In hopes of containing the pandemic, Americans across the country were forced to suffer through lockdown orders, closed schools, and shuttered workplaces in the spring of 2020. In Democratic-controlled areas, many of these restrictions lingered into 2021. Yet they didn’t work. We all got COVID-19 anyway, more than a million Americans nonetheless died of the disease, and in a dark and ironic twist, most COVID-19 spread actually happened at home .
Meanwhile, those restrictions themselves evidently had deadly consequences. A new study from Casey B. Mulligan and Rob Arnett published in the journal Inquiry finds that non-COVID deaths were highly elevated above expected trends in the U.S. in 2020 and 2021. They report that over this period, approximately 97,000 Americans died annually (not including COVID deaths) above the baseline trend, a statistic known as “excess deaths.”
These deaths included 32,000 deaths from heart disease and hypertension, some of which may have been fueled by the disruption to healthcare services and healthy lifestyles from the COVID restrictions. Meanwhile, deaths due to obesity-related illness, drug overdoses, and alcohol-related causes were all 12,000-15,000 above expected trends. All these factors were heavily influenced by the way COVID-19 lockdowns fueled social isolation, sedentary lifestyles, and mental health issues.
The data “point to a historic, yet largely unacknowledged, health emergency,” the study concludes. “COVID-19 is deadly, but so were the draconian steps taken to mitigate it.”
The analysts break down the “excess deaths” by age, and this really makes the findings clear.
Among those aged 18 to 44, total “excess deaths” (more than half of which were non-COVID-related) were highly elevated.”While largely unharmed by COVID, their aggregate mortality rates increased 26% above previous trends,” the study reports. “This is larger than the percentage jump in deaths for senior citizens, where the COVID toll was largely concentrated, but has received scant notice.”
This is an age group that was always at very minimal risk of dying from COVID-19. The fact that they saw so many excess deaths suggests that they bore the brunt of the burden from the restrictions even though they were meant to protect other groups (namely, the elderly).
Now, not all these deaths are directly attributable to COVID-19 restrictions. But both common sense and basic comparisons suggest that many surely are. For example, Sweden, which took a much more hands-off approach to COVID lockdowns, actually saw fewer “excess deaths” than the trends expected — no increase at all.
While many of the public health “experts” in government may still not acknowledge it, this study proves the lockdowns had deadly consequences. And it isn’t an outlier; it’s just one of many reaching similar conclusions.
This all leaves us facing an ugly truth. The government kept people in their houses, took away their livelihoods, closed their schools, and scared them into huddling at home. This not only had lethal consequences, but even for those who didn’t die, it caused immeasurable anguish. Yet it didn’t even contain COVID-19 .
The “experts” and leaders who pushed these failed policies need to be held accountable so they can never perpetuate an injustice like this again.