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'Clinging to Old and Faulty Models': Was the Lockdown a Colossal Mistake? 

06-03-2020
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A pedestrian walks by a store, closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in Grosse Pointe, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

More than 40 million unemployed. 

More than 100,000 small businesses shut down permanently with millions of others at risk. 

A suicide epidemic. 

And this is only part of the cost of the coronavirus lockdown to America. 

But what if the lockdown wasn't necessary? What if world leaders committed, as one writer called it, "one of the biggest medical and economic blunders of all time"?

"From a medical and economic perspective, this may be the biggest unforced error in global history," says Yinon Weiss, a Silicon Valley technologist and US military veteran who has crunched the numbers and declared the lockdown unnecessary.

"Most of the people supporting lockdowns are still clinging to all old and faulty models, which are now been shown to be incorrect," Weiss says.

Americans were initially told that COVID-19 might kill millions of Americans, but so far a little over 100,000 have died, most of them elderly or already suffering from a serious illness.  

New York was the worst-hit city with a 25% infection rate, yet for residents under the age of 45, almost 100% survived.

Epidemiologist Knut Wittkowski, CEO at Asdera, says the nationwide lockdown and social distancing should have ended in mid-March.  

"The number of new of cases going to the hospitals had already been dropped dramatically. And therefore there was no more reason to fear that the hospitals would be overloaded," Wittkowski said, "which people have forgotten now was the only reason for the lockdown. So the very moment that the reason for the lockdown didn't exist anymore, the economy should have been reopened."

Wittkowski says the correct course would have been to lock down nursing homes and the medically vulnerable and let young healthy people out to build immunity. 

Instead, we did the opposite, forcing nursing homes to take COVID-19 patients and locking down perfectly healthy young people.

America panicked and destroyed part of its economy. 

Michigan businessman Erik Kiilunen, who makes rebar, saw $600,000 worth of business evaporate thanks to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's lockdown policy. 

Kiilunen remembers thinking, "This is a problem and you know, I'm going to do something about it because now you're kicking me, you know, you're kicking me right in the teeth."

Kiilunen reopened and is leading a billboard campaign across Michigan called "All Business Is Essential."

But wouldn't US deaths have been a lot higher if there was no lockdown? Sweden did not have a lockdown and had fewer deaths per capita than Britain, Spain and Belgium. 

And Sweden's economy remains intact.

Weiss says two previous pandemics were deadlier than COVID-19. "We had the 1957 pandemic that killed more people per capita than this pandemic. We've had the 1968-69 pandemic that killed more people per capita than this pandemic." 

Weiss says what was different with the novel coronavirus pandemic is that politicians tried to make medical policy, and ended up making a lot of bad decisions, the consequences of which will be with us for a long time. 

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