The media has spent the past few months talking about the “big lie” that former president Donald Trump spread about the election being stolen. But the consequences of that – while not good – don’t compare to the consequences of the lies that were spread about COVID-19.
After it was declared that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election, Trump began claiming that the election was stolen and that he was the true winner. Polls showed that the majority of Republicans believe voter fraud helped Biden win, and the liberal media has relentlessly mocked Republicans and compared voter integrity laws to Jim Crow.
Talk about a stolen election eventually lead some Trump supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6 to try and stop the certification of the electoral college votes. Make no mistake, the riot is nothing to be proud of. But the consequences have been played up by liberals and the media – some have even compared it to 9/11.
But the lies, misinformation, and confusion surrounding the coronavirus pandemic resulted in horrendous consequences that impacted every single person in the country.
Lockdowns were initially touted as a necessary and effective way to combat coronavirus. But now, the actual effect that lockdowns had in curtailing the virus has been questioned by experts and politicians. In December, Stanford University professor of medicine Dr. Jay Bhattacharya suggested that lockdowns had not “contributed in any meaningful way” to save lives in California.
“Lockdowns are not a tool to eradicate the disease,” Bhattacharya said on Fox News. “At best what they do is push the cases into the future.”
After Biden won the election, a number of Democrats changed their positions on lockdowns entirely. States that initially imposed strict lockdowns, like New York, suddenly relaxed restrictions despite rising case numbers. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo justified lifting some restrictions by saying that “the cost is too high.” Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot stressed the importance of getting restaurants and bars open “as quickly as possible.”
Cuomo was right – the cost of lockdowns was high. Despite questions about their effectiveness, lockdowns were imposed around the country, and businesses and workers paid the price. In early 2020, the first wave of lockdowns cost Americans 22 million jobs. In March of 2021, even after many lockdowns were lifted, monthly job losses were still more than 6.2 million, exemplifying the long-lasting effects of the pandemic.
Around 200,000 businesses, especially many small businesses, were closed permanently due to COVID restrictions, according to estimations by Federal Reserve economists.
Concern about children getting and spreading the virus has been a much-discussed narrative. CDC guidance still encourages schools to require that children wear masks for hours on end, and schools were closed for months. The effects have been damaging.
One 10-year-old appeared on Tucker Carlson after he begged his school in Martin County, Florida to end their mask mandate.
The mask “makes it hard to breathe,” 10-year-old John told the school board. “I can’t catch my breath and that makes me feel claustrophobic and anxious. It’s really stressful … I had a hard time focusing with the mask on.”
Courtney Ann Taylor, a mother from Georgia, went viral after she tore into school board members for requiring children to wear masks despite evidence that children are largely safe from the virus. She said that her six-year-old daughter begged her to tell the school board that she doesn’t want to wear the mask anymore.
Families have been kicked off airplanes over their small children not wearing masks. One Colorado mom told “Fox & Friends” that her family was kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight because the pilot was afraid that her three-year-old son, who has sensory processing disorder, might remove his mask because of his disability. (RELATED: The Very Real Harm Our COVID-19 Policies Are Doing To Our Kids)
Spirit Airlines allegedly kicked a family off a flight because their two-year-old child was not wearing a mask while eating, and a four-year-old child with nonverbal autism was also reportedly forced to get off a Spirit Airlines flight over not wearing a mask.
Forcing small children to wear masks, kicking families off of airplanes, closing our schools, and locking down the country has had dire consequences. Adolescent suicide attempts skyrocketed during the pandemic. Drug use has tragically increased. In heavily locked-down San Francisco, there were more drug overdose deaths than coronavirus deaths in 2020.
One lawsuit filed by parents in the Los Angeles Unified School District alleged that “children have variously become suicidal, isolated, depressed, addicted, clinically obese, and had their future prosperity needlessly imperiled.”
California pediatricians have warned about depression, eating disorders, obesity, lost progress with learning, exposure to predators on the internet, and video game addiction in children forced to stay home and participate in online learning.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, police reported a 210% increase in child sexual abuse during school closures.
But have these COVID measures saved lives? Data suggests that they probably did not.
School reopenings are relatively safe, according to data collected around the world. School reopenings did not contribute to coronavirus outbreaks, and Dr. Anthony Fauci said that “the spread among children and from children is not really very big at all, not like one would have suspected.”
Even if children were to contract the virus, they are very likely going to be fine. When New York Times senior writer David Leonhardt studied CDC data, he found that the rate of COVID hospitalizations in children is “modestly lower” than flu hospitalizations during a typical flu season. For children ages 17 or younger, data shows that the flu is more deadly than coronavirus.
January 6 was certainly nothing to be proud of. Storming the U.S. Capitol because of claims about a stolen election was shameful. But false information about COVID led to horrific consequences for our nation’s children, workers, businesses, and economy – and the positive effects from measures like lockdowns and school closures are disputed at best.