Impoverished by Design

The latest from the CDC on the Corona Virus is that the real fatality rate is around 0.26%.  Specifically, the “symptomatic case fatality ratio is 0.4%; 35% of all cases are asymptomatic;  and, less than .003% of those infected with the virus have died.  The common flu has a higher rate of death.  Not that reality will stop those on the left intent on the destruction of human rights and the rule of law.   

Consequently, the shortsighted efforts at locking down entire populations by biologists, epidemiologists, and other so-called “experts” with little or no knowledge at all about the physical, social, and psychological effects of wealth destruction on human beings, has set the stage for the impoverishment of millions in the United States alone.  More than half of the world’s workforce – nearly 2 billion people – now risk losing their jobs this year. 

Just last week, an article in The Hill, by physician Scott W. Atlas and economists John R. Birge, Ralph L. Keeney, and Alexander Lipton, noted that efforts to brand the downside of shutdowns as purely economic problems gravely misinterpret the reality of wealth destruction.  These policies have created the “greatest global economic disruption in history, with trillions lost in economic output” that will “total millions of accumulated years of life lost in the U.S., far beyond what the virus itself has caused.”

Scott W. Atlas, a Hoover Institute Senior Fellow says that the lost economic output in the U.S. alone “is estimated to be 5% of GDP, or $1.1 trillion for every month of the shutdown.”  This will “result in in lost lives as the stresses of unemployment, providing basic needs increase the incidence of suicide, alcoholism, alcoholism, and stress induced illnesses.”

“Statistically,” according to Dr. Atlas, “every $10 million to $24 million lost in U.S. incomes results in one additional death.”  Unemployment will lead to an average increase in mortality of at least 60%, or 7,200 lives lost per month among the 36 million newly unemployed Americans of which 40% are not expected to get their jobs back.  Small business owners are near financial collapse, creating lost wealth that results in mortality increases of 50%.   “An average estimate of one lost life per $17 million lost income” translate to “65,000 lives lost in the U.S. for each month due to the economic shutdown.”

In addition to lives lost because of lost income, lives also are lost due to delayed or foregone health care imposed by the shutdown and the fear it creates among patients. From personal communications with neurosurgery colleagues, about half of their patients have not appeared for treatment of disease which, left untreated, risks brain hemorrhage, paralysis or death.  Of the 650,000 cancer patients receiving chemo, at least half are missing their treatments. Two thirds or more of routine cancer screenings are not taking place because of the shutdown policies and fear.  Nearly 85% fewer living donor transplants are taking place compared to last year and more than half of childhood vaccinations are no longer taking place.

Bureaucrats and social democrats may sneer that we are putting GDP growth before saving lives, but the reality is that economic growth translates into saving lives. The lockdown advocates may refuse to admit this, but the evidence is abundant.

The American people need to remind their leaders that the governance they exercise does not depend on their own whims, but on “the consent of the governed.” And if they fail to heed that truth, we need to get their attention. This might not be easy, but it is necessary.  Woody Zimmerman

Source:  The Cost of Lockdowns in Human Health and Human Lives Is Becoming Increasingly Clear and,  The CDC Slashed the COVID-19 Fatality Rate to a Fraction of Earlier Estimate Used to Justify Lockdowns by Ryan McMaken, Mises Institute; The COVID-19 shutdown will cost Americans millions of years of life, The Hill

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