The lockdowns imposed in the first pandemic wave had almost no effect on reducing deaths, according to a US study signed by well-known critics of the restrictive measures.
Closing the economy, restraint in the home, compulsory mask use and social alienation reduce mortality by just 0,2% on average, the study estimates, which has not been independently audited.
The authors argue that lockdowns "should be rejected as a tool of pandemic policy", as they have little effectiveness while at the same time incurring "huge economic and social costs".
The study, led by Johns Hopkins University professor Steve Hankey, estimates that closing the border had virtually no effect, as it is estimated to have reduced deaths by just 0,1%.
The closure of schools was found to be more effective, with a reduction of deaths by 4,4%, while the most effective measure is the closure of the restaurant with a reduction of 10,6%. According to the three authors of the study, this reduction is mainly attributed to the closure of bars.
The study is a meta-analysis that reviewed the available literature. The researchers initially collected 18.590 previous surveys, of which they selected only 24 for the final analysis.
Selecting such a small part of the international literature is a significant limitation of the study, as researchers could be accused of selecting whatever data is in their best interest to support their views.
The meta-analysis excluded, for example, a study in Nature which estimated that lockdowns saved more than three million lives in Europe.
Professor Hanki, who has served as an adviser to governments in Asia, South America, Europe and the Middle East, is a well-known critic of lockdowns and has taken to Twitter to support protests against the crackdown. In fact, he has characterized the compulsory vaccinations as "fascist".