Is Rand Paul right saying lockdowns aren't based on any kind of science?


Fact Box

  • As of November 19, there have been 11.9 million coronavirus cases in the United States, with 257,267 reported deaths. 
  • Many countries have issued lockdown over the spikes in coronavirus, including France, Germany, Greece, parts of Italy, and Spain. 
  • On Wednesday, the US reported a new record for covid cases, 170,161. 
  • Because of the nationwide spike, most states are issuing “shelter at home” or “stay at home” recommendations. 
  • Thursday, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, said, [Lockdowns] are completely arbitrary… They’re not based on any kind of science. There is really very little objective science to prove that any of this works.”

Elizabeth (Yes)

Rand Paul is right to contradict a potential proposed nationwide lockdown in response to coronavirus. Covid-19 has wreaked havoc across the world. Initially, as governments tried to fight its advance, lockdown largely seemed the most rational response. Since then, much has been learned about how this virus spreads and who is most afflicted, and the many unintended consequences of early attempts to curtail it.

Paul's recent comments are based on the wiser method of area-specific responses as opposed to nationwide. States, counties, even cities should do their own due diligence regarding risk and appropriate responses. They also need the autonomy to weigh the benefits of potential lockdown against its unintended consequences. In June, a devastating study by the CDC showed how the dramatic increase in mental health issues resulted from lockdowns, including 25% of 18-25-year-old respondents with serious suicidal ideation in the preceding 30 days. There's also evidence that loneliness and isolation are taking a serious toll on those in eldercare homes, in a perverse twist.

School-age children need to attend school. Not doing so affects both their educational, emotional and mental growth. Schools provide much-needed social interaction and the development of social skills. The long-term effect of refusing to create ways to educate students at school safely will reverberate through our society for decades. The Great Barrington Declaration, authored by respected epidemiologists, immunologists, and mathematicians and signed by 13,000+ medical experts since October, argues explicitly against continued lockdowns. Even the WHO doesn't recommend continuous lockdowns. Rand Paul's opinion may not fit the legacy media narrative, but that doesn't make it wrong.

Andrew (No)

Rand Paul, a long-time science denier, is at it again with his claim that lockdowns are not based on any kind of science. Paul, who has previously denied climate change, calling it 'alarmist stuff,' picks and chooses facts to align with his anti-government stance. Ironically, Paul, who hinges all of his hopes on a vaccine, has had a mixed record on vaccines, suggesting that basic vaccinations that keep the public safe should be a matter of personal choice and even suggesting that vaccines can lead to mental disorders. Clearly, Paul, who claims to be a physician but isn't certified to practice medicine by the American Board of Medical Specialties, has a hard time negotiating scientific fact and was, therefore, wrong to dispute lockdowns' effectiveness. 

Lockdowns are designed to suppress the virus, much like an extreme form of social distancing. The problem with social distancing is that many people just don't do it, especially if bars are open and alcohol is involved. Lockdowns take away the risk and temptation for people who might otherwise push the boundaries of social distancing. Further, many lockdowns make gatherings illegal, taking the impetus off of individuals to self-police themselves. Any sized gathering can easily become a super spreader event if even one person is infected. By eliminating public gatherings, lockdowns work to reduce the spread of the virus. This was confirmed in a study from the Imperial College London COVID-19 Response Team, which showed that lockdown measures drastically reduced and delayed the number of infected people and significantly reduced coronavirus spread.

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