Tucker: There’s no evidence coronavirus lockdowns saved lives. Mass quarantines may have killed people

For millions of healthy people, coronavirus lockdowns are a life-changing disaster

It has now been 63 days — we’re keeping track — since California became the first American state to issue a so-called shelter-in-place order for all citizens.

Governor Gavin Newsom‘s order was the beginning of an unprecedented coronavirus mass quarantine that has changed this country forever. In many ways, the United States is hard to recognize compared to just two months ago. Two months from now, it will be more different still.

In fact, it may be years before we fully understand the effects of what our leaders have done in response to the Wuhan coronavirus. There are certain to be battles over how to interpret this moment many years from now. It’s possible your children will hear only one version of the story. Uncomfortable facts by that point may have been scrubbed from social media platforms as disinformation.

So, while we can, we’d like to get on tape, for the record, some of what actually happened here.

The first thing to remember is that our leaders didn’t simply revoke the country’s constitutional rights one day from a cold start. They laid the groundwork first. They softened opposition by sowing fear.

On March 14, to name one among countless possible examples, a former Obama administration health official called Andy Slavitt predicted that just nine days from now, America’s largest cities and hospitals would be “overrun with cases.”

Now, Slavitt is not an epidemiologist. In fact, he is a former McKinsey consultant. But countless other self-described experts on television backed him up. A huge number of Americans, they told us, would get infected with the coronavirus, and a huge number would die and die in the ugliest most desperate way — gasping for breath with tubes shoved down their throats.

Now at the time, the World Health Organization suggested that a million Americans would die this way. The WHO estimated a case fatality rate of 3.4 percent. It’s horrifying. It scared the hell out of the country. It scared the hell out of us. I think we repeated those numbers to you on this show.

But they were totally wrong. We now know, thanks to widespread blood testing, that the virus isn’t that deadly. An enormous percentage of coronavirus infections produce mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. They’re asymptomatic. The death toll is a tiny fraction of what we were told it would be.

Cuomo’s lockdown, like most in this country was modeled on the <a href=”https://www.foxnews.com/category/world/world-regions/china” target=”_blank”>Chinese government</a>’s quarantine, their response to the Wuhan coronavirus — which is odd if you think about it. Who decided that following the example of the country responsible for unleashing the pandemic was somehow good public health?

One study in Scotland estimated the real death rate could be 0.04 percent. Another in Miami Dade, Florida suggested 0.18 percent. The one in Los Angeles 0.06 percent. In fact, the highest figure we’ve been able to find from a credible blood test study comes from Spain, and it produced a death rate of just over 1 percent, and that’s still far below what they told us it would be.

At the time, ambitious politicians understood instinctively that Americans were really scared, and some did their best to heighten that fear. Here’s New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo telling his daily television audience that tens of thousands of Americans would die unless the Trump administration sent more ventilators.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo: FEMA says we’re sending 400 ventilators. Really? What am I going to — what am I going to do with 400 ventilators when I need 30,000? You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die because you only sent 400 ventilators.

This is why it pays to use a little restraint in your public statements because, as it turned out, New York had more than enough ventilators. Too many ventilators, really; some were never even used. But Cuomo didn’t dwell on that. He blew right past it and spent most of the subsequent weeks discussing the vital importance of obeying his quarantine.

Cuomo’s lockdown, like most in this country was modeled on the Chinese government‘s quarantine, their response to the Wuhan coronavirus — which is odd if you think about it. Who decided that following the example of the country responsible for unleashing the pandemic was somehow good public health?

Well, they all thought that. Virtually, all of our leaders agreed the Chinese course was the only course. Dr. Anthony Fauci came on Fox Business to explain that actually, the Chinese government could be trusted.

David Asman, Fox Business’ “Bulls & Bears” host: China has been known to fiddle with their stats before. Do you trust what they are telling us about this illness?

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: From what I can see right now, they really are being much, much more transparent than what happened with SARS, where they really kept back information for a while. It was embarrassing to them.

They’re really transparent now. They’ve put the sequence of the virus up on the public database right away. So, in that respect, they’ve been transparent.

Yes, because when you think of the Chinese Communist Party, transparent is the first word that comes to mind.

Even then, when Fauci said that, there were some informed and independent- minded Americans who had real questions about the wisdom of following the Chinese model. But over time, their views began to disappear from Twitter and YouTube and Facebook.

In their place, the media presented hardened political activists, people like Zeke Emanuel, and allowed them to pose as experts on virus mitigation.

Zeke Emanuel, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania:  Realistically, COVID-19 will be here for the next 18 months or more. We will not be able to return to normalcy until we find a vaccine or effective medications. Is all of that economic pain worth trying to stop COVID-19? The truth is, we have no choice.

“The truth is, we have no choice.” Get a pen and write down that sentence for future reference. The next time you hear someone say it, run. “The truth is, we have no choice.” When you hear that, you know, things are about to get much worse.

In fact, we always have a choice. A handful of political leaders made that choice. They decided to try a different approach, and then immediately — and in unison — they were denounced as enemies of the state.

When Georgia began to reopen some of its businesses in late April, The Atlantic magazine described that plan as “Georgia’s experiment in human sacrifice.” In the words of The Washington Post, Jeff Bezos‘s personal newspaper, “Georgia leads the race to become America’s number one death destination.” As if Jack Kevorkian had become the governor of Georgia.

And that was just in print. On television, the geniuses decided that relaxing the lockdowns would be far worse for Georgia than Sherman’s March to the Sea.

Stacey Abrams, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate: This makes no sense and it doesn’t improve our economy. It simply puts more Georgians at risk.

Chris Hayes, MSNBC host: If that sounds insane to you, you’re not alone.

Mayors in Georgia are describing the governor’s decision as reckless, dangerous and illogical.

Chris Cuomo, CNN anchor: Georgia may be doing too much too soon.

Don Lemon, CNN anchor: No matter what anybody tells you, no matter how many hopeful signs there may be, it’s far too early to let down our guard. It’s far too early to go back to the lives that we were living just last month.

And if that shocks you, it should.

Someday, unfortunately, that tape will be scrubbed off the internet. That’s a shame.

Georgia is fine as it turns out. That was Don Lemon telling you Georgia is an incredibly dangerous place, and it had an effect.

“The truth is, we have no choice.” Get a pen and write down that sentence for future reference. The next time you hear someone say it, run.

Imagine if you saw Don Lemon say that while being forced to watch CNN while waiting for a flight at an airport. Maybe you’re headed to Atlanta. You’d be rattled by that — of course, you would be. And rattling you was exactly the point of saying it. Stop thinking, obey. That was the message and was amplified day after day after day by outlets like CNN.

Watch this CNN anchor a month ago remind his audience that staying locked indoors was their moral duty.

Chris Cuomo: The only thing that has checked this contagion is our collective conscience to stay home together as ever, as one.

We know that is our true power. The question is, when will it really be put to this problem?

The one thing you never saw from these people — these journalists — was a straightforward discussion about whether or not lockdowns actually work. You’d think that would be the first thing they would talk about, but they didn’t want to.

Hundreds of millions of people ordered to stay home, only go outside for essential reasons. Does forcing people to live like that really contain a virus? There are a lot of reasons actually to believe that it does not contain a virus. For example, forcing people into close quarters all day obviously increases the odds of infecting family members. The biggest studies on that have shown it.

Did you hear that? Ending the lockdowns slowed the spread of the virus or was associated with a slower spread. Amazing. For some reason, that study has not received a lot of attention. Maybe you shouldn’t be surprised by that.

Closing every business except grocery stores forces a lot of people into a small space. Is that a good idea? There are a lot of potential problems. We don’t know all of the answers; someday we’ll have a better understanding of the science behind quarantines. We should have had it before we imposed them.

But for now, here’s what you need to know and what they’re not going to tell you. There is, as of now, precisely no evidence that the lockdowns in America saved lives anywhere. In fact, it’s possible that mass quarantines killed people.

Researchers at JPMorgan compared the coronavirus infection rates of all 50 U.S. states and many European countries before and after the mass quarantines. Overall, ending the lockdowns was associated with a slower spread of the virus.

Did you hear that? Ending the lockdowns slowed the spread of the virus or was associated with a slower spread. Amazing. For some reason, that study has not received a lot of attention. Maybe you shouldn’t be surprised by that.

More than any other governor maybe in the country, Kristi Noem from South Dakota refused to lock her state down. She refused to use the coronavirus pandemic to enhance her personal powers. For that, she was vilified in the national press. Some outlets treated her like a mass murderer.

On April 13, The Washington Post wrote this: “South Dakota’s Governor resisted ordering people to stay home. Now it has one of the nation’s largest coronavirus hotspots.”

Meanwhile, the obedient states –states that imprisoned their entire population — got a round of applause from the entire American media the very next day. The New York Times lauded California, by contrast, this way: “California set the tone on coronavirus shutdowns. What’s its next move?”

And the message of all of this, of course, is unmistakable. You saw it at the time. California was saving its people. Rightwing, old South Dakota was plunging its state into calamity.

So, that was more than five weeks ago. How did things turn out in the end? Have you seen a follow-up story on it? Probably not.

Here the facts. As of now, about 5 per 100,000 people in South Dakota have died of the coronavirus. In California, the death toll is 8.4 per hundred thousand. That’s 64 percent higher. That doesn’t prove lockdowns kill people. It does suggest it doesn’t work very well.

And yet even now, millions of Americans are living, suffocating under continued lockdown. California’s economy has been crushed, particularly for middle-class people. They’re barred from going to work. They can’t go on the dry sand in Los Angeles per their lunatic mayor.

Now, you can laugh about this because it’s stupid. But for millions of healthy people at virtually no risk from dying of this virus, the lockdowns have been a life-changing disaster.

Early in the pandemic, the president of the United States made that point. Any intemperate response to this pandemic, even if it mitigates the virus itself, could wind up killing a lot of people.

President Donald Trump: People get tremendous anxiety and depression and you have suicides over things like this when you have terrible economies, you have death.placeholder

In other words, bad economies don’t just make people poor, they kill people. That’s obviously true. And yet The Associated Press, the most trusted, branded news raced in with a correction. “President Donald Trump is making a baseless claim of surging suicides if the U.S. economy remains mostly shut through the spread of the coronavirus, ” The AP wrote.

Then they added this: “Historically, in a crisis, suicides tend to diminish as society pulls together in a common purpose.”

As if the government locking you in your own home for two months, taking away your job, depriving you of human contact was comparable to fighting the Second World War, a common purpose. That’s the opposite of what it was. The people who made these orders went to their weekend houses in Aspen. They ignored the terms of their own orders. They got their hair done.

A month later, The Washington Post wrote this: “The coronavirus pandemic is pushing America into a mental health crisis.” Well of course, it is. Calls to the Federal Emotional Distress Hotline have gone up 1,000 percent.

Across American counties — the heart of the opioid epidemic — report a surge in overdoses compared to last year. By the way, in the State of New Jersey, for example, the governor stopped AA Meetings. You were not allowed to go to your AA group, but he kept liquor stores open.

Okay, how do you think that worked out? Not well. But don’t worry, The AP reassures us, President Trump was making a baseless claim that this might affect people’s mental health.

And there’s more, we could go on for days. But just this: In March, the CDC warned that coronavirus might survive for a prolonged period on exposed services. Remember that? Gloves in the elevator? Video

Millions of Americans were panicked by this. Why wouldn’t they be? They wiped down everything they touched. They refused to order takeout food. They put their groceries in mail-in days’ long quarantine before opening them — maybe you did that. We’re not mocking you for it. They told you to.

Now, the CDC has new guidance. Coronavirus  ” does not spread easily on surfaces.” Okay.

So, where are we now? What’s the result of this? Well, it’s not totally clear. But here’s what we know.

For 50 years, America has steadily shipped its manufacturing jobs abroad. Now, those jobs which provided middle-class stability to millions were the core of the middle class were replaced often by low wage, no benefit jobs. People serving an ever-shrinking number of very rich people in finance, a lot of them getting checks from the government — that’s the new economy.

That new economy has been destroyed by these lockdowns. In the age of coronavirus, tens of millions of service jobs have gone away. Many will not return.

So only manufacturing is left, but here’s the catch: The manufacturers are all in China now. In other words, China won.

So, no matter what they tell you in coming years, that’s what happened. That’s what actually happened. Remember it.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson’s monologue from “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on May 21, 2020.

May 25, 2020 | Comments » | 362 views

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