16 thoughts on “AIER: Did the Lockdown Save Lives?

  1. A study by Columbia University says otherwise.

    https://theweek.com/5things/915682/study-earlier-lockdowns-might-have-prevented-36000-covid19-deaths

    Now this is only one study. But it shows that if the lockdowns had started earlier in March, it could have saved over 36,000 deaths.

    So the short answer appears to be yes. The no may come from the fact that Americans are loathe to do certain things that could save their lives. Other democratic countries have fared much better because of the actions they took and the citizens following the guidance from the scientists and the government. (things some Americans are also loathe to)

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    1. RE: “A study by Columbia University says otherwise.”

      The Columbia study is based on a “counterfactual simulation.” In other words, it is a “what if” analysis, as in what if things that didn’t happen actually did?

      As such, it may be suggestive, but it doesn’t prove anything. I’d say the AIER writer is on more solid ground in pointing out it is unknown whether lockdowns save lives or not.

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      1. Let’s see:

        …” the AIER writer is on more solid ground”…

        His bio from the article: “Jeffrey A. Tucker is Editorial Director for the American Institute for Economic Research. He is the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and eight books in 5 languages, most recently The Market Loves You. He is also the editor of The Best of Mises. He speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture. Jeffrey is available for speaking and interviews via his email. ”

        So he is an editorial writer (opinion guy) with no expertise in simulation, social science, or anything worthwhile in this arena.

        Whereas the Columbia SCIENTIFIC study uses simulation software that can much more accurately predict outcomes that are not in line with what you want to believe. It adjusts the data for outcomes based on what could happen, or what potentially would happen if actions plugged in were followed. (The military and many other organizations uses ODU’s simulation work quite a bit. And it is trusted. I have no reason to believe Columbia U’s. reputation is in question.)

        I’ll take the science guys over the journalism guy. Because his is just an opinion not based in actual simulation science.

        And as I said in my original comment, it is only one study. And it wasn’t conducted with any OBVIOUS political bias. Your piece is from what wikipedia describes as “The institute aims to promote individual sovereignty, limited government, and “a society based on property rights and open markets.”[3] “; which translates, to me, a Libertarian centered organization. Too much bias for my taste. Not saying it is a bad article, I am just saying that it is not an accurate representation of the possible reality.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A couple of glaring points that stand out to me:

    “So let’s just grant that it is possible that lockdowns can be credited with slowing the spread of the virus, and perhaps preserving hospital capacity (which turned out to be unnecessary)”

    The preservation of hospital space may have turned out better than expected by virtue of the lockdown. That was in and of itself one of the main reasons for flattening the curve.

    “Even a casual look at the open societies of Sweden and Korea – despite going too far in interventions – demonstrate that they experienced lower rates of death than Europe and the U.K. Even the World Health Organization has praised Sweden’s response.”

    Sweden has the 8th highest death per capita in the world. UK, Spain, Italy and France are higher, but most of the rest of Europe is lower, particularly the “apples and apples” comparisons with the 3 other Nordic countries which are much lower.
    Plus, Sweden is experiencing a slow down of their economy as much as anybody, so the experiment might not have worked too well.

    As I have said before, economies recover, dead people don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “A couple of glaring points that stand out to me…”

      What do you see as significant about them?

      The AIER writer agrees with your first point and the second is irrelevant to the study about Sweeden, which compares Sweedish “actuals” with “what ifs” within Sweeden.

      The writer concludes that is is possible lockdowns save lives, but not proved. The observation doesn’t strike me as controversial in any way.

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    2. I thought Sweden never shut down and that was why their death rate was so much greater than surrounding countries? And South Korea controlled a lot of things. And if it is North Korea the writer is talking about, there is no such thing as a “casual look”. We only see what they want the rest of the world to see.

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  3. To have known for sure, they SHOULD HAVE taken two small cities of roughly the same demographic makeup, one in NY and the other in FLA, and sent in a bus load of Wuhan tourists….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We sort of did that. Only the Wuhan tourists were replaced by 40,000 Americans transiting from China after the “restrictions”.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Of course it saves lives.

    Not so much for the stated reasons but because it gave doctors a chance to learn when not overwhelmed.

    If you contract the disease today, your chances of survival are much better than a month ago. A month ago, we didn’t know that anticoagulants were needed to prevent strokes and heart attacks, and pulmonary embolisms. We didn’t know that early treatment was much more likely to succeed than later in the course. We didn’t know that ‘proning’ and nitric oxide could keep a lot of patients off of ventilators. We didn’t have a growing supply of convalescent plasma.

    Those lessons were expensive in human lives, but they will save lives going forward, and had the system been so overwhelmed that doctors were reactive instead of observational, they might not have been learned.

    So, it may not have saved that many lives so far, but it definitely will save lives in the coming months as those lessons are put to use.

    Time is priceless.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I believe that, overall, the lockdowns were necessary for a period of time for high density areas but were not necessary for the entire US. I also, with a sane mind, don’t buy the liberal talking point that starting them or other measures a couple of weeks or a month or so earlier would have made any difference. There were and still too many unknowns and quite frankly this blame game on all sides is old and counterproductive. Give it a rest.

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    1. I can see your point about high density vs low density areas. But if you have seen the reports from churches, primarily in low density areas having relatively large outbreaks, you may want to re-think the idea that the lock downs/social distancing directives were not necessary.

      Dr. Fauci was on NPR this morning and said the same thing about looking back. But this is not a new phenomenon. However, showing that the administrative dithering in February COULD have made a difference is a fact, not a talking point. February 28, Trump was throwing around his “hoax” idea at a rally. If lock down guidance had been put out two days later, then…

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      1. Everyone drinking more orange juice COULD have saved lives. Coulda, shoulda, might of, maybe is all speculation. Nope, just a liberal talking point.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Everything you disagree with is a “liberal talking point.”

          And Trump dithered. Not a talking point, a fact. You may not like that fact, but it still is. By the by, Cuomo dithered too.

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          1. All you are claiming is you have perfect hindsight. (Yawn) Next liberal talking point?

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      2. In addition, for the thousandth time, he called the Democrats politicizing the virus a hoax, not the virus. So you are a proud member of the “hoax”, another liberal talking point. Give it a rest.

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