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STANFORD, Calif. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A groundbreaking study across 10 nations has demolished the claim for the effectiveness of lockdown measures in controlling the spread of COVID-19.
Researchers from Stanford University's departments of medicine, epidemiology, health policy, biomedical data science and statistics have concluded that there is no "strong evidence" supporting more restrictive lockdowns "in the control of COVID in early 2021."
The study published in the January 2021 issue of the European Journal of Clinical Investigation covers England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, and the United States, "fail(s) to find an additional benefit of stay-at-home orders and business closures."
There is no evidence that more restrictive lockdowns "contributed substantially to bending the curve of new cases in England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, or the United States in early 2020," the peer-reviewed study concludes.
"The data cannot fully exclude the possibility of some benefits," the researchers concede. "However, even if they exist, these benefits may not match the numerous harms of these aggressive measures."
The Stanford study also demonstrates the failure of lockdowns to protect "vulnerable populations." On the contrary, there is evidence to suggest that restrictive measures may have facilitated the transmission of the virus especially among vulnerable groups of people.
Speaking to Church Militant, academic Dr. Niall McCrae emphasized that the Stanford study "should lead to a change of direction by national governments. But it is likely to be ignored."
McCrae, an expert in mental health, explained:
As researchers Eran Bendavid, Christopher Oh, Jay Bhattacharya and John Ioannidis showed in their mathematical model, there was no difference in mortality between countries that locked down and those that retained basic liberties. Sweden and South Korea did not devastate businesses and livelihoods but had no more deaths than in the United Kingdom, Spain, France and Italy.
McCrae remarked how "political leaders have been supported by all kinds of institutions, not least the Roman Catholic Church under Pope Francis."
"Critics of these draconian restrictions are vilified, despite having truth and reason on their side. COVID-19 is endemic and concentrating people in their homes and in crowded supermarkets is counter-productive, while also depriving us of healthful activities that boost resilience," he added.
"The global lockdown convoy continues on its path, wreaking social and economic destruction, while actually doing nothing to inhibit the spread of COVID-19. Future historians will feast on this grand folly," lamented McCrae, author of The Moon and Madness.
The pontiff has attacked anti-lockdown protestors, calling them "victims only in their own imagination — those who claim, for example, that being forced to wear a mask is an unwarranted imposition by the State, yet who forget or do not care about those who cannot rely, for example, on social security or who have lost their jobs."
But while lockdowns have had little benefit in reducing the spread of infections, policymakers have failed to consider the "harms" caused by restrictive measures. Such considerations should have played a prominent role in policy decisions, the Stanford study argues.
Harms include hunger, opioid-related overdoses, missed vaccinations, increase in other diseases from missed health services, domestic abuse, mental health problems and suicidality, as well as numerous economic consequences with health implications.
"School closures may have very serious harms, estimated at an equivalent of 5.5 million life years for children in the United States during the spring school closures alone," the researchers warn.
"If the mental health crisis before COVID was a self-fulfilling prophecy, apparently now the reverse is happening. Mainstream media cried wolf then, but now that a real crisis is emerging they have little to say," writes McCrae in a recent article on "What Happened to the Mental Health Crisis Among Younger People?"
Meanwhile, a study published Friday in the scientific journal Nature Human Behavior, showed a steep spike in suicides in Japan in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among women and children.
The July-October suicide rate rose 16% compared to the same period a year earlier with a larger increase in the suicide rates among females (37%) and children and adolescents (49%), according to researchers at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology.
A third study published in January in the medical journal Pediatrics has demonstrated the futility of locking down schools.
The study titled "Incidence and Secondary Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Infections in Schools" concludes that COVID-19 transmission in schools is nearly nonexistent.
After examining 11 school districts in North Carolina and 100,000 students and staff over a nine-week period, researchers found "no instances of child-to-adult transmission of SARS-CoV-2 were reported within schools."
"Now we know, from peer-reviewed journal articles, that lockdowns do not sufficiently slow transmission or reduce mortality sufficiently to get close to justifying the damage, including increased deaths, arising from them, we can conclude that proponents are wrong and should stop," tweeted Michael Yeadon, Pfizer's former vice president and chief scientist for allergy and respiratory diseases.