“Follow the science” exclaimed every virtue-signaling talking head as left-leaning authorities/officials clamped down on Americans’ rights nationwide… “wear a mask”, “shelter at home”, “no comingling”, “slow the spread”, “think of the children”, “save grandma” were the cries as the virus refused to pay attention to state and local authories’ orders to behave as the “scientist” textbooks claimed.
And, as cases rose, and hospitalizations rose, and deaths rose, so did the tyrannical trouncing of the economy sending unemployment rates to record highs and crushing GDP growth to record lows.
Now, here we sit, hunkered down in many blue states still, unable to discern exactly what ‘science’ it is that is driving officials’ decision.
Along those lines, it seems like a good idea to point out that a new peer reviewed study out of Stanford is questioning the effectiveness of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders (which it calls NPIs, or non-pharmaceutical interventions) to combat Covid-19. The study’s lead author is an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at Stanford.
“The study did not find evidence to support that NPIs were effective in preventing the spread,” according to Outkick, who published the report.
The study, co-authored by Dr. Eran Bendavid, Professor John P.A. Ioannidis, Christopher Oh, and Jay Bhattacharya, studied the effects of NPIs in 10 different countries, including England, France, Germany and Italy.
And, when all was said and done, it concluded that: “In summary, we fail to find strong evidence supporting a role for more restrictive NPIs in the control of COVID in early 2020.”
In fact, the study found “no clear, significant beneficial effect of more restrictive NPIs on case growth in any country.”
So, did left-leaning states’ policies in response to the pandemic – to lockdown entire states, crush economies, and spark mass unemployment and poverty leading to increasing deaths of despair actually achieve anything?
The short answer is no…
The longer answer is yes… they made the situation for African Americans considerably worse for at least the next two decades.
A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research has found that, for the overall population, the increase in the death rate following the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown policies implies a staggering 0.89 and 1.37 million excess deaths over the next 15 and 20 years, respectively. These numbers correspond to 0.24% and 0.37% of the projected US population at the 15- and 20-year horizons, respectively.
However, for African-Americans, we estimate 180 thousand and 270 thousand excess deaths over the next 15 and 20 years, respectively. These numbers correspond to 0.34% and 0.49% of the projected African-American population at the 15- and 20-year horizons, respectively.
For Whites, we estimate 0.82 and 1.21 million excess deaths over the next 15 and 20 years, respectively. These numbers correspond to 0.30% and 0.44% of the projected White population at the 15- and 20-year horizons, respectively.
These numbers are roughly equally split between men and women.
African-Americans experience larger unemployment shocks and the effects of these shocks on unemployment are more persistent. Conditional on the same race, the shocks for women are smaller. The effects on life expectancy and death rates are more severe for African-Americans, overall.
Alas, the time to fix this is gone as Deutsche Bank’s Jim Reid previously noted, the die has already been cast and it is now far too late.