By Keith R. Jackson
In medicine, we are constantly balancing risk and reward. Nearly all medicines and many therapeutic treatments involve risk to the patient we hope to help. It’s time we use this same intellectual exercise to create a reasonable inquiry into the risks we took when responding to COVID-19 and balance it against the reward. If nothing else is accomplished, a better plan for future societal responses can be formulated. And if we recognize and remedy our failures in time, maybe we’ll still have a recognizable United States of America.
We have the benefit of hindsight, so we can look at the results objectively. The reward? Although we’ve lost well over 500,000 American lives to COVID-19, it could have been far worse. Even though the number is in question (as there were economically rewarding incentives to list COVID-19 as a cause of death when it could have had little to do with a person’s demise), it is still a frightening and increasing number.
But our methods to mitigate COVID-19 come at a terrible societal cost. People will die from the fallout from the governmental response. Meanwhile, politicians and the media are transparently manipulating “the science,” justifying bad and ineffective policies to erode the whole idea of the United States of America, ignoring the toll their decisions have wrought. They ignore real science, studies replicated over years, that easily prove that the COVID-19 response they chose to follow will kill far more people than it saves.
On top of that, the consequences of the world’s response have resulted in what will be millions of deaths worldwide, far outweighing mortality from the virus itself. Even knowing this, even when we are aware that the cure is worse than the disease, we remain compliant in the middle of a fear-stoked roar from complicit mainstream media and politicians, doubling down on bad policy and poorly substantiated recommendations.
Studies are accumulating estimations of potential deaths from the consequences of the lockdowns, school closings, and business closures. A recent Bureau of Economic Research study suggests that just the “unemployment shock” in America will lead to a 3% increase in mortality projected out over the next 15 years. This translates to roughly 890,000 additional deaths.
Scores of health issues that have been undiagnosed, untreated, and made worse by the isolation, depression, obesity, and substance abuse associated with the pandemic will pile up bodies in the next months to years. As an example, preventable deaths from missed breast and colorectal cancer diagnoses this past year are estimated at 10,000. Deaths of despair, suicide and drug abuse, are predicted by the mental health resource PSYCOM to be increasing by 75,000 this year. This includes a 30% increase in suicide in the military since COVID-19.
BIS Bulletin describes a nexus between recessions and mortality, with an increase in mortality rates by a third versus non-recession periods. It is exaggerated in poorer countries. Similarly, child mortality rises to 110 per a thousand compared to 78 in regular times. It is an established fact that there is increased mortality of those living in poverty, and nothing ensures poverty more than inadequate education. Remote schooling is sure to prove ineffective. Again, this will disproportionately hurt the poor, and it will be the gift that keeps on giving for years to come.
There were economic good times prior to the virus. The truth is that this recession was a predictable consequence of our response. It was a choice made because the CDC, whose original purpose was to help us in our fight against viral pandemics, believed that this was the long feared virus that would prompt “DEFCON 4.” It is well known that lockdowns lead to a sharp decline in economic activity. The CDC is aware of the potential increase in mortality caused by recessions and lockdowns. Yet it chose to push this response.
Worldwide shutdowns inspired by our CDC and other countries’ health organizations are estimated by economists at the IMF to have caused a 9-trillion-dollar cumulative loss of global GDP. The probable deaths from starvation arising from the agricultural consequences of COVID-19 alone will number in the millions. Again, this will be affecting the poorest countries disproportionately.
Apparently, the optics of standing by and allowing the virus to succumb to herd immunity, something that would undoubtedly have been horrifically portrayed, given the media of today, was too much when held up against the predictably greater loss of life caused by the response. Why else would the CDC chose this path? It did it because those running it knew that the media would hide or obfuscate the costs of the response. They did it because the deeply entrenched bureaucrats within the department hated their president and worried about his re-election.
The most shocking result of the COVID-19 response is the ease with which United States citizens gave up their freedoms. Americans just said “sure!” when the government arbitrarily took away our ability to run our businesses, attend church and school, and move freely. Even when the rules and regulations were shown to be more destructive than beneficial, they acquiesced. Even when the media bias was glaringly apparent, Big Tech was found to be using the pandemic to extend their power, and science was nakedly politicized, they bent over and took it. They said “OK” when mainstream media, Big Tech, and college campuses used cancel culture to silence critics.
Most disturbingly, they suspended their need for truth. They chose not to interfere with the narratives being pushed by government, media, tech, and academia, despite the ever more obvious lies.
A lie told a thousand times becomes the truth, or so we were warned by Joseph Goebbels, the famed Nazi. So, we give up what it means to be an American to go along with the lies. We give up our desire to use our own free will and be responsible for our choices. And we give up our rights as Americans and obey a federal government that is following an unconstitutional agenda.
Following our politicians into a future with no “Land of the Free” will be incalculably destructive to the world. Having no promise of American ideals for the world to aspire will have untold costs. We are suspending respect for truth for a promise of safety, watching our country disappear. A world without the USA will be unsafe, unpredictable, and devoid of dreams of freedom.