How Deadly Were the Covid Lockdowns?

Covid-19 is deadly, but so were the draconian steps taken to mitigate it. During the first two years of the pandemic, “excess deaths”–the death toll above the historical trend–markedly exceeded the number of deaths attributed to Covid. In a paper we just published in Inquiry, based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we found that “non-Covid excess deaths” totaled nearly 100,000 a year in 2020 and 2021. Even these numbers likely overestimate deaths from Covid and underestimate those from other causes. The official count of “Covid deaths” includes people who tested positive but died of other causes. What are non-Covid excess deaths? During the pandemic, deaths from accidents, overdoses, alcoholism and homicide all soared, as did deaths from hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. From April 2020 through December 2021, deaths from Covid averaged 350,000 a year for Americans 65 and older, 100,000 a year for those 45 to 64, and 20,000 a year for those 18 to 44. That produced excess deaths for these age groups of 16%, 19% and 11% respectively. The CDC data show the rate of non-Covid excess deaths in the first half of 2022 was even higher than 2020 or 2021. These deaths therefore likely already exceed 250,000, disproportionately among young adults. We now have more overdose deaths each year than all military deaths of the last 60 years combined. Homicides, accidents and alcohol deaths are collectively running tens of thousands per year above pre-pandemic norms.

Note: The above was written by Rob Arnott and Casey B. Mulligan. Mr. Arnott founded asset management firm Research Affiliates. Mr. Mulligan was chief economist for the White House Council of Economic Advisers. For more along these lines, watch an articulate interview discussing excess deaths since 2021 that aren’t linked to COVID-19, yet are most likely associated with the rollout of the COVID vaccines.

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Author: {Want To Know}

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