Did lockdowns kill almost 200,000 young people in the US?
A column in today’s New York Times today highlights new studies that have found almost 200,000 people in the US under 45 years old died as a result of lockdown policies in 2020 and 2021. These deaths resulted not from Covid-19, but from higher overdoses, higher homicides, higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, etc..
This is a major breakthrough in mainstream coverage of lockdown policies and hopefully signals a big shift in mainstream views in the public health community, and what is “allowed” in mainstream discussion about the pandemic and related policies.
I argued early and constantly for “scalpel not hammer” approaches to dealing with the pandemic, specifically because of these predictable negative consequences. This is public policy 101. The Great Barrington Declaration mirrored this approach with its calls for “focused protection” in order to protect the elderly and immunocompromised but without doing unnecessary and predictable damage to everyone else.
We need to see Congressional hearings on these findings, so that we never ever ever do this again. It was transparent since the beginning of the lockdowns in the US and around the world that this kind of unintended consequence would probably happen. But for some reason lockdown irrationality caught on and became the “necessary” policy to slow Covid-19 spread — but then ignoring every obvious and predictable consequence of lockdowns that would result.
Here’s a key passage from the Times today:
‘[T]he increase in deaths among younger adults is shocking all by itself and needs to be looked at more closely. The table shows that the number of people ages 25 through 44 who died from all causes in the United States in 2021 was 52 percent higher than the number who died in an average year from 2015 to 2019. That is an enormous increase that would be all over the headlines if not for the arguably greater tragedy of Covid deaths among older people.
A study released this month as a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper calls the elevated death toll among younger Americans “a historic, yet largely unacknowledged, health emergency.” It asks whether young adults suffered “collateral damage” from policies such as lockdowns that were meant to protect older people.’