After months of extreme lockdown measures, business closures and overall restrictions on life as we knew it, one doctor is speaking out.
Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, told podcast host Megyn Kelly that lockdowns ultimately failed to address the concerns and dangers the virus poses to certain communities.
“I’ve come to think of it as trickle-down epidemiology,” Bhattacharya said on the Megyn Kelly Show. “We’ve used the lockdowns to protect the rich, whereas we essentially expose the – like in California for instance, it’s the poor areas that have had the high death rates from COVID. The lockdowns haven’t protected people living in places where there’s high poverty,” he added.
“Minority populations, especially Hispanics, have been hard hit. Fifty percent of people who have had COVID deaths are Hispanic in California.”
Battacharya called the lockdowns an “unfocused overreaction” and urged that the consequent collateral damage is “absolutely devastating.”
“The lockdowns have been an enormous and ineffective overreaction, not actually protecting the population from COVID. While at the same time, the collateral damage is absolutely devastating,” he said.
“It’s an unfocused overreaction…We just should have focused on the population we knew to be at risk, protected them, thought of creative ways to protect them from the beginning of the epidemic…And for the rest of the population, the lockdown, we should have been thinking about the collateral damage from the very beginning.”
Perhaps the most significant collateral damage is the fact that teachers unions are preventing students from returning to school. Kelly urged that schools must reopen, as science confirms.
“Their standard of safety knows no bounds. The truth is no amount of safety measures is going to get these teachers back in the classroom…The private schools go back, and the kids who were in the public school system, which doesn’t have as much money behind them, they don’t get to go,” Kelly said. “It’s unfair…The schools have to reopen. It’s safe, it’s been proven safe.”
It is no secret that coronavirus lockdowns are hitting K-12 students particularly hard. Not only are they being robbed of an in-person education, they are missing out on critical emotional development and social interaction.
A CDC study found that across the country between April and October of 2020, the percentage of emergency room mental health visits increased by 24 percent for those between the ages of five and 11, and 31 percent for those between the ages of 12 and 17, Business Insider reports.