Covid Lockdowns: Fauci Says We May Never Know if Costs Outweigh Benefits

Covid Lockdowns: Fauci Says We May Never Know if Costs Outweigh Benefits

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks to reporters after briefing Senators on the coronavirus outbreak in China on Capitol Hill, January 24, 2020. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Dr. Anthony Fauci said he doesn’t believe it is possible to determine whether the overall costs of Covid lockdowns were worth the benefits, in an interview on the BBC’s Sunday Morning.

“I’m interested in your reluctance to use the word ‘lockdown.’ Two years on, do you think they were worth it, or were they too severe?” host Sophie Raworth asked Fauci.

“You know, I don’t think we’re ever going to be able to determine what the right balance is,” Fauci responded. “I think the restrictions — if you want to use that word, which I tend to shy away from, lockdown — they certainly prevented a lot of infections, prevented a lot of hospitalizations, and prevented a lot of deaths.”

However, Fauci noted that “there are unintended negative consequences, particularly in children who are not allowed to go to school and the psychological and mental-health aspects it has on children, in the economic stress it puts on society in general.” Fauci said “one has to look at the balance of lives saved, hospitalizations avoided.”

As in many other nations, American governmental institutions, businesses, and schools implemented mass closures in March 2020 in an effort to slow the spread of Covid. Those lockdowns and subsequent restrictions have been blamed for adverse psychological effects among the general population, as well as for hindering learning for young children.

More people under the age of 65 died of alcohol-related causes than of Covid in 2020, according to a study published earlier this month by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

“The assumption is that there were lots of people who were in recovery and had reduced access to support that spring and relapsed,” Aaron White, a senior adviser at the institute and the first author of the report, told the New York Times.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is also a violist, and has served in the Israeli Defense Forces.

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