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While Everyone Else Panicked Two Years Ago, The Federalist Was Right About Lockdowns Doing More Harm Than Good

The data was available to support a decision not to lock down from the very beginning, and nearly no politician heeded it.


None of us two years ago knew exactly how unprecedented lockdowns adamantly advised by the world’s most credentialed people and top politicians would change history. But some of us knew these “experts” generally didn’t deserve to be believed. Only two years later, we’ve been vindicated, and it’s likely we’ll continue to be vindicated as the evil effects of lockdowns continue to pound Americans and the world with suffering.

On March 19, 2020, California became the first U.S. state to implement mass lockdowns, upon the advice of President Trump’s Covid advisor, Dr. Deborah Birx. That same day, as fear became a social contagion more potent than even Covid-19, The Federalist published an article I wrote titled, “Will The Costs Of A Great Depression Outweigh The Risks Of Coronavirus?

Two years later, we know now that Birx — and everyone who listened to her — was completely wrong, and The Federalist was completely right. Here’s part of what I wrote at the time, with limited reliable information available:

We’re acting as if coronavirus is for sure going to amount to the worst-case scenario without knowing that is true. If we all do shelter in place for the next year and a half while politicians pass the equivalent of the Obama-Bush stimulus that suffocated the economy 12 years ago, the ‘experts’ will insist the nation’s long-term ability to provide for itself was required to save millions of lives. There will be no way to prove them wrong, even if they are.

It seems a fool’s errand to pre-emptively and indefinitely risk everyone’s livelihoods without hard information about what is happening and a risk assessment that includes the serious dangers of killing the U.S. economy, not what computers project will happen with lots of missing, unreliable, and rapidly changing information.

I also pointed out that the data available at the same time lockdowns were rolling across the United States and world showed that those with severe pre-existing diseases and the very elderly were the most vulnerable to Covid cases, while children appeared to be at very little risk. That has persisted. It means the data was available to support a decision not to lock down from the very beginning, and nearly no politician heeded it.

“Would it be more prudent to severely shelter those at risk while the rest of us keep the country going?” I asked on March 19, 2020. “We can take steps like this while not choosing to crush small businesses and employees who cannot telework for one or two months, let alone 18.”

Unlike the hysteria-mongering “experts” and the politicians who listened to them, my common-sense assessment holds up two years later, with lots more information available (and lots more apparently being withheld by the Centers for Disease Control and other federal agencies, which should tell you something). There is now overwhelming evidence that lockdowns caused more global death and suffering than the competing proposal of focused protection for the vulnerable would have.

A June 2021 study by world-renowned scientists across 43 countries, for example, found that lockdown length and strength were correlated with excess deaths, often due to delayed or missed medical care. A January 2021 study also by world-class scientists found that lockdowns did not reduce Covid deaths.

Besides their at best negligible effect at reducing Covid hospitalizations and deaths, lockdowns caused additional and completely unnecessary deaths from delayed or foregone medical care, as well as through starvation due to drastically increased world poverty. According to also-vindicated legitimate experts like Dr. Martin Kulldorff, lockdowns may have also caused additional Covid deaths due to prolonging the outbreak. In short, lockdowns cost lives, while at best saving none.

Various studies estimate lockdowns will have caused millions more malaria and tuberculosis deaths, as well as untold increases in cancer severity and deaths, hundreds of thousands more AIDS deaths, and likely millions more starvation deaths and children living hungry long-term. One study in The Lancet estimated up to 2.3 million additional deaths of children globally per year from lockdowns.

Politicians lied, children died. According to “the science,” that is not hyperbole.

Not only did lockdowns cost lives while likely not reducing Covid deaths, they also caused incalculable suffering from personal costs, such as the loss of friends, strained family relationships, and the inability to hold grandma’s hand while she died or one’s wife’s hand while she gave birth.

While my husband was mercifully allowed to attend the birth of our youngest child in May 2020, we were initially told he wouldn’t be. That atop threats to his job and us both forced into working from home with a horde of de-schooled small children made the last months of that pregnancy almost unbearably anxious.

I almost had a nervous breakdown on the phone once with my midwife. It was traumatizing. It destroyed the trust between me and my birth team that is often crucial for a healthy birth. As history often goes, the people who did this to us all have only as a class gained power, funding, and prestige upon the wreckage they made of millions, billions of human lives.

So how did I, a random journalist from the Midwest with zero scientific credentials, make a more prudent guess about public policy than most highly-placed advisors with Phds and long careers in fields such as statistics and public health? I suspect it’s my aversion to groupthink.

Here at The Federalist, every single day we focus on epidemics, not of physical health, but of information warfare. My Federalist-trained news sense, not to mention my flyover-country common sense and homeschool upbringing’s liberation from peer conditioning, were all blaring category five alarms over the ruling class’s wild and apparently unopposed rush into lockdowns.

Stampede in one stage-managed direction at the alarmist demands of “experts” who repeatedly failed upwards? Check. Demands to do something (shut down all of society indefinitely) that utterly defies common sense and has never before been attempted? Check. Wild and unverifiable claims of catastrophic consequences for not supporting the stampede? Check. Massive social pressure against anyone who raises valid objections or even questions? Check.

(By the way, anyone paying attention is noticing right about now that all these factors are operative right now in the direction of getting the United States to go to war with Russia ostensibly on behalf of Ukraine. That’s what it is currently. It will be something else in a few weeks at most, unless the push to enlarge the war succeeds in dragging out this hysteria longer.)

Covid might have been deemed essentially “over” because perpetuating the overweening fear of it is no longer stampeding Americans in the direction the ruling class wants them to go. But the factors that accelerated our nation and the world’s loss of its everloving mind haven’t gone away. If anything, they have intensified. The organs of censorship and repression are only stronger in the wake of the Covid craze.

Don’t think Communist China, the non-stupid members of the American ruling class, and all their fellow travelers won’t hesitate to do it again. Surely, they already are. As long as this dangerous spiral continues, The Federalist will provide sense and insight to anyone who wants to observe the people behind the curtains and their true motivations instead of the show they’re putting on to keep us distracted.