On August 23, in an interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Fox’s Neil Cavuto asked if the school shutdowns had “forever damaged” kids. Fauci answered, “I don’t think it’s forever irreparably damaged anyone.”

If only that were true. But a large amount of accumulated evidence contradicts Fauci’s rosy claim. Moreover, not only did the school shutdowns damage millions of children, even worse, those shutdowns will shorten their lives. Keeping schools open would have saved lives. School closings caused losses in learning, which will lead to long-term losses in income, which, in turn, will lead to lost and shortened lives.

This is from David R. Henderson and Ryan Sullivan, “Contra Fauci, School Closings Will Shorten Lives,” AIER, September 5, 2022.

Co-author Ryan is the father of two young kids whom he loves very much. That motivates him a lot to write these things.


Other estimates put the shortening of lives caused by the school shutdowns at much higher levels. A paper by Dimitri A. Christakis, Wil Van Cleve, and Frederick J. Zimmerman published in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimated 13.8 million years of life were lost due to the school closures. This number was estimated from a standard analytical model that examined the association between school closures and reduced educational attainment and the association between reduced educational attainment and life expectancy. It was based on data from the CDC, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Census Bureau. Dividing 13.8 million years of life lost by a normal life expectancy of 78 years in the U.S. indicates that the school shutdowns were responsible for the equivalent of about 177,000 deaths.

Economists often use the term “invisible graveyard” to refer to deaths such as these. The idea is that these deaths are not yet identified, but they will take place in the future. That’s a tragic outcome regardless of whether we see them in the obituaries.

Read the whole thing.