(NewsNation Now) — A Johns Hopkins study on pandemic policy found that the lockdowns imposed in Europe and the U.S. did little to save lives.
It found measures such as closing schools and restaurants shaved only 0.2% off the mortality rate in the two regions compared to policies that focused on recommendations.
The study, published last month, analyzed other studies focusing on the beginning of the pandemic. It was conducted by a trio of economic experts.
It also found shelter-in-place orders reduced deaths 2.9% compared to strategies that focused on recommendations rather than rules.
Their findings are in line with some scientists who have been calling for a more nuanced approach to pandemic strategy, including Dr. Amesh Adalja.
“These blunt tools just aren’t what we want to be reaching for,” Adalja said Wednesday on “On Balance with Leland Vittert.” “And if you are reaching for them, that tells you that many policies have failed.”
At the time, governors, such as Illinois’ JB Pritzker, said they were the only option as scientists learned about the risk factors of COVID-19.
The researchers did find closing nonessential businesses specifically reduced the mortality rate by 10.6%, which they credit to bars being part of that order.
They note the strategy’s downfall is its reliance on complete buy-in from the public, which is impossible. Some listen and stay in, but others in the same moment may find it safer to go out specifically because many people are sheltering at home.
“What we need to really instill in people is that it should be targeted, precision-guided, voluntary guidance so that they can learn how to navigate risks,” Adalja said.