TLDR: If we denied children a year of school and spent $trillions, shouldn’t we have something to show for that?
The CDC sped up its tally of deaths in 2020 and now says that American deaths in 2020 were 16 percent higher than in 2019 (CNBC). COVID-19 is now highlighted as the third leading cause of death. If we adjust for U.S. population growth (somewhat difficult to assess because of the undocumented), that’s perhaps a 15 percent higher death rate.
Considering the loss of a year of education for American children, the loss of liberty for American adults, and $trillions in tax dollars flushed down the toilet, this seems like a spectacular failure. While our state governors issued orders to residents and Americans waited for Dr. Fauci to tell them whether it was safe to roast a turkey, Sweden continued to live within its existing framework of laws and customs, e.g., sending children to school, adults to the gym and social life, etc. Swedes did not don the hijab of the Church of Shutdown for hours each day. Sweden ended up with 10 percent more deaths than in 2019 (Statista; note that 2019 seems to have been an unusually death-free year in Sweden and also that, due to population growth, the 2020 death rate was, in fact, lower than the death rate in 2010). Sweden also has a growing population, so a total higher than 10 percent might translate to a rate that is 9 percent higher.
Also from the CNBC article:
It typically takes researchers 11 months after the end of the calendar year to investigate “certain causes of death and to process and review data.” While the daily total Covid death figures reported by the CDC are timely, they can underestimate the actual number of deaths because of “incomplete or delayed reporting.”
For those who believe that humans are in charge of the coronavirus, I imagine that the take-away from these data will be to double down on shutdowns and masks. The assumption will be that, absent our heroic sacrifices, deaths in the U.S. would have been 300 percent higher in 2020 than in 2019, so holding the increase to only 16 percent demonstrates how effective shutdowns and masks are. That masked-and-locked California and wide-open Florida are right next to each other in states ranked by Covid-19 death rate (
) will not be cause to question the assumption that masks and lockdowns are highly effective. (Note that California’s COVID-19 death rate is substantially higher than Florida’s if you consider the over-65 population that is actually vulnerable to COVID-19. Florida has roughly 50% more seniors as a percentage of its population.)
Finally, let’s not forget that our 2020 aggregate deaths also include deaths caused by the shutdown, e.g., people who didn’t get the cardiology procedures that they would have had, extra drug overdoses, etc.
Readers who love masks and shutdowns: Given that deaths in 2020 were 16 percent higher than in 2019, how many American lives do you think were actually “saved” compared to if state governors and local government had done nothing (so we’d still have had Trump funding the vaccines, the CDC messing up initial testing, etc., but there would have been no shutdowns, no masks, and kids would have been in school; we still would have had media hysteria, so presumably a lot of the elderly/vulnerable and elite would have hidden in bunkers voluntarily). We’re fatter than the Swedes and COVID-19 loves to kill the fat, but plenty of Swedes are also overweight. (But don’t count the 20 lbs. that people gained during the year that their governors ordered them to spend next to the fridge!)