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Non-covid Excess Deaths

Writing in the print edition of tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal, Rob Arnott and Casey Mulligan summarize their findings that excess deaths from non-covid causes “totaled nearly 100,000 a year in 2020 and 2021.” Two slices:

Covid-19 is deadly, but so were the draconian steps taken to mitigate it. During the first two years of the pandemic, “excess deaths”—the death toll above the historical trend—markedly exceeded the number of deaths attributed to Covid. In a paper we just published in Inquiry, based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we found that “non-Covid excess deaths” totaled nearly 100,000 a year in 2020 and 2021.

Even these numbers likely overestimate deaths from Covid and underestimate those from other causes. Covid testing has become ubiquitous in hospitals, and the official count of “Covid deaths” includes people who tested positive but died of other causes. On the other side, some Covid deaths early in the pandemic weren’t diagnosed as such. We adjusted for the latter effect but not the former.


Non-Covid excess deaths have shown no signs of diminishing, at least through mid-2022. We now have more overdose deaths each year than all military deaths of the last 60 years combined. Homicides, accidents and alcohol deaths are collectively running tens of thousands per year above pre-pandemic norms. Given the substantial weight gains that were common during the pandemic lockdowns, non-Covid natural deaths from heart disease and diabetes seem unlikely to recede soon.

DBx: These findings are important. They verify what those of us who spoke out since Spring 2020 against lockdowns and covid hysteria knew from the start – namely, that lockdowns and other pandemic restrictions were destined to combine with over-the-top covid fear-mongering (and the resulting hysteria) to cause an enormous number of people to die unnecessarily of non-covid causes. And here’s what we also knew: these non-covid excess deaths would not, unlike covid deaths, be suffered overwhelmingly by the very old. Lockdowns and covid hysteria kill far more indiscriminately than does covid.

In writing the previous paragraph I do not applaud myself and others who recognized the grave dangers of lockdowns and protested against that authoritarian policy. Understanding that lockdowns, and the hysteria that helped to fuel them, would have dire consequences required no special insight or unusual wisdom. It required merely cool, rational thought, and a realization that complex modern society cannot be turned off and on as can an electric light. Also helpful in understanding the actual consequences of lockdowns and covid hysteria was intelligent skepticism of opinion that too-quickly became cemented as The Science – ‘The Science’ that was so damn sure of itself that its champions insisted on silencing dissenting voices.

Covid lockdowns are destined to go down in history as one of the great crimes against humanity – this despite the fact that many of the victims of this crime were filled with such a fright that they accepted their bondage willingly.