This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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Approximately 20,000,000 Americans Died Under Obama
Each year, just under three million Americans die. Among the leading causes of death are heart disease: 647,457, cancer: 599,108, chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201, stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 146,383, and diabetes: 83,564.
Over 60% of Americans are overweight or obese and around 15% smoke cigarettes every day. If people stopped smoking and lost weight all of these mortality numbers would decrease dramatically. Why do Americans let these preventable illnesses kill roughly 1.5 million people each year, but then get so upset about 211,000 Covid deaths in 2020? So far, the lockdowns have caused 30 million Americans to be unemployed and 51 million children to miss more than one semester of school. If Americans were actually motivated by a fear of death, they could have started jogging, eating salad, and quit smoking, without permanently damaging the economy and without destroying the social fabric of our society.
At the time of this writing, in spite of expanded testing and increased numbers of positive cases, there are only 14,193 covid patients in ICU. The profile for 80-90% of the victims has remained unchanged for months. The overwhelming majority are people over the age of 65 with multiple comorbidities. Children remain largely unaffected, with less than 100 school age children having died. Around 120 deaths were under the age of 21 and only 362 under the age of 25. And yet schools and universities remain closed or are on some sort of A-day, B-day, half-time hybrid online arrangement. Many Americans remain out of work and some states have made it illegal to attend church, parties, or public gatherings apart from BLM protests.
Back in March, the New York Times wrote, based on CDC data, “Between 160 million and 214 million people in the United States could be infected over the course of the epidemic…As many as 200,000 to 1.7 million people could die.” The New York Times estimated death count of 1.7 million is roughly 8 times the actual death count. Similarly, the Imperial College London models forecasted 250,00 deaths in the UK, while the real number has been 41,759.
Based on these predictions, the US and other countries closed schools and shut down the economy. When these draconian steps were put in place, it was believed that the mortality rate for coronavirus was around 10%. Today, the mortality rate in the US is estimated to be considerably lower. According to the WHO the infection mortality rate is “the number of reported deaths divided by the number of infections.” This means 211,849/7,453,968 or 2.8%. Since the mortality rate is about a quarter of what was originally believed, why have lockdowns remained in place, and why have the rules regarding mask wearing intensified?
No Previous Lockdowns
Israel, Spain, and France, which had early success through draconian lockdowns, later experienced a spike in infections. Peru has been called the country with the tightest lockdown but also the highest number of excess deaths. In the US, those states with the strictest lockdowns had the highest death rates. This suggests that lockdowns are ineffective in reducing total deaths. Meanwhile, the negative impact of the lockdowns is well documented. In the US alone, unemployment reached 30%, and the government spent trillions on coronavirus stimulus. Countless companies which closed down will never reopen, meaning that much of this economic damage is permanent.
If universal lockdowns were capable of saving lives, why have they never been used before? Each year, common flu kills between 12,000 and 61,000 Americans, but we there are no calls for lockdowns or masking. The 1918 flue pandemic killed 675,000 Americans, and the Asian flu (1956-1958) killed 116,000 Americans, and yet there was no lockdown. In the Russian Flu pandemic (1889-1890), globally, 1 million died, but there was no lockdown. One of the reasons given for the continued lockdowns in US is fear of a second or third wave. In the case of the Russian Flu, while only just under 13,000 Americans died, “It returned several times in subsequent years. Fortunately, a large portion of the U.S. population was immune by then, having been exposed to it during its first visit.” With 7,453,968 Americans already having tested positive for coronavirus, why is it impossible to believe that the US is approaching an immunity threshold?
The sixth Cholera Pandemic (1910-1911) killed 80,000 worldwide but only 11 in the US “health authorities, having learned from the past, quickly sought to isolate the infected.” They isolated the infected, not the general population, which is the way health authorities have dealt with most other pandemics, until coronavirus. The 1968 H3N2 flu killed 100,000 Americans, and not only was there no lockdown, but the H3N2 flu continues to infect people in the US and around the world as a seasonal flu. Meanwhile, many are calling for continued lockdowns and masking, possibly indefinitely due to an ever decreasing but continually present Covid threat.
The average coronavirus death had 2.5 comorbidities, other illnesses, many of which may have been fatal in their own right. This raises two important points: first, that far fewer people may have died of coronavirus alone, than the 211,000 official death count suggests. And second, this reinforces what was already known: healthy people are at extremely low risk of dying of coronavirus. And yet, the healthy population was forced into lockdown which caused an increases in drug and alcohol abuse, as well as suicide.
Britain’s Sky News reported that “For every three COVID-19 deaths, lockdown may have caused another two.” In the UK alone, The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and other government agencies estimate that the lockdown may have accounted for 16,000 excess deaths between March and May. This was largely due to people not being able to access medical care. In the US, a statistical analysis found that there were 122,300 excess deaths from March to May, with only 78% being attributed to coronavirus. Another analysis, using different methodology, covering the period March 1 to April 25, found that only 65% of excess deaths were due to Covid. The remaining excess deaths appear to be “caused by the social and economic responses to the pandemic, including lockdowns.”
During the worst six weeks of the pandemic, March 11 through April 21, the country’s largest health system, the Veterans Administration, reported that admission for six emergency conditions – stroke, myocardial infarction (MI), heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, appendicitis, and pneumonia, were down 42%. Deaths for chronic illnesses also increased, as patients delayed going in for treatment. The states with the highest Covid death counts – Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania – experienced the largest increase in deaths from diabetes, heart diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, and cerebrovascular diseases. Roughly 50% of cancer patients missed their treatments because of lockdown. Additionally, 150,000 new cancer cases are usually identified each month, but lockdowns prevented patients from attending their screenings.
In the end, there is very little evidence that lockdowns have reduced the total number of coronavirus fatalities, but there is irrefutable evidence that the lockdowns have caused many deaths.