Stanford study: Lockdowns have no clear benefit

By the Daily Post staff

A Stanford study comparing Covid responses in different countries found “no clear significant beneficial effect” from stay-at-home orders and business closures.

The peer-reviewed study, published Jan. 5 in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, found that lockdown orders early in the Covid pandemic didn’t provide more benefits than other measures such as social distancing and travel reduction.

The study investigated measures by England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, the U.S., South Korea and Sweden.

The first eight countries imposed stay-at-home orders on residents while South Korea and Sweden took less restrictive steps.

The researchers used a mathematical model to compare the countries.

They found “no clear, significant beneficial effect of (more restrictive measures) on case growth in any country.”

“We do not question the role of all public health interventions, or of coordinated communications about the epidemic, but we fail to find an additional benefit of stay-at-home orders and business closures,” the researchers said in a statement.

The study was co-authored by Jay Bhattacharya, a Stanford professor of medicine and economics who has been a vocal opponent of Covid lockdowns since March.

He was also among a group of scientists who wrote “The Great Barrington Declaration,” a document that encouraged governments to lift lockdown restrictions to achieve herd immunity among young and healthy people, while focusing protections on the elderly.

Other studies have oppositely determined that lockdown orders have saved lives.

For instance, a Imperial College London study published in the journal Nature found that some 3.1 million deaths had been averted due to lockdowns across Europe early on in the pandemic. “This data suggests that without any interventions, such as lockdown and school closures, there could have been many more deaths from Covid-19,” said Dr. Samir Bhatt, an author of Imperial College London study.


  1. “74% of the people with COVID-19 in New York got it from others in their own home” Governor Andrew Cuomo. Same study: From restaurants and bars? 1.43%. Conclusion? The lockdowns were a mistake. Science has been ignored. Businesses have closed permanently. Churches closed. That’s “Politics”. Vote them out.

    • I’m a top 1% and don’t make any money off the stock market. But top 1% is only 429k combined household income, some of us do live check to check and have expenses, just maybe a little higher. But the lockdowns did force me to close my business and let go of two wonderful employees. They get unemployment, but nothing for me.. just no work. That’s ok, I am now IT support as my children learn from home.

    • Yet another science denier. Must be banned from all social media accounts and hounded by newspaper reporters for having an unapproved thought.

  2. There are more modern means of controlling a virus, but a lockdown allows government to snuff out small businesses and entrepreneurs. Newsom and his pals in San Jose are anti-capitalists at heart, believing the government should run the economy.

    • That’s a ridiculous publication using modeling analysis for over 6,000 types of governmental interventions from back in March and April. Leaving that aside, the paper states that lockdowns have moderate impact compared to less drastic interventions and acknowledges (obviously): “Government interventions may cause substantial economic and social costs while affecting individuals’ behaviour, mental health and social security.”

      Why would you even cite that paper when we have over 10 months of actual data on lockdowns and masks? You can compare almost any state and country that are demographically similar and located close to each other, and regardless of intervention, you will find almost identical “cases”, hospitalization, ICU, and death rates. But there’s one huge difference. The countries/states with more extreme lockdowns/mask policies have much worse secondary consequences from lockdowns and, I predict, will suffer at least 1000X as many deaths, poorer education, destruction of social order, relationships, happiness, etc., compared to any benefit from lockdowns, for years and decades to come.

      • Not true. Look at Sweden and other Nordic countries.
        Sweden has limited restrictions, limited mask wearing (I don’t see how it would affect economy anyway) and in the end they got 5-12 times higher mortality than their neighbours, and higher economic impact because it took them much more time to contain the epidemic.
        Look at France, they had a new lockdown while most of other countries didn’t, in the end the second wave has been way less devastating for them.

        • The other Nordic countries, Finland and Norway, had even less restrictive government policies than Sweden, with no lockdowns or masks. So that’s a bad comparison. Sweden had a softer 2019 compared to their neighbors, greater nursing home and immigrant population – they were more vulnerable. More importantly, since we know Covid figures are unreliable, the best data point is cumulative all-cause mortality per million population for 2020. If you research this figure, Sweden did slightly better than Finland and is in the ballpark with Norway and Denmark.

          As for France, they imposed masks and lockdowns back in the early summer and experienced huge rise in cases since October as Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Italy. France may have slightly fewer deaths now than those other three countries but also had a much worse Spring.

          Lockdowns, masks, distancing, school closures, and other voodoo science have virtually no impact on Covid – and were never used a pandemic tool before 2020, wasn’t even mentioned in WHO Oct. 2019 Guidelines – but boy, the enormous costs of lockdowns may not be recoverable and we’re not close to feeling the full effects of them. Give it a few more years when the economy will make the Great Depression look like walk in the park.

  3. Of course the study neglects to include places like New Zealand, Cayman Islands, etc. that issued extreme and highly controlled lockdowns and restricted travel and actually prevented huge numbers of deaths. If anyone thinks this study is constructed to provide objective results, they are kidding themselves.

    • Are you kidding me? New Zealand has population of about 1/8th of California and Cayman Islands is size of Palo Alto. Also, New Zealand got virus during their summer (s. hemisphere), isn’t popular destination for tourists, and can more easily seal off borders as an island nation, but they are going to suffer for a long time economically and in lives from imposing extreme yet unnecessary lockdowns.

      I think it’s worth pointing out here that widescale lockdowns were never tried as a pandemic intervention before 2020, was not recommended by WHO in its most recent October 2019 guidelines for pandemic response – wasn’t even mentioned, as too crazy to fathom. WHO said that even exposed individuals should not be quarantined and masks are ineffective to stop viruses. All WHO said was that sick (symptomatic) individuals should stay home or quarantine until they recover. That’s all. Lockdown was a China policy which the west, to its eternal discredit, followed shamelessly.

  4. My jaw dropped at this one. I think that it is better not to trust this one as it comes from conservative Stanford, home of the Hover Institute.

    This probably comes from the subculture in and around Stanford which does not hesitate to make such political manipulations. I’ve seen similar behavior first hand several times around Stanford over the years.

    Such As:
    • Politics at SRI
    • 1%er frat rat entourage of “boys in the hood” with other leader commenting about outsiders trashing their Stanford math library because I was sitting there reading a math book.
    • The only city I know of that requires proof of residence of anyone entering their city park.
    • Strangled medicare patient services at their understaffed new “world class” fancy brick and mortar hospital on steroids.
    • Super industrial park gentrification which was their way of solving East Palo Alto “Whisky Gulch” problem on the Stanford side of the freeway “railroad tracks” which they themselves previously created by many years by red-lining along the city boundaries.

  5. The Stsnford study is pure politics and easily checked by examining the unambiguous response of daily new cases after the start of shelter-in-place. There are many examples of this that anyone can easily check. The drop in rates usually shows up about a week after the Shelter-in-place orders.

    I’ve followed the math of COVID and in early March the reported case growth was an incredible 30%+ per day. This was immediately noticed in Sana Clara County, about 20 miles from Stanford. Within 2 weeks of the immediate start of Shelter-in-place the predictions of total growth dropped by a factor of 100x.

    • That fits well with China who just stopped reporting in March and their cases have remained flat for a year+! It’s amazing! Keep endorsing the government, it only hurts the people. John doesn’t realize government will always trade you liberty/freedom for the illusion of safety/security. Eventually, you’ll realize this.

  6. Thanks for posting this story. For the most part, the media has only given the pro-lockdown side of the story, and little reporting on the human cost of ruined businesses and jobs lost. This has led to suicides, alcoholism and drugs. When you present facts to the pro-lockdown crowd, they’re not interested. They want to change the subject. Real data and lived experiences don’t matter to them. I’ve wondered when people are going to figure this out and revolt against the liars in the media and government.

  7. Lockdown depressed businesses and made sure the Orange Man lost. Some would see that as a clear benefit. Nothing to do with Rona, but ends justify the means!

  8. From my research California and New York continued imposed lockdowns were purely for political reason PERIOD… What has changed in the past week since Biden is now president?? Nothing yet here comes Gavin Newsome and Andrew Cuomo racing to open up their states all of a sudden.. Better yet refusing to share the “science numbers” to back up reopening or even why they had the strictest lockdowns in the first place. Don’t know about anyone else that does not live in either of these places but I do NOT want my federal tax monies shoveled their way to pay off anything other than items that are COVID related only and then again I am hesitant because without oversight they will simply put the monies toward their ridiculous pension timebomb.

    • Imposing lockdowns and masks in March/April was one thing, continuing them through the summer – when there is never an epidemic – and fall in hopes of getting us into the winter when cases of flu/cold viruses would resurface (as they always do!) was pure politics and I would say anti-science. Science died in my opinion when states maintained lockdowns and masks during the summer, and evil took over.

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