“The simple fact is our governments got it wrong. Contemporary warnings issued by Dr Bhattacharya, and his colleagues should have been heeded and the pain and suffering of our failed COVID response avoided,” said Scott Hargreaves, Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.
At today’s launch of the IPA’s two ground-breaking research papers on the impact of Australia’s failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Professor Dr Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University welcomed the research.
“Australian states, like Victoria, were not alone in adopting lockdowns, but now they should be honest in accounting and acknowledging the harm done,” said Professor Bhattacharya.
“Lockdowns closed schools and playgrounds, shuttered businesses, and barred international travel. They forced elderly people to die alone and prevented families from gathering to honour their elders’ passing. Lockdowns cancelled screening and even treatment for cancer patients and made sure that diabetics skipped their check-ups and regular exercise.”
Introduced by former Prime Minister and IPA Distinguished Fellow Tony Abbott, Professor Bhattacharya is currently in Australia to discuss his work with Collateral Global.
Collateral Global is an international organisation dedicated to researching the effectiveness and impacts of Mandated Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions taken by governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scott Hargreaves said that while we cannot live in the past, we must learn the lessons of Australia’s failed COVID response.
“IPA research has confirmed that the lockdowns and restrictions have had a far greater impact on life and our economy than the pandemic itself,” said Mr Hargreaves.
“We cannot live in the past forever and must rebuild. However, we must also learn the hard lessons from Australia’s failed COVID response to ensure these gross errors never happen again. We deserve to know what went on during the pandemic and only a joint Royal Commission including the Commonwealth and State Government can achieve this.”