Stephen Moore: Why Won’t COVID Lockdown Artists Admit They Were Wrong?
The perspectives and thoughts expressed in this op-ed are the exclusive purview of the author.
COVID mania just won’t go away. The deadly strains of the virus have been gone for two years now, and yet the recent outbreak of a mild flu-like variant is again stoking panic on the Left.
Nearly 100 universities are requiring masks this fall.
Lionsgate movie studios in Los Angeles and Atlanta-based Morris Brown College this week stated they are reinstating not just mask mandates but social distancing measures and contact tracing.
CNN, which led the panic in 2020 and 2021 — causing manic school, restaurant, and business shutdowns and vaccine mandates — recently put out a headline on its website that encouraged its readers not to go outside without a mask on. Really? The latest evidence finds this is less dangerous than a normal flu virus and tracking data suggest that the wave has already peaked.
What’s even more disturbing here is that the leftist medical community and the media aren’t renouncing their calls for mitigation strategies that were catastrophically wrong in the panic era of 2020 and 2021 — but instead calling for more of these assaults on freedom in the future.
It is one thing for well-meaning medical experts to have disagreed about how to best combat a once-in-a-half-century deadly virus. We didn’t know exactly what we were dealing with. But now we know with concrete scientific evidence that most mandates and lockdowns had a small impact on the spread of the virus and on fatalities. It turns out there was almost no difference in death rates in states with strict lockdowns and no lockdowns at all. The same is true of cross-country evidence.
Healthy children were never at risk from COVID (something we knew early on), so shutting down schools for one or two years was a sop to the teachers unions but a disaster for this generation of kids. Test scores are the worst in 30 years.
Before the pandemic, only 15% of public school students were chronically absent — more than 18 or more days a year.
Stanford University education professor Thomas Dee’s data shows an estimated 6.5 million additional students are now chronically absent. In Connecticut and Massachusetts, chronic absenteeism remains double its pre-pandemic rate.
But polls show that Democrats — even those that are highly educated — generally still support the lockdowns that were mandated. These are the same people who lecture about “following the science.” The most comprehensive study by experts at Johns Hopkins University found death rates from lockdowns were reduced by 0.1 percent. But how many people died from the isolation of lockdowns, delayed health screening from cancer, the increase in drug overdoses?
Biden’s vaccine mandates only made Americans more resistant to get pricked. They backfired.
Worst of all, Anthony Fauci, who remains a hero of the Left, recently not only refused to admit the errors of his advice but said the “lockdown was absolutely justified.”
Why does this bizarre rewrite of recent history matter? Because the fearmongering Left can’t wait to install new lockdowns every time we have a new flu virus and health scare. They’ve even started putting out feelers for occasional climate change economic shutdowns.
Those who love freedom must strenuously resist this coming tyranny.
Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and chief economist at FreedomWorks.
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Last Updated: Monday, Aug 28, 2023 22:46:25 -0700
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