Experts Said Ending Lockdowns Would Be Worse for the Economy than the Lockdowns Themselves. They Were Wrong.
Here’s something we often heard in 2020 from experts who wanted long and draconian covid lockdowns: “yes, these say-at-home orders are causing economic turmoil, but if you don’t lock everyone down now—and keep them locked down for a long time—your economy will be even worse off!”
The reasoning was that without lockdowns, the covid-19 virus would spread out of control and that as a result, so many people would die—or become so ill—that virtually everyone would become too afraid or too sick to leave his home. We were told widespread economic collapse would then ensue.
As it turns out, there is no indication whatsoever that states with longer periods of lockdowns and forced social distancing fared better economically than states that abandoned covid restrictions much earlier. Rather, many states that ended lockdowns early—or didn’t have them at all—now show less unemployment and more economic growth than states that imposed lockdowns and social distancing rules much longer.
The complete lack of any correlation between economic success and covid lockdowns illustrates yet again that the confident predictions of the experts—who insisted that states without long lockdowns would endure bloodbaths and economic destruction—were very wrong.
Lock Down or Else!
By late April 2020, many Americans were pressuring their governors and other elected officials to end the stay-at-home orders.
Yet, advocates for long and enduring lockdowns—after an initial period of claiming “two weeks to slow the spread”—insisted that lockdowns should be left in place indefinitely. In early April, for example, Anthony Fauci proclaimed that lockdowns much remain in place until no new cases appeared. Similarly, former presidential advisor and physician Ezekiel Emmanuel flatly stated that there is “no choice” but to stay locked down for 18 months or more.
Yet, as governors and antilockdown activists continued to press for a “reopening” the word “premature” became a go-to term for activists seeking longer lockdowns. We must avoid a “premature reopening” we were told, or else the economic pain of not having a lockdown would be far worse than the pain of lockdowns.
In the Harvard Business Review
Article from Mises Wire