Anthony Fauci, leading leftists, and their malicious band of media mouthpieces have all been sticking their fingers in the dike of the lockdown strategy. But as the data blows holes in the idea of lockdown inerrancy and the science gushes out, the ruling class is getting swept up in the current of their own failures, flailing at their opponents in a desperate attempt to divert blame.
For more than a year, proponents and opponents of COVID-19 lockdowns have played tug of war over safety and freedom, with both camps declaring fealty to science despite opposite messages. Thanks to the ruling class who insisted shutting down would save lives, that became the conventional wisdom. Fauci, President Joe Biden, and their allies in the media called for nationwide lockdowns, with Biden condemning Trump for leaving the decision to states and Fauci saying this time last year, “I don’t understand why” a nationwide stay-at-home order isn’t happening.
As is so often the case, however, the conventional wisdom was wrong. A new study from Chicago University economist Casey Mulligan validates what the anti-lockdowners knew all along: Lockdowns are a bad idea. After workplaces implemented mitigation measures, they became far safer environments than people’s homes.
“Available data from schools, hospitals, nursing homes, food processing plants, hair stylists, and airlines show employers adopting mitigation protocols in the spring of 2020,” Mulligan wrote in the study. Such mitigation protocols included masking, reasonable social distancing, screening, and improving airflow — steps people wouldn’t take in their own homes. “Coincident with the adoption, infection rates in workplaces typically dropped from well above household rates to well below.”
One example Mulligan included was the Duke Health system. After Duke’s hospitals and clinics implemented strategies to mitigate COVID spread, “an hour worked in the Duke Health system went from being more dangerous than an hour outside work to being more than three times safer.”
This makes sense, of course, not only because free businesses have always possessed incentives to create safe environments for their patrons and employees, but because ordering people to stay home doesn’t account for the social impulses of human beings that rightly prevent total isolation. This is why studies have shown community COVID transmission usually occurred inside households.
“[W]orkers have been 4-5 times less safe outside their workplace than inside it,” said a press release for the study, in a direct rebuke to lockdowns. “While stay-at-home continues to be pushed as promoting public health, nobody is checking the data which say the opposite.”
That data has gone out the window with all the other unsavory data, like the number of students cheated out of a full year of education and what that means for the future of our workforce, or the almost 100,000 businesses that permanently shut their doors. Lockdown proponents don’t like to talk about the fact that their policies resulted in the United States losing 3.5 percent of its GDP in 2020, without saving the more than 580,000 people whose deaths were attributed to the virus, plus untold lives lost to despair and a lack of access to preventative care. And what do we have to show for the $2.6 trillion in taxpayer cash lawmakers threw at the problem without a moment of introspection?
One fact we must not lose sight of, which the lockdown kings would prefer you’d forget, is that a number of scientists and other informed dissenters warned against locking down from the very beginning, only to be scorned and ignored by the corporate media, Fauci, Deborah Birx, and their bossy band of bureaucrats. These scientists were accused of murder, threatened with losing their esteemed jobs, and slandered by the hive-minded mob. Worse still, left-wing lockdown proponents are now pointing fingers at scientists who opposed them, trying to blame the anti-lockdown crowd for the deaths and disaster the shutdowns caused.
For instance, while the media lauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a pandemic hero while he locked down New York and ordered COVID patients to be housed in nursing homes alongside the pandemic’s most vulnerable, the same media excoriated leading scientists such as Dr. Sunetra Gupta, who opposed anti-science lockdowns while advocating for special measures to protect the elderly.
It’s safe to say the approach of the Oxford University professor and leading infectious disease epidemiologists would have been superior to that of the scandal-ridden governor, but Gupta’s detractors have blamed her for deaths that her guidance likely would have prevented. In The Guardian in January, Neil O’Brien, a Tory member of British Parliament, smeared Gupta and other anti-lockdowners for their “fantasies” and “tall tales,” saying they “make stuff up” and “have a hell of a lot to answer for.” In the same pages, George Monbiot called Gupta a “pundit” and said she “makes misleading claims about the pandemic.”
Gupta worked with two other notable public health experts in October 2020 to draft the Great Barrington Declaration, which was signed by numerous other doctors and scientific experts. The declaration called for implementing “focused protection” for vulnerable demographic groups while working toward herd immunity for resilient populations and avoiding detrimental lockdowns.
Fauci, the highest-paid federal employee who has been the biggest disgrace of the pandemic (second only to Communist China), said the declaration was “total nonsense” and “very dangerous.” The media called it the “epitome of arrogance” and reckless, implying that the Centers for Disease Control’s opposite approach of sweeping and invasive restrictions relied on “intellectual humility” — despite the latter assuming elites knew better than most Americans what would be best for each of them. The director-general of the World Health Organization, who is also a shill for the murderous CCP, called the idea “unethical.”
Leaders such as Birx, who was the federal coronavirus response coordinator, are also pushing blame. She now says hundreds of thousands of the lives lost to the virus “could have been mitigated or decreased substantially.” “The federal government did not provide consistent messaging to the American people and that is fault number one,” Birx said.
But the truth of the matter is that the inconsistent messaging came from Birx and her team. Instead of working to protect the vulnerable elderly, Birx made personal visits to states where she undermined the president’s COVID-19 messaging, paying special attention to college students, who were at extremely low risk.
Lockdown Was ‘Pro-Contagion’
A study released last month of the effects of lockdowns in 10 countries was damning. Not only did researchers find that “mandatory stay-at-home and business closures” resulted in “no clear, significant beneficial effect … on case growth in any country,” but in some cases, lockdowns were actually “pro-contagion.”
Pair that with reporting from The New York Times on Tuesday exposing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for manipulating data and unnecessarily restrictive recommendations. While the agency said that “less than 10 percent” of COVID-19 transmission was happening outdoors, the true figure for outdoor transmission appears to be below 1 percent and might even be less than 0.1 percent. Nevertheless, the CDC has taken lockdowns a step further by attempting to micromanage how businesses and individuals behave outside.
“These recommendations would be more grounded in science if anywhere close to 10 percent of Covid transmission were occurring outdoors. But it is not,” David Leonhardt wrote in the Times’ morning newsletter. “There is not a single documented Covid infection anywhere in the world from casual outdoor interactions, such as walking past someone on a street or eating at a nearby table.”
First, note that this is the same David Leonhardt who recently wrote in a different Times newsletter that contributing to the “culture of mask wearing” by putting on a face covering is the “decent thing to do.” Like Birx, Fauci, and other ruling class elites, media personalities don’t get to shift blame when their COVID convictions turn out to be backward.
Second, note the CDC’s mammoth error. Extra cautious and invasive outdoor restrictions were as wrongheaded as other aspects of lockdowns.
The science is surfacing, and with it the reality that our ruling classes blew it big time. They failed on lockdowns. They slashed our economy. They killed the elderly, screwed students, and ruined livelihoods. They lied about transmission, flip-flopped on guidelines that they didn’t abide by anyway, and turned our cultural climate into a fearful and isolated space. When intelligent people raised alarm bells and offered alternatives, they were scoffed at and ignored.
Now the ruling class is trying to blame those who were right from the start. Don’t let them.