Most American politicians accepted the politically expedient strategy to fight the COVID pandemic. A lockdown. Businesses were closed down, and people were ordered to stay in their homes.  As usual, the politically expedient solution was not the correct one.

A new National Bureau of Economic Research working paper offers fresh evidence to show stay-at-home orders may have backfired.

“Micro evidence contradicts the public-health ideal in which households would be places of solitary confinement and zero transmission,” writes University of Chicago economist Casey B. Mulligan. “Instead, the evidence suggests that ‘households show the highest transmission rates’ and that ‘households are high-risk settings for the transmission of [COVID-19].’”

This time last year, California Governor Gavin Newsome ripped Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with, “They’re performance artists, some of these people,” the governor snapped. “All you have to do is watch Fox and then just decide to plug in. I mean, it’s about the easiest thing I’ve seen in politics. It’s just, ‘What’s the ticker on Fox primetime?'” Newsom continued., “With respect, we’d have 40,000 more Californians dead if we took [DeSantis’s] approach.”That’s not quite correct skippy.

Based on this study, it seems that Newsome was wrong (again). Maybe he knew the truth, which is why he kept breaking his lockdown rules.

Newsom wasn’t the only one. He was just the one most fun to poke. The media trashed Gov. Ron DeSantis when he lifted Florida’s lockdown. “Acting irresponsibly!” roared MSNBC’s, Dr. Vin Gupta. Reporters praised Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s lockdowns.  On CNN, Andrew’s brother Chris gushed, “I am wowed by what you did!” By contrast, he said, Florida was “in such dire straits,” proving again why he earned the nickname Fredo after the slow-witted brother in the Godfather.

Per the Washington Examiner noted, the lockdowns were deadly. For some, their lockdown deaths were for reasons other than Covid:

[The ] study from Casey B. Mulligan and Rob Arnett published in the journal Inquiry finds that non-COVID deaths were highly elevated above expected trends in the U.S. in 2020 and 2021. They report that over this period, approximately 97,000 Americans died annually (not including COVID deaths) above the baseline trend, a statistic known as “excess deaths.”

These [excess] deaths included 32,000 deaths from heart disease and hypertension, some of which may have been fueled by the disruption to healthcare services and healthy lifestyles from the COVID restrictions. Meanwhile, deaths due to obesity-related illness, drug overdoses, and alcohol-related causes were all 12,000-15,000 above expected trends. All these factors were heavily influenced by the way COVID-19 lockdowns fueled social isolation, sedentary lifestyles, and mental health issues.

The data “point to a historic, yet largely unacknowledged, health emergency,” the study concludes. “COVID-19 is deadly, but so were the draconian steps taken to mitigate it.”

Are you listening, Gavin?

The analysts break down the “excess deaths” by age, which makes the findings clear.

Among those aged 18 to 44, total “excess deaths” (more than half of which were non-COVID-related) were highly elevated. “While largely unharmed by COVID, their aggregate mortality rates increased 26% above previous trends,” the study reports. “This is larger than the percentage jump in deaths for senior citizens, where the COVID toll was largely concentrated, but has received scant notice.”

This is an age group that was always at very minimal risk of dying from COVID-19. The fact that they saw so many excess deaths suggests that they bore the brunt of the burden from the restrictions even though they were meant to protect other groups (namely, the elderly).

As the study’s authors write, “Our research results point back to a more traditional recommendation for pandemic management, which is to avoid excessive disruption of normal life and economic activity.” That is a concept that every rational American understood, but their protests were ignored by an irrational government.

H/T Warner Todd Huston on iPatriot