The New England Journal of Medicine has published a study that goes to the heart of the issue of lockdowns. The question has always been whether and to what extent a lockdown, however extreme, is capable of suppressing the virus. If so, you can make an argument that at least lockdowns, despite their astronomical social and economic costs, achieve something. If not, nations of the world have embarked on a catastrophic experiment that has destroyed billions of lives, and all expectation of human rights and liberties, with no payoff at all.
AIER has long highlighted studies that show no gain in virus management from lockdowns. Even as early as April, a major data scientist said that this virus becomes endemic in 70 days after the first round of infection, regardless of policies. The largest global study of lockdowns compared with deaths as published in The Lancet found no association between coercive stringencies and deaths per million.
To test further might seem superfluous but, for whatever reason, governments all over the world, including in the US, still are under the impression that they can affect viral transmissions through a range of “nonpharmaceutical interventions” (NPIs) like mandatory masks, forced human separation, stay-at-home orders, bans of gatherings, business and school closures, and extreme travel restrictions. Nothing like this has been tried on this scale in the whole of human history, so one might suppose that policy makers have some basis for their confidence that these measures accomplish something.
A study conducted by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in cooperation with the Naval Medical Research Center sought to test lockdownsm along with testing and isolation. In May, 3,143 new recruits to the Marines were given the option to participate in a study of frequent testing under extreme quarantine. The study was called CHARM, which stands for COVID-19 Health Action Response for Marines. Of the recruits asked, a total of 1,848 young people agreed to be guinea pigs in this experiment which involved “which included weekly qPCR testing and blood sampling for IgG antibody assessment.” In addition, the CHARM study volunteers who did test positively “on the day of enrollment (day 0) or on day 7 or day 14 were separated from their roommates and were placed in isolation.”
What did the recruits have to do? The study explains, and, as you will see, they faced an even more strict regime that has existed in civilian life in most places…..