Academics from Duke, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins have concluded that there could be around a million excess deaths over the next two decades as a result of lockdowns.
A NBER working paper titled The Long-Term Impact Of The Covid-19 Unemployment Shock On life Expectancy And Mortality Rates suggests that “For the overall population, the increase in the death rate following the COVID-19 pandemic implies a staggering 0.89 and 1.37 million excess deaths over the next 15 and 20 years, respectively.”
The paper was written by Francesco Bianchi, an economist at Duke University, Giada Bianchi, an MD in the Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School, and Dongho Song, an economist at the Johns Hopkins University’s Carey Business School.
The study into how unemployment affects mortality and life expectancy was centred around 67 years of data about unemployment, life expectancy, and death rates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The paper suggests that deaths caused by the economic and societal decline as a result of lockdowns may “far exceed those immediately related to the acute COVID-19 critical illness.”
“The recession caused by the pandemic can jeopardize population health for the next two decades,” they add.
The paper explains:
These numbers correspond to 0.24% and 0.37% of the projected US population at the 15- and 20-year horizons, respectively. For African- Americans, we estimate 180 thousand and 270 thousand excess deaths over the next 15 and 20 years, respectively. These numbers correspond to 0.34% and 0.49% of the projected African- American population at the 15- and 20-year horizons, respectively. For Whites, we estimate 0.82 and 1.21 million excess deaths over the next 15 and 20 years, respectively. These numbers correspond to 0.30% and 0.44% of the projected White population at the 15- and 20-year horizons, respectively. These numbers are roughly equally split between men and women.
The authors also note that “Based on emerging data, it is likely that the limited access to health care during the lockdown, temporary discontinuation of preventive care interventions, massive loss of employer-provided health insurance coverage, and the lingering concern of the population about seeking medical care out of fear of contracting COVID-19 will impact mortality rate and life expectancy even more severely.”
They add “We interpret these results as a strong indication that policymakers should take into consideration the severe,