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The widespread implementation of COVID-19 lockdowns had a host of unintended consequences, one of which was a reduction in the life expectancy of heart attack patients, according to a new study published in the European Heart Journal — Quality of Care & Clinical Outcomes. The study, conducted by an international team of researchers using data from the U.K. and Spain, revealed that one month of lockdown may have cut up to two years off the life expectancy of these patients.
The reason? Many heart attack patients during the first month of the lockdown “didn’t call it in because they were told there’s more important things happening,” as noted by political commentator and comedian Russell Brand in a recent episode of “Stay Free.” With attention and resources heavily focused on managing the pandemic, these patients likely missed out on crucial medical care.
The researchers utilized statistical modeling to estimate that the lack of medical care provided to heart attack patients likely reduced their life expectancy by an average of 18 months in the U.K. and two years in Spain compared to pre-lockdown patients. This startling revelation raises the question, as posited by Brand, “If people suffering from genuine life-threatening illnesses were not getting the care they needed, what was the point of lockdown?”
In a similar vein, Steve Hanke, Ph.D., professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University, and co-authors conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis report examining almost 20,000 studies on COVID-19 protective measures implemented worldwide. Their conclusion? Lockdowns were a “costly failure.”
“The science of lockdowns is clear; the data are in: the deaths saved were a drop in the bucket compared to the staggering collateral costs imposed,” stated Hanke and his co-authors. According to their analysis, the average lockdown in Europe and the United States in spring 2020 only reduced COVID-19 mortality by 3.2 percent, saving approximately 6,000 lives in Europe and 4,000 in the United States.
The review’s findings, published by the U.K.’s Institute of Economic Affairs on June 5, emphasized the significant side effects of lockdown measures on children’s health and education, as well as countries’ economies.
Critics of lockdown measures were often dismissed as selfish or censored during the pandemic. Brand highlighted this point, stating that people who questioned the efficacy of lockdowns were frequently silenced. Now that research supports those concerns, the narrative from the mainstream media has shifted to forgetting about past grievances. He quipped, “Oh, I see, it’s almost like you just say what’s convenient to you when it’s convenient, that you’ve got no morals, no principles, no vision, no idea how to change the world.”
Allegations of censorship aren’t baseless. The Telegraph reported that a covert U.K. government unit collaborated with social media companies to suppress discussions of controversial lockdown policies during the pandemic. Similarly, the “Twitter Files” have pointed to collaboration between the U.S. government and social media companies.
Brand’s perspective on these revelations is a call to challenge the status quo: “Wait, what if voices that are conveying truthful information are being censored and shut down? Wait, what if the truth is a complex thing that requires nuance and conversation?”
These studies and narratives challenge the dominant discourse surrounding the implementation of COVID-19 lockdowns. They invite a broader dialogue about public health strategies, the balance between protecting public health and safeguarding other aspects of human well-being, and the importance of transparency and diverse voices in shaping policies. It’s a conversation that, in the aftermath of the COVID response, seems more crucial than ever.
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