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Finally … proof that the shutdowns were bad policy

Finally … proof that the shutdowns were bad policy

In the spirit of “an abundance of caution,” the United States – and much of the world – reacted to the Covid-19 outbreak with extreme mitigating policies.  Initially, it was masking, social distancing, obsessive handwashing, avoid touching one’s face, constant surface cleaning, avoiding crowds, shuttering businesses, cancelling family events, isolating the elderly, closing schools and even frequent clothes washing.  Many of the “precautions” were later discovered to be unnecessary or ineffective.

All that fearmongering resulted in a public panic pandemic. It had a devastating impact on the economic, social and mental health of the general public – including the more than 95 percent of Americans who would not require hospitalization.  

On the other hand, virtually everyone was impacted negatively by the shutdown.  People lost jobs and income.  The health impact of the shutdown was never considered in those earlier government calculations.  Only now, is there more reporting on studies and anecdotal information that shows health impacts from shutdowns that are as bad as the Pandemic?  We are learning more about the epidemic of depression and suicides.  We are learning of the developmental impact on our children – not to mention the traumatization of young kids as they witness the older generations’ hysteria.  America’s once vibrant economy is struggling to recover – with inflation, supply-chain problems and lack of workers as ongoing issues.

John Hopkins University – one of the most respected research institutions in the world – issued a study that put it very bluntly.  The Draconian shutdowns did little to prevent the spread and impact of Covid-19 – and they had minimal impact on reducing the death rate.  

According to the researchers, “We find no evidence that lockdowns, school closures, border closures, and limiting gatherings have had a noticeable effect on COVID-19 mortality.”  Let’s go over that again.  Researchers said that they found “NO EVIDENCE THAT LOCKDOWNS, SCHOOL CLOSURES, BORDER CLOSURES AND LIMITING GATHERINGS HAVE HAD A NOTICEABLE EFFECT ON COVID-19 MORTALITY.

According to John Hopkins, all the measures to prevent the spread of Covid may have reduced the death rate by two-tenths of one percent.  That is two-tenths of the two-tenths of the population who are said to have died from Covid.  And that includes those who died WITH Covid and those who are ASSUMED to have died from Covid.  (I did not make up the “with” and “assumed” categories.  Those are statistics developed by the government and independent agencies.)  

To save you running to the calculator two-tenths of two-tenths is four-ten thousand of a percent.  In other words, most of those who died from Covid would have died without the extreme shutdowns.  This is also confirmed by studies that show that the 1918 Pandemic – without vaccines and the most extreme preventative measures – ran about the same course as the 2019 Pandemic – even with the third year (1920) rise in cases and deaths. 

A McKinsey Report shows “the impact of the pandemic on K–12 student learning was significant, leaving students on average five months behind in mathematics and four months behind in reading by the end of the school year.”  It should also be noted that the shutdown was – to use the modern view – racist.  McKinsey noted that “… students in majority Black schools ended the year with six months of unfinished learning.”  In addition to the academic issues, kids are now suffering from a lack of socialization.

Current reports have confirmed what some authorities said at the onset of the Pandemic.  Virtually all the masks being worn by the public today are virtually useless in protecting a person from contracting the virus – only somewhat useful in preventing an infected person from spreading it.  That is what Dr. Anthony Fauci told us in the early days of the Pandemic – until he flipped and later flopped back.

These reports indicate that there should be an immediate termination of all the shutdown measures.  They were never effective in the first place – and have no relevancy today.  

So, why do we have so many of the shutdown orders still in place?

One reason is money.  Oh … not the money being lost by the people, but the money that is generated by continuing to perpetrate the panic.  That goes from vaccine and supply manufacturers to all those hospitals getting government grants to deal with the Pandemic.  It is that extra money being appropriated to the various government bureaucracies.

The second reason is political.  The government health bureaucracy – over which the very highly paid Dr. Fauci presides – has a personal stake in maintaining its power over health policy.  That also has a money trail.

There may also be something in the public character between conservatives (Republicans) and progressives (Democrats).  A recent poll, 80 percent of Republicans believe it is time to lift sanctions – as do approximately 70 percent of independents.  However, Only about 46 percent of Democrats believe we need to maintain shutdown policies.  Now take a guess who does not believe in the science.

In this case – and most others – Democrats are appealing to those with inordinate fear – who are more easily scared.  We have them in Florida – and I see them every day.  They are religiously walking around with masks that will not protect them in an environment were the virus is on the retreat.  They are not following the science.

The proponents of maintaining the shutdowns keep noting that folks are still getting sick and dying.  That will always be the case.  We will never arrive at zero hospitalizations and deaths.  But they also note that the vast majority of those getting seriously ill or dying are the unvaccinated.  

I see no reason America – or even one city – should make the population suffer real harm – especially the children – because some folks will not get vaccinated.  They are assuming the risk.  As a conservative, I respect their right to assume that risk, but I see no reason the rest of us must suffer such dire consequences to save them from their own free choice.  In fact, people I know who are not vaccinated do not expect the rest of us to give up our freedom for them.  They know that taking the risk is all on them.

We are learning more and more that the entire shutdown protocol was a big mistake.  Yes, there were some reasonable measures that could have been taken.  To continue to talk about – or impose – another major shutdown, however, is irresponsible and a big mistake – and now the facts are rolling in to prove it.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Rat Wrangler

    The masks people wore were 60%-75% effective in preventing people from spreading the virus, and never intended to protect the wearer from it. According to the actual study by Johns Hopkins, “our results indicate that early studies find relatively larger effects compared to later studies…”, and their base study was in May, months after COVID hit our shores. They also mentioned in the conclusions that they did purposely exclude the results from certain other studies. They also only focused on the death rate, not the hospitalization or infection rate, and did see a positive difference based on the lockdowns. Our government did not handle the lockdowns correctly, but that does not mean they did not have a positive impact on the nation’s health. This study does show that there were good benefits to the lockdowns, but apparently not good enough to please the authors.

    • larry Horist

      Rat …You are correct that some mitigating measures were necessary and had a positive impact to some degree. But what seems to be increasingly clear from the emerging data is that the extreme measures were more harmful to American society than they were beneficial. Despite the evidence that masking does not provides a significant protection, it is still being spread by some of the media. One doctor says that we should have a permanent protocol of masking in flu season — although he does not believe it should be mandatory. We probably should never have shut down the schools — especially after vaccines for adults and retro-fitting the schools. Masking out doors — if not in a jammed crowd — should never have required masking. And all the stuff about touching one’s face, obsessives hand-washing and wiping down surfaces more than normal just created undue fear.

    • Arnpld

      The lockdowns were designed to rob people of freedom

      • frank stetson

        And now they are gone and people are free to die at will. “Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose” I guess. Luckily it’s just the unvaccinated now. Might be increasing the average US IQ.

        In NJ, we are well vaccinated, but not so well boosted, omicron hit hard, hit fast, was not as virulent, little hospitalization and death for the fully vaxed, nada for the boosted, and our hospitalization and death still matches earlier variants.

        Will be 1,000,000 Americans dead before it’s over and you whine about lockdowns and masks. The US has really bad results for this when viewed against most developed nations. We suck, our plans sucked, our messaging sucks, we still suck, and you focus on restrictions, lockdowns, and masks. I would think the priority should be what we did, the results, and then —– what works across the globe that we should have done, that other countries did, that worked better. There are plenty of examples, we are that bad. And Larry et al ——– I am guessing further restrictions, further masking, —- all will be some of the answers.

        An anecdote: at the beginning of WWII, my beloved FIL left his new wife and returned to Italy to protect his mother and five sisters. Basically he fell off the grid for years. I asked him what happened imagining a young man with beret, stripped sailor shirt and a scarf nattily adorning his neck, blowing up trains and bridges to stop the Nazis. He said mostly he slept. I looked puzzled as he added: “when you are starving, you either are looking for food or you just go to sleep to dream of food while you take your body to another, better, place. We were starving to death for years.” There’s no phone, no email, no mail, he’s off the grid, his wife declares him dead and moves on, and even after the War, it takes a year to retrofit the ships from war transports to commercial vessels that he can work his way back to America. Less Americans died in that War, 300,000 compared to the covid war that will kill one million. So I am sorry you’re put off by masks, restrictions, hand washing, changing information and confused messaging. But I remember a generation that would laugh at your distress telling you about things that make this look like a fucking holiday.

        Instead of telling me what is wrong, and apparently much of it was IYO; tell us what we should have done? Because no lockdowns, less masking, less distancing —– gets you Sweden — and that sucked even more than America’s results.

        “If Sweden had adopted Danish policies, both the absolute and relative approaches imply that there would have been approximately one fifth as many deaths. Sweden adopting UK policies would have resulted in a two- to four- fold reduction in mortality (Table 1). Had the UK adopted Swedish policies, deaths would have increased deaths by a factor of between 1.6 and 4 (Table 1). The UK adopting Danish policies would have reduced deaths by three fold with the absolute approach, but would have made little difference according to the relative approach (Table 1), although there is considerable uncertainty in the latter.” FYI: I can’t find if this study is peer-reviewed either…..wonder how you find that????

  2. frank stetson

    Interesting spin Larry. First, it’s a John Hopkin’s professor, not John Hopkins. Second, we are still waiting for peer review, as in your quoting a non-peer-reviewed study and treating it elsewise.

    You left out: “closing nonessential shops was found to be the most effective intervention, leading to a 10.6 per cent drop in virus fatalities.”

    You left out that the study is a review of other studies, 18.590 of them were these economists ended up using 24 and therefore are already accused of “cherry picking,” thus the need for peer review.

    Lastly, think you have to note that lockdowns etc. have lessened since last Spring, virtually non-existent now, cases up, RATE of hospitalization and death down, YES the death toll continues to climb, it’s 2,000+ a day now, and sure seems that some further lifestyle restrictions might help. And yes, everything has unintended consequences, no doubt in my mind on that. But mass numbers of kids having mental problems over online or masking in school makes one wonder how we got through the pioneering days….. And yes, the Chinese, South Koreans, New Zealanders, Israeli’s and many more practice more onerous restrictions than us and also had far better results than us; didn’t see an explanation of that in the research yet. BUT —– in the time of omicron, all of that seems to go out the window since the infection profile has changed. And again, their report didn’t touch on recent trends.

    The thing in all this we need to understand most —- is why the US death rate is so much higher than most developed nations. Perhaps lockdown, etc. factor into that —– but that’s the root problem, that’s the cause we need to determine and rectify for the future. And then apply that knowledge to seasonal flu as well. It’s time to say 100,000 deaths to flu each year can be reduced. Easily. With these measures…..

    interesting study Larry, I look forward to the peer reviews which I am pretty sure, will sink most of it, or question it mightily. But I think it’s a great topic to discuss, better understand, and ultimately come to consensus not only as to what happened, what were the actions and results, but, most important, what to do to do better next time. I hope they continue to pursue because we could use the help. Given our results, given what we see in the future, we suck as compared to other developed nations, so the good news is that any audit changes will probably have great results given our current results.

    • Paul

      Please Larry, Johns Hopkins.

    • larry Horist

      Talk about cherry picking information and then spinning it ignorantly. Get out from under your rock and look at the big picture. BUSTED

      • frank stetson

        Larry, I am glad that you have copied the master :>) For BUSTED to work, you really need some facts, your brilliant conclusions to my spinning it ignorantly notwithstanding, that is just your opinion, you provide zero evidence except basically to say you are right and I am wrong.

        Still does not change the FACT that you treat as gospel and treat it as if it is blessed by John Hopkins when, in fact, as I noted, and you called BUSTED —- it’s a study done by a John Hopkins professor that has not be peer-reviewed yet. Do I really need to explain what that means? Because it does not mean that I have BUSTED it; I did not. I did raise some ideas, some facts, which you feel are spinning and cherry picking which is funny since that’s what others have accused the professor for, and that’s exactly what you accused me of. Sort of like “no it’s you, no you….”

        Because that means what you wrote as truth is really just a verbal premature ejaculation, an early publishing of a report that is waiting for a peer review to become accepted by experts as factual. You seem to totally accept a literary wet dream of sorts as the real thing. That’s the big picture Larry. You accept as gospel a study that is not been peer reviewed, and you don’t even have the journalistic integrity to note that. And then you double down against criticism to that fact by accusing the critique of not grasping the big picture, hiding under a rock, and spinning ignorantly. Well, that’s just being a ………oooops, gotta go before I get into trouble :>)

    • Dashaun

      The death rate is 2000+ a day? Quit believing bullshit from liberals The cause you to become a liar.

      • Frank stetson

        The correct answer is as plain as the nose on your face. Currently we are at 900,000 dead, we will clear 1 million easily.

        You can quibble on some of the numbers as been caused by other things, but Covid was present. On the other hand, there are few autopsies being done on people suspected with Covid. Why take the risk.

        So the bottom line is 900,000 dead, give or take a few.

        It’s as plain as the nose on your face. COVID-19 is not political except to humans who make it so for personal gain, profit, and fear.

  3. Ben

    I agree!
    900,000 dead. Most unvaccinated and elderly, both skew toward republican voters. The GOP is doing god’s work!

    • Perry

      Ben it’s no joke. You really do hate your country What an asshole.

      • frank stetson

        Perry, it’s the unvaccinated that hate their neighbors, their country. Probably more about their own frustrations than hate, but expresses itself as hate.

        2,000 dead every day; mostly unvaccinated; mostly conservatives. As much as I hate Trumpism, I feel that this is a real loss to the conservative party, and a real loss to America. At this point, a completely unnecessary loss. The sheep should not be shorn this close….. Just taking their money should be good enough, the conservative power brokers didn’t need to steal their lives.

        • Perry

          Unvaccinated and proud of it. And I will never die from Covid

          • Frank sTetson

            Last words of mini van vaccinated person being put on the ventilator. 2000 people a day think you’re wrong, but they won’t be telling you anymore.

            Even though the case counts are dropping, the virus is still finding the vulnerable unvaccinated and killing them at about 2000 a day or about 40 per state. Trumpistan regions are seeing much higher than average death rates.

            But not to worry, even at 1 million dead, that’s only .3%. Of course when you take out the younger folks who won’t die, the boosted/vaccinated liberals who won’t die, you end up with a much better chance. Probably, more like one percent or higher.

            In my opinion, that’s a significant risk versus rolling up the sleeve and getting a shot. Billion sold, very little harm done. Of course, the unvaccinated have a completely different story. It’s your story. And they all say that they’ll never get it until they end up in the ER

      • Ben

        I have served my country, I currently serve my community. I love America, I hate what trump and his cult have done to it.

        The unvaccinated are 12x more likely to die than the fully the boosted. It Seems like the unvaccinated are playing Russian roulette and a whole lot of them seem to be trump supporters. I may be an asshole, but I’m smart enough to take the precautions to help keep me alive.

  4. Ben

    What are we teaching our children by requiring them to wear masks? I don’t hear a lot about the anxiety and psychological impact on kids growing up in a house where kids are taught not to give a damn about anyone else and throw tantrums when they don’t get their way.

    • Justin

      People are being killed off and Covid is being blamed. That’s how democrats raise their kids.

      • Frank stetson

        Well you got that right.

  5. Ben

    Lockdowns weren’t effective? We were never in a lock down.

    I’m glad you’re pointing out the lack of a cohesive plan by trump when it came to fighting the pandemic.

    • Reggie adams

      Trump was the best president in many years. That’s why the election was stolen. He was too damned good

      • Frank stetson

        Reggie, are you listening to yourself, does that even make sense we will vote someone out because they were good?

        If you look at the numbers, Trump is by far the best president or even good. Even with the blessings Obama handed him. In terms of GDP growth and national debt, he may be the worst president since Herbert Hoover, a record everyone thought would never be broken.

        If you look at some of the other statistics or benchmarks for grading the president, Mr. Trump comes up short. We have posted this over and over.

        That’s not to say that Mr. Trump didn’t do some good things. Even a blind squirrel… Larry Horst has been a list of a believe about 37 items, some of which I contest, some of which I agree with. The easiest one is the Middle East peace settlement. Good job. There are others they are on the list as well as my responses.

        But no, sadly, Mr. Trump was not a good president. And it will go down in history as a one time wonder who was impeached twice. That’s his legacy. However, the great ripper, Mr. pussy grabber himself, is still building his legacy. January 6 is still being investigated and it does not look good. Not good at all.

        • Perry

          Do you really enjoy being stupid? You would be afraid of a pussy. Unless it’s stick pussy

          • Frank stetsoN

            Yes, I enjoy being stupid only because I know people like you exist. But I will always be smarter than someone.

            I don’t know you. We have never had discussions before. And I don’t know where you’re coming from to hate me so much based on so little.

            If you want to talk issues, I’m your huckleberry. If you want to talk smack, then we will talk smack and I will respond to your little childish name-calling with the same or better. Bring it on Brandon.

    • Clifford mckinney

      All that post on this site should get together for a poker game. And we could have a prize for the craziest persons posting for the left and right. Let’s vote on whom we would like to meet.