us states covid deaths
© Worldometers
There were 11 states in the US which refused to lock down this autumn and winter. The doomsday models churned out by SAGE, Imperial College and others predicted that any country, region or state that declined to lockdown would face overrun hospitals and massive death tolls compared to those that did lock down, as the virus, no longer controlled by the restrictions, "ripped" through the population.

Perhaps the authors of such models would care to explain this then. The chart above shows the Covid death toll per million people up to February 1st of the no-lockdown American states in red. If the doomsday models are correct, why don't the bars for those states clearly stand out from the bars of the lockdown states in blue? Furthermore, why are the top five states for Covid deaths lockdown states?

In fact, the lockdown states on average had 5.6% more deaths than the no-lockdown states (the orange bars). If anything this suggests lockdown made things worse. At any rate there's no sign it helped.

Positive cases are now sharply in decline in the US, and no less sharply in no-lockdown states than in lockdown states. This means there is no reason to think the gap between lockdown and no-lockdown states will be closed this winter.

Isn't it time the lockdown proponents put their models to the test in the real world? Time to put up or shut up. Either their models can reproduce the outcomes of real states which don't lock down, or they can't and need to be fundamentally revised. No more hiding behind counterfactuals of "it would have happened but for lockdown". The facts are here and waiting to be explained.

Stop Press: Alexander Fiske-Harrison in the Telegraph points out that "the European countries with the strictest lockdowns have come out no better".

Update: An earlier version of this story stated that no-lockdown states had 8% more Covid deaths than lockdown states. This was due to a miscalculation that has now been corrected.