AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott
Three years after the start of the first COVID-19 lockdowns, more evidence is piling up that pandemic restrictions were not only ineffective, but incredibly harmful to individuals and communities. But as Americans demand answers and accountability, some in the medical establishment are subtly trying to shift the narrative and shirk responsibility for the damage they caused.
One of the most obvious indications that the elites who pushed lockdowns are trying to hide the truth came last month when the British Medical Journal (BMJ), one of the world’s oldest medical journals, conducted a “comprehensive” study suggesting that the mental health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was “minimal.”
When comparing the rate of mental health issues before and after the pandemic, BMJ found “most symptom change estimates for general mental health, anxiety symptoms, and depression symptoms were close to zero and not statistically significant, and significant changes were of minimal to small magnitudes.”
The report suggested people had “a high level of resilience during COVID-19.” It even implied that many other reports about an escalating widespread mental health crisis were overstated and inconsistent with the facts.
Unsurprisingly, the study was roundly pilloried on social media and by the general public.
Upon closer examination, the methodology of the report revealed that BMJ’s “experts” could only arrive at their conclusion by excluding “the most likely affected” by the lockdowns, including “lower-income countries… children, young people and those with existing problems.”
Essentially, the study found that wealthy individuals in developed nations – or those who were the most likely to be able to weather the burdens of lockdowns – suffered minimally from the pandemic. They use this seemingly obvious fact to suggest that there was no greater mental health crisis caused by lockdowns overall.
The BMJ study is just one part of a larger push by academics, the scientific establishment, activists, and political leaders to excuse the damage done by COVID lockdowns they themselves pushed.
Another study from scientists in India released in February of this year attempts to distract from the devastation wrought on human populations through pandemic lockdowns by arguing that locking people in their homes and shutting down the economy was actually a good thing due to “improved air quality” and “enhanced vegetation growth.”
In a similar vein, activists in the United States last year began hinting at the possibility of “climate lockdowns” to address the supposedly existential threat of climate change – again suggesting that COVID-19 lockdowns were somehow a net positive for the world.
Former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Director Dr. Anthony Fauci – one of the chief proponents of prolonged lockdowns – has also attempted to justify the shuttering of society for months and in some cases years on end. During a Fox News appearance last year, host Neil Cavuto specifically asked if Fauci “regretted” the lockdowns or if they went too far. He curtly replied, “Well, I don’t think it’s forever irreparably damaged anyone.”
In another recent interview, Fauci distanced himself from accountability for mandating school closures after a recent study found that school closures “cost children $21 trillion in earnings over their lifetimes.”
These lockdown apologists also conveniently fail to take into account the incredibly high economic cost of lockdowns. Millions of people were paid not to work and thousands of thriving businesses were forced to close through no fault of their own. The true cost of this government-imposed economic crash on families is impossible to fully quantify.
To be sure, there have been some studies that have admitted the tragic consequences of COVID lockdowns. A Johns Hopkins analysis from last year found that lockdowns did virtually nothing to reduce the number of COVID deaths but had “devastating effects” on economies and social ills like drug abuse and mental illness. Lockdowns “are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument,” the study concluded.
Yet still, academics and the so-called “expert class” are increasingly pointing to publications like the BMJ study to justify their support for lockdowns – and perhaps lay the groundwork for similar policies during future health crises. But if recent polling on declining trust in the medical establishment is any indication, the public may not be so willing to comply the next time around.
Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.