My findings show that for-profit nursing homes had less restrictive isolation measures during the pandemic than did not-for-profit nursing homes and that the increase in non-COVID deaths caused by more restrictive isolation measures outweighed the decrease in COVID-19 deaths associated with these measures. Thus, I find that for-profit nursing homes had fewer total deaths than not-for-profit nursing homes during the pandemic. Furthermore, decisions over isolation measures were affected by factors unrelated to the health of residents, such as incentives associated with different ownership structures.

This is from Victor Melo, “Understanding Nonprofit and Government Ownership: Evidence from Nursing Homes in the Covid-19 Pandemic,” Mercatus Center, January 25, 2023.

From the start, many of us who were skeptical of, or even opponents of, government lockdowns pointed out that advocates of lockdowns often ignored tradeoffs.

This paper doesn’t address lockdowns per se, but does point out the tradeoffs. Deaths from non-Covid causes matter too.

Interestingly, Melo doesn’t look at the effects of Governors Cuomo (New York), Wolf (Pennsylvania), Whitmer (Michigan), and Murphy (New Jersey) requiring nursing homes to accept people carrying Covid. It’s possible that he didn’t have the data to do so.