By Dr. Ron Paul
Six hundred physicians recently signed a letter to President Donald Trump calling for an end to the coronavirus lockdowns. The physicians wrote that, far from protecting public health, the lockdowns are causing “exponentially growing negative health consequences” for millions.
Since the lockdowns began, there have been increases in alcoholism, drug abuse, and domestic violence. There has also been an increase in calls to suicide hotlines. This is a direct result of the mass unemployment and limitations on people’s activities resulting from the lockdowns. As long as millions of Americans are sitting at home wondering how to survive until the government says they can go back to work, there will be more substance abuse and suicides.
At the start of the lockdowns, Americans were told to stay away from emergency rooms and doctors’ offices to avoid exposure to coronavirus. This has led Americans to neglect their health. U.S. hospitals have seen a 40% decline in the number of patients admitted for severe heart attacks since March. Does anyone believe that the coronavirus panic just happened to coincide with a miraculous decline in heart attacks? Physicians have also become unable to help many stroke victims who bypassed medical assistance.
Early in the coronavirus panic, hospitals were told to cancel elective procedures to ensure space was available. But hospitals were not overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.
According to the American Hospital Association, this has cost healthcare providers tens of billions of dollars in lost revenue. Inner-city and rural hospitals that already operate on slim profit margins are especially hard hit by the financial impact of the lockdowns. These hospitals may have to cut back on services. Some may even close. This will make it even more difficult for rural and inner-city Americans to obtain quality, affordable healthcare.
Postponing needed surgeries will have serious consequences. Many patients whose surgeries have been delayed will find that their once easily treatable conditions now require intensive and expensive care.
Some people are forgoing disease management and checkups that could keep them from developing more serious problems. The coronavirus lockdowns have even caused the canceling of chemotherapy treatments.
According to the physicians’ letter to Trump, the coronavirus lockdowns are preventing 150,000 Americans a month from finding out they have cancer. Skipped routine cancer screenings mean cancer is not detected in an early stage, when it is most easily treated.
The coronavirus lockdowns have upended the lives of Americans to “protect” them from a virus with a 0.2% fatality rate, with the majority of those fatalities occurring in nursing homes and among people with chronic health conditions.* Instead, the rational response would be to protect the vulnerable, and let the rest of the people live their lives. But politicians and government-anointed “experts” do not respond rationally to a “crisis,” especially when a panicked reaction can increase their power and prestige.
The lesson of the unnecessary lockdowns is clear: Government bureaucrats and politicians, even the media’s beloved Dr. Fauci, must be stripped of the ability to infringe on our liberty and prosperity.
Until adequate and affordable testing comes online in the U.S., it is impossible to know the exact mortality rate for young and old alike or for the healthy or the sick. For the elderly, the survival rate is estimated currently to be 75% to 80% for anyone above the age of 70 years.
Ron Paul, a former U.S. representative from Texas and medical doctor, continues to write his weekly column for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, online at www.ronpaulinstitute.org.