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Most Lockdowners Can’t Admit They Were Wrong

Matt Ridley is that rare person who, in a brilliant essay in the Telegraph, admits this: “To my shame, I was not a lockdown sceptic from the start.”


At the conclusion of his scathing criticism of lockdowns, Matt Ridley castigates publications such as The Lancet and The New York Times for their silence today in light of now-powerful evidence that lockdowns were a calamity with virtually no upside (“China’s Covid nightmare is the final proof: lockdowns were a total failure,” December 28). He’s right to decry this silence, but no one should be surprised by it.

Ignorantly supposing themselves to be uniquely committed to – and informed by – science, the laptop class regarded everyone who wasn’t on board with their draconian diktats as knuckle-dragging and unethical imbeciles. Now that the scientific (!) evidence clearly shows lockdowns to have been a grotesque mistake, it’s psychologically impossible for most lockdowners to admit that those persons who all along had the correct take on both the science and the reality of covid were not themselves (the intellectual and media elites) but, rather, the imbeciles.

This scientific truth is simply too much for lockdowners to process.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030