In an opinion piece for the Nevada Policy Research Institute dated December 13, 2021, Robert Fellner makes the case that the next governor elected by the people of Nevada should be committed to resisting a public push for further lockdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fellner refers to a recently published study from The International Journal of the Economics of Business that found that widespread lockdowns led to no significant reduction in COVID-19 death rates. The researchers studied data from all fifty states in the U.S. plus 43 other nations.
Not only did the study conclude that lockdowns had no measurable effect on reducing deaths linked to the coronavirus, but researchers for the National Bureau of Economic Research also found evidence that COVID death rates were actually higher in some areas that implemented lockdowns.
Fellner argues that Nevada Governor Sisolak’s lockdown policy did nothing to prevent the spread of the virus and its resultant deaths, instead inflicting immeasurable harm on the state’s residents.
Fellner refers to a recent report from Pew Charitable Trusts that found a 10% drop in Nevada’s prime-age employment rate between 2019 and 2021. Fellner notes that this is triple the average rate, the highest statewide rate in the nation.
Fellner goes on to argue that the most damaging effects of the lockdowns are found in children whose schools were closed. He notes that the school closures resulted in “massive learning loss,” which can lead to “reduced future earnings, increased poverty rate and even reduced life expectancy.” He observes that mental health issues among children have increased dramatically since the lockdown, including acts of intentional self-harm.
Fellner argues that these deleterious effects were imposed with no corresponding benefits: the Center for Disease Control now admits “COVID-19 transmission does not appear to be demonstrably more frequent in schools than in noneducational settings.”
Fellner refers to a study published by the Journal of Global Health which found that “children and adolescents had lower odds of infection in educational settings compared to community and household clusters.”
The evidence from these studies, Fellner argues, makes it clear that lockdowns were basically useless in preventing the spread of COVID-19 or the deaths resulting from the virus. He goes on to note his concerns regarding the reactions of public officials to this evidence: “But, for whatever reason, many in the public health establishment have been reluctant to acknowledge that the lockdowns, school closures and other draconian measures they championed in response to COVID were utter failures. Tragically, many other countries are still implementing these dehumanizing and ineffective measures today. This is a problem, given that COVID is clearly here to stay, and that American politicians have demonstrated an uncomfortable willingness to emulate the totalitarian practices of other nations.”
Fellner closes out his opinion piece by urging citizens of the state of Nevada to carefully consider the issue of lockdowns when choosing the state’s next governor and to choose a candidate who is unlikely to give in to public pressure on the issue.