JHU Study: Lockdowns didn’t reduce COVID-19 mortality…

… but, they did  reduce economic activity and schooling, imposing “enormous” economic and social costs.
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Up to now, Johns Hopkins has been regarded as the Gold Standard for Covid data collection and scientific analysis.

So, it’s disappointing (but not surprising) that the mainstream media has given so little coverage to a study released this week

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Why so little coverage?

Though the study rigorously “followed the data and the science” … it’s headlined conclusion doesn’t square with the Faucian-driven.  pro-lockdown narrative

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The study

The study was a “systematic review and meta-analysis designed to determine whether there is empirical evidence to support the belief that lockdowns reduce COVID-19 mortality.”

The authors defined lockdowns as the imposition of at least one compulsory, non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI).

NPIs are any government mandate that directly restrict peoples’ possibilities, such as policies that limit internal movement, close schools and businesses, and ban international travel.

This study “employed a systematic search and screening procedure in which 18,590 studies were identified that could potentially address the belief posed.”

After three levels of rigorous, well-documented screening, 24 studies qualified for inclusion in the meta-analysis.

The 24 were separated into three groups: lockdown stringency index studies, shelter-in-place-order (SIPO) studies, and specific NPI studies.

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The conclusion

“An analysis of each of these three groups support the conclusion that lockdowns have had little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality.”

More specifically, stringency index studies find that lockdowns in Europe and the United States only reduced COVID-19 mortality by 0.2% on average.

SIPOs were also ineffective, only reducing COVID-19 mortality by 2.9% on average.

Specific NPI studies also find no broad-based evidence of noticeable effects on COVID-19 mortality.

“While this meta-analysis (i.e. review of other studies) concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects … they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted.”

In summary, the authors don’t mince words…

“In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.”

Ouch!

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The Rebuttal

Predictably, “experts” are saying that the study has serious flaws and is being misinterpreted.

According to Medscape, the objections being raised are:

  1. The paper hasn’t been peer reviewed
  2. The lead author is an is an applied economist, not an epidemiologist, public health expert, or medical doctor.
  3. The authors are anti-lockdown libertarians.
  4. The studies selected for the meta-analysis were cherry picked to support a preconceived conclusion.
  5. The authors applied a questionable definition of “lockdown.”
  6. The authors fudged the numbers, “deriving some mathematical estimates indicating less benefit than the papers suggest.”

My take: The authors spell out — in excruciating detail — their methodology, sources and mathematics. That’s more than most of the “experts” have done the past couple of years.

I’d love to see the authors and their critics face off in a debate on this one …  that would beat just dismissing a counter-narrative finding.

One Response to “JHU Study: Lockdowns didn’t reduce COVID-19 mortality…”

  1. Dixie Says:

    Yup. I’d watch that debate!

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