Study: 111,000 Children Will Starve to Death Because of Economic Shutdowns


The cure is becoming worse than the disease.

While public health organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have applauded the many restrictive COVID-19 lockdowns that are preventing the disease’s spread, they have failed to point out the tremendous cost that such policies carry with them.

A new report from the United Nations published in the medical journal The Lancet estimates well over 100,000 children will starve to death in 2020 due to the economic fallout from the economic restrictions of the U.S. and other Western nations.

The study, published Monday, estimates anywhere from 111,193 to 178,510 children younger than 5 years old will die from starvation this year thanks to the lockdowns.

“Estimates from the International Food Policy Research Institute suggest that because of the pandemic an additional 140 million people will be thrown into living in extreme poverty on less than US $1.90 per day in 2020. According to the World Food Programme, the number of people in [low-income and middle-income countries] facing acute food insecurity will nearly double to 265 million by the end of 2020,” the study reported.

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“We estimate there would be 128,605 (ranging from 111,193 to 178,510 for best and worst case scenarios) additional deaths in children younger than 5 years during 2020, with an estimated 52% of these deaths in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Starvation is far from the only problem impoverished children are facing in 2020.

The Associated Press has reported that 550,000 additional children each month are suffering from wasting, which is a severe form of malnutrition with symptoms such as “spindly limbs and distended bellies.”

Economic experts have warned for quite some time that the costs of economic shutdowns could far outweigh the benefits of saving a few lives from COVID-19-caused deaths.

Should the economic shutdowns be lifted?

Back in April, World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley warned that a looming “hunger pandemic” caused by the fallout of economic shutdowns would likely bring “the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.”

Beasley’s organization predicted that an additional 130 million people could be on the brink of starvation by the end of 2020 because of the world’s response to the virus.

The agency also reported that 300,000 people could die due to starvation every day over a three month period, meaning shutdown-related deaths would far surpass the novel coronavirus’ total death count.

Charles N. Steel, an associate professor and Herman A. And Suzanne S. Dettwiler Chair in Economics at Hillsdale College, spoke to The Western Journal in May about the many dire costs a shutdown would bring about, many of which have not been acknowledged by pro-shutdown proponents.

“A month is usually a serious problem, and that worsens with multiple months. The COVID lock downs are creating serious problems. They are causing high rates of unemployment ad threaten high rates of business failures. I think that if the lock downs don’t end soon, they’ll cause far more damage and death than the virus,” Steel told The Western Journal in an email.

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“It’s well known that an increase in the unemployment rate leads to an increase in mortality. With unemployment comes rising rates of death from heart attacks, stroke, suicide, and drug and alcohol abuse. Other contributing problems include increased rates of depression, divorce, domestic violence, and other crime. Several estimates have suggested that unemployment from the U.S. lock downs could will result in over 70,000 excess deaths from suicide and drug abuse alone.”

Between starvation, suicide and drug overdoses, among other causes of death, a growing mountain of evidence is suggesting that shutdowns are incredibly dangerous.

While many believe that limiting COVID-19 deaths and infections should be done by any means necessary, the evidence suggests that the restrictive measures countries such as the U.S. are taking will result in more harm than the disease itself.

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Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University
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