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(WND News Center) — After repeatedly downplaying the impact on children of the COVID-19 lockdowns, Dr. Anthony Fauci justified the apparent mitigation measures at an event Wednesday while acknowledging they were “draconian.”

“Sometimes when you do draconian things, it has collateral negative consequences. Just like when you shut things down, even temporarily, it does have deleterious consequences on the economy, on the school children, you know that,” Fauci said at the event, hosted by The Atlantic magazine.

In August, Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief health adviser, dismissed concerns about the impact of the lockdowns and school closures on children in an interview on Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto.

“In retrospect doctor, do you regret that it went too far?” Cavuto asked regarding the lockdowns. “Particularly for kids who couldn’t go to school except remotely, that it’s forever damaged them?”

“Well, I don’t think it’s forever irreparably damaged anyone,” Fauci replied.

He charged that “people selectively… pull things out about me.”

Earlier this month, the Department of Education released a report concluding that the school shutdowns and the shift to virtual learning led to “the largest average score decline in reading since 1990, and the first ever score decline in mathematics” among the nation’s schoolchildren.

Last November, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association declared that the pandemic-related decline in child and adolescent mental health had become a national emergency.

See Fauci’s remarks in August:


At The Atlantic Festival convention Wednesday, Fauci went on to say “you have to make a balance, when… the only way to stop something cold in its tracks is to shut things down.”

Fauci prefaced his response to the question by The Atlantic editor Ross Andersen about the lockdowns by blaming the “divisiveness” of “social media” for turning his guidance into controversy.

“When you have a divisiveness in society where every time you say something, you have X number of people with social media looking to attack it, that adds to the understandable confusion when you’re dealing with an evolving outbreak,” Fauci said.

He argued the “draconian” lockdowns, masking, and vaccination were all necessary because hospitals were being “overrun.”

However, studies have found the lockdowns had no effect on virus spread or deaths while causing a massive, 26 percent spike in excess deaths among working-age adults. Researchers indicate that this translates into at least 170,000, but probably closer to 200,000 non-COVID excess deaths in the U.S. through 2020 and 2021, with 2022 still having to be accounted for.

A former adviser to the World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has compiled a list of more than 400 studies showing that COVID-19 lockdowns, shelter-in-place policies, school closures, masks, and mask mandates have failed to curb virus transmission or reduce deaths.

An analysis of official data by JPMorgan Chase, as WND reported, found the lockdowns that have “destroyed millions of livelihoods” worldwide have had no impact on the spread of COVID-19.

Marko Kolanovic, a JPMorgan Chase quantitative strategist, said governments were scared into imposing the lockdowns by “flawed scientific papers.”

“Unlike rigorous testing of new drugs, lockdowns were administered with little consideration that they might not only cause economic devastation but potentially more deaths than COVID-19 itself,” he said.

A meta-analysis by Johns Hopkins University released in February concluded the costs of the lockdowns outweighed any benefits.

As WND reported in December, the CDC warned that measles has become a growing global threat because of disruptions to childhood vaccinations caused by the lockdowns.

Reprinted with permission from the WND News Center.