by Benjamin Powell
The American Institute for Economic Research
European countries are imposing harsh lockdowns again as a second wave of COVID-19 spreads throughout Europe. It was a mistake last spring, when most U.S. states followed Europe’s lead in imposing lockdowns during the first wave, and it would be an even bigger mistake to copy the failed lockdowns again today.
I was stunned when Italy imposed regional lockdowns in late February and a national lockdown on March 9. In short order, most other European countries did the same. Then, influenced by the sensational predictions from Neil Ferguson’s team at Imperial College London that more than 500,000 Britons and 2.2 million Americans might die from the virus, the United Kingdom and most of the United States followed suit.