Study Reveals COVID-19 Lockdowns, Mandates Did Not Affect Number of Deaths

Originally published May 26, 2023 7:53 am PDT

The study suggested mandates may have prevented infection, not death.

  • Renowned medical journal The Lancet published a study that revealed various COVID-19 mandates had no effect on the total number of deaths caused by the virus.
  • The study sought to analyze several factors pertaining to pandemic outcomes, including: “what roles social, economic, and racial inequities had in interstate variation in COVID-19 outcomes; 2) whether states with greater health-care and public health capacity had better outcomes; 3) how politics influenced the results; 4) whether states that imposed more policy mandates and sustained them longer had better outcomes; and 5) whether there were trade-offs between a state having fewer cumulative SARS-CoV-2 infections and total COVID-19 deaths and its economic and educational outcomes.”
  • Death rates from January 1, 2020, to July 31, 2022, were examined for the study.
  • “Mandate propensity (a summary measure that captures a state’s use of physical distancing and mask mandates) was associated with a statistically significant and meaningfully large reduction in the cumulative infection rate, but not the cumulative death rate,” the findings state.
  • The study adds, “Increased vaccine coverage and vaccine mandates for state employees were associated with reductions in both fourth-grade mathematics and reading test scores. Increased mask use, more mobility relative to other states, mask mandates, vaccine mandates for school employees, and mandate propensity were also associated with reductions in fourth-grade mathematics scores.”
  • Those who lived in wealthier neighborhoods and had access to greater healthcare services were also linked to lower infection and death rates.
  • The National Assessment of Educational Progress found that in 2022, 26% of eighth graders were proficient in math.
  • In 2019, prior to the pandemic, 34% of eighth graders were proficient in math, suggesting COVID-19 policies negatively affected children’s education.
  • In November 2022, Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) reported that test scores for California students showed a “substantial decline in student learning in both English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics between the 2018–19 and 2021–22 academic years.”
  • “Overall, the number of students tested decreased by approximately 6 percent from 2019 to 2022,” PACE found.
  • The California study reflected findings similar to those across the United States, as the National Assessment of Educational Progress also found the “sharpest ever drop in reading achievement between 2019, the year before the pandemic, and the early months of 2022. It also documented the first-ever decline in achievement in mathematics over the same time period.”
  • Data suggests the majority of COVID-19 deaths are primarily vaccinated individuals, a finding seemingly contrary to what The Lancet found.
  • 58% of COVID deaths in August 2022 were from people who have been vaccinated or boosted.
  • In September 2021, vaccinated individuals made up 23% of COVID deaths and in January 2022, the vaccinated comprised 42%.