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January 27, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Academics from Harvard, Duke, and Johns Hopkins universities have released a paper in which they claim COVID lockdowns will result in a “staggering” one million excess deaths over the next decade-and-a-half due to a spike of health-related issues caused by unemployment.

“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,” stated the authors of the December 2020 working paper titled The Long-Term Impact of the COVID-19 Unemployment Shock on Life Expectancy and Mortality Rates.

The non-peer-reviewed paper, authored by Dongho Song, an assistant professor of finance at Johns Hopkins; Giada Bianchi, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School; and Francesco Bianchi, an economist at Duke University, was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The academics make the case that deaths caused by the lockdowns in the long range may “far exceed” those “immediately related to the acute COVID-19 critical illness.”

Many U.S. states imposed stay-at-home orders and lockdowns about 10 months ago. This resulted in the widespread shutdown of businesses across America. “Unemployment rate rose from 3.8 percent in February 2020 to 14.7 percent in April 2020 with 23.1 million unemployed Americans,” stated the paper.

The paper highlighted the impact that the loss of income has on psychological and physical health. Unemployment is associated with “decreased health and higher mortality.”

“A surge in suicide rates has been clearly observed in unemployed individuals, particularly men. Cardiovascular diseases peak in face of financial stress and preventive ontological care declines, thus contributing to excess mortality,” the paper stated.

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“Overall, our results indicate that, based on the historical evidence, the COVID-19 pandemic might have long-lasting consequences on human health through its impact on economic activity.”

The authors pointed out that the death toll arising indirectly from lockdowns may even be higher due to people not being able to access health care.

“(B)ased 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 to fear of contracting COVID-19 will impact mortality rate and life expectancy even more severely.”

The authors called on government authorities to take into account their findings when enacting policy to curb the spread of coronavirus.

“We interpret these results as a strong indication that policymakers should take into consideration the severe, long-run implications of such a large economic recession on people’s lives when deliberating on COVID-19 recovery and containment measures. Without any doubt, lockdowns save lives, but they also contribute to the decline in real activity that can have severe consequences on health,” they wrote.

“Based on our findings, large, sustained and swift government maneuvers to support the currently unemployed labor force and to abate unemployment will be as equally important as the massive efforts focused on limiting and eventually eradicating transmission of SARS-CoV-2 with effective vaccination strategies that are finally into place,” they concluded.

This content was originally published here.