The World Health Organization’s special envoy on COVID-19 has urged world leaders to stop using lockdowns as the primary way to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
In a stunning statement, David Nabarro told The Spectator that the authoritarian approach is wholly unnecessary:
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“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” David Nabarro said.
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“The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.”
Zerohedge.com reports: Nabarro pointed to the collateral damage that lockdowns are having worldwide, especially among poorer populations.
“Just look at what’s happened to the tourism industry, for example in the Caribbean or in the Pacific, because people aren’t taking their holidays. Look what’s happened to smallholder farmers all over the world because their markets have got dented. Look what’s happening to poverty levels. It seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. Seems that we may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition because children are not getting meals at school and their parents, in poor families, are not able to afford it,” Nabarro said.
“This is a terrible, ghastly global catastrophe actually,” he added. “And so we really do appeal to all world leaders: Stop using lockdown as your primary control method, develop better systems for doing it, work together and learn from each other, but remember – lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer.”
A number of medical or public health scientists and medical practitioners have signed the Great Barrington Declaration, which states that“current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health.”
The signatories include: “Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University and a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring of infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases, and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician, epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations.”
“The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk,” the declaration states.
With few exceptions, world leaders followed in the footsteps of the Chinese communist regime when responding to the outbreak of the virus, imposing unprecedented lockdowns. Sweden, which did not impose a lockdown, did not experience an adverse outcome compared to some locales and nations that did.
In the United States, President Donald Trump delegated the decisions on lockdown measures to the governors of individual states, but has pushed for the economy to be reopened, and lockdowns lifted.
As William Anderson recently wrote for The Mises Institute, lockdowns only serve the progressive political class…
We have to understand that the political classes and their media have a vested interest in the lockdown status quo, and that includes regular provision of what only can be called disinformation. The mainstream media this past summer dutifully reported a highly questionable (I use that term charitably) report that the Sturgis Bike Rally in South Dakota led to more than a quarter million covid infections and more than $12 billion of medical costs. It should have been obvious on its face that the report was deeply flawed, yet in their desire to fuel the covid-is-killing-us narrative, journalists took this too-good-to-be-true story and ran with it.
As for politicians, the covid crisis has been a godsend for those governmental executives and bureaucrats who see constitutional restrictions that limit their authority as mere obstacles to be easily swept away. Governors such as Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gavin Newsom of California, and Tom Wolfe of Pennsylvania have received adoring coverage in the media for seizing and employing dictatorial powers, Whitmer even unilaterally deciding that the sale of garden seeds in stores was illegal. Cuomo’s decision to force the housing of covid-19 patients in nursing homes led to the deaths of thousands of people, yet his national media coverage is uniformly positive.
Contrast the affirmative news coverage of Cuomo with the barrage of media attacks on Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota. Noem has emphasized personal responsibility and did not attempt mass closures of schools and businesses in the state, and the mainstream media erupted with fury. That South Dakota has come through this pandemic relatively well does not matter with the media, as the only acceptable action (to mainstream and elite journalists) in response to covid is for governors to single-handedly seize power and lock down their citizens.
Keep in mind that the real losses that Americans suffered because of the heavy-handed governmental response to the covid outbreak are permanent. As Robert Higgs so eloquently pointed out in Crisis and Leviathan, governments often create crises or, at the very least, they manipulate events such as natural disasters and use them as opportunities to expand governmental powers. Even after the crises end, governments keep some of their newly self-granted powers—and most people raise little or no concern even when government has curtailed more of their freedoms.
Presumably, this means Joe Biden will now be pushing for lockdowns to be lifted across all blue states?… because he is “listening to the scientists”?
We wonder how long it will be before WHO also urges the end of mask-wearing?
In the end, as Anderson concluded, the only way that the political classes can “make us safe” is for us to do what is necessary to make ourselves safe, or as relatively safe as possible. When a virus is afoot—as is the case most of the time—we do what we can to avoid it and do what we can to treat it. In other words, we appeal to real medical science, not what the political and media classes have cooked up for us.