As is so often the case, the poorer parts of the world fare worse than the wealthier parts. Thus, the economic devastation reaped by business closures and forced lockdowns will endanger even more lives in Africa, Latin America, and South Asia, than will be the case in the wealthy West.
But, as we’ve noted here at mises.org, the West is hardly immune to the negative effects. Even before the current recession, we knew that impoverishment and unemployment leads to greater mortality from a variety of causes, including heart disease and strokes. With imposed isolation on top of economic carnage come deaths from suicides, drug overdoses, and untreated medical conditions.
These latest admissions from WHO personnel represent a grudging admission that the health officials acted without evidence or a consideration of the costs when they demanded lockdowns with little regard for the effects. This should not be interpreted as an about-face, however. We shouldn’t expect any officials to actually surrender their prerogatives to coercively shut down economies and force people into their homes using police and military personnel. Bureaucrats, of course, relish this sort of power.
Anthony Fauci, for example, claimed that no easing in lockdowns could be allowed until there were “essentially no new cases, no deaths for a period of time.” Given the widespread problem of false positives, what this really meant is that lockdowns can never be scaled back.
There is little doubt that governments that listened to people like Fauci would have preferred to impose lockdowns indefinitely. We’ve seen the ideal—from the politicians’ perspective—at work in Australia, where citizens suffer under harsh lockdown rules, police arrest citizens for expressing opposition to lockdowns, and harass old women for sitting on park benches. Police have also described smashing car windows and dragging the drivers onto the street for not being able to produce special documentation allowing them to leave their homes.
Fortunately, few governments have been able to pull this off. In many countries, this inability to force everyone into their homes has resulted from simple economic need. In poorer economies, much of the population lives hand to mouth and without substantial welfare programs. It’s simply not plausible to expect a subsistence-level shopkeeper in Mexico to sit at home and literally starve in order to comply with a stay-at-home order. In Argentina, for example, the shutdowns have accomplished nothing other than mass impoverishment as deaths mount. Peru is dealing with a similar fate even though the nation’s government was lauded for its early and severe lockdown measures. Peru now has among the worst total deaths per capita.Even WHO Officials Now Admit Lockdowns Are Extreme Policies with Disastrous Results by Ryan McMaken
All in the name of power.
Because it isn’t for the safety, prosperity, happiness, liberty, or protection of the protection.