The long-term costs and collateral damage of COVID lockdowns will be counted for “at least a decade, maybe a generation,” Dr. Jay Bhattacharya said Tuesday on the newest episode of “The Ben Domenech Podcast.”
In the conversation, Dr. Martin Kulldorff, Ph.D., and Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine and economics at Stanford University, discussed how to improve trust in public health, the problems with mass lockdowns, vaccination passports, as well as how tech companies have handled debate around the pandemic.
DR. JAY BHATTACHARYA: The lockdowns have had enormous collateral damage. We’re going to be counting those costs for at least a decade, maybe a generation, with the loss of schooling.
I’m much less interested in accountability in terms of particular people. I’m much more interested in accountability in the sense of creating systems that allow us to make better decisions in the midst of the fear of a pandemic. Because I think that’s really the root of the problem that we’ve had, is that we have made all these decisions in panic mode almost for a full year. And rather than sort of calmly following plans that we’ve made that made sense, which wasn’t a lockdown, we instead decided that only the lockdown could be the solution without counting the cost at all.
In fact, it was immoral to even say there could be harms and the harms are not just money. The harms are our health, missed cancer screenings, heart attacks not treated, diabetes patients not managed. And internationally, it’s even more devastating. A hundred million people with food insecurity. I mean, it’s orders of magnitude worse than COVID.
And I think I think we’re going to need to have a serious conversation, both in public health and public policy about what we should do when everybody is scared. And I think the other thing is the standard public practice isn’t to induce fear, it is to produce calm and then help people make reasoned decisions.