportation. Both a pre-COVID systemic review and a more recent literature review found that mask-wearing makes little or no difference to the outcome of respiratory viral diseases such as COVID-19 and influenza. Sweden, which kept schools open without mask mandates, reported that teachers had no increased risk of severe COVID-19 infection compared to other occupations. A January 2021 review by CDC researchers in the Journal of the American Medical Association found little evidence of community transmission in schools, outside of indoor sports practices and competitions. Nevertheless, the administration, often at the behest of teachers’ unions, continued to recommend masking.
AND NYC STILL MASKS PRE-SCHOOLERS: Considering all the evidence, what will it take for politicians to finally free the last people in America masking: New York City pre-schoolers?
Pre-schoolers have never been at great risk of severe COVID-19 or death.
Read the full article at the New York Post.