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Even a Military-Enforced Quarantine Can’t Stop the Virus, Study Reveals

Jeffrey A. Tucker
November 16th, 2020
The American Institute for Economic Research
Comments (9)

This article was originally published by Jeffrey A. Tucker at The American Institute for Economic Research. 

The New England Journal of Medicine has published a study that goes to the heart of the issue of lockdowns. The question has always been whether and to what extent a lockdown, however extreme, is capable of suppressing the virus.

If so, you can make an argument that at least lockdowns, despite their astronomical social and economic costs, achieve something. If not, nations of the world have embarked on a catastrophic experiment that has destroyed billions of lives, and all expectation of human rights and liberties, with no payoff at all.

AIER has long highlighted studies that show no gain in virus management from lockdowns. Even as early as April, a major data scientist said that this virus becomes endemic in 70 days after the first round of infection, regardless of policies. The largest global study of lockdowns compared with deaths as published in The Lancet found no association between coercive stringencies and deaths per million.

To test further might seem superfluous but, for whatever reason, governments all over the world, including in the US, still are under the impression that they can affect viral transmissions through a range of “nonpharmaceutical interventions” (NPIs) like mandatory masks, forced human separation, stay-at-home orders, bans of gatherings, business, and school closures, and extreme travel restrictions. Nothing like this has been tried on this scale in the whole of human history, so one might suppose that policymakers have some basis for their confidence that these measures accomplish something.

A study conducted by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in cooperation with the Naval Medical Research Center sought to test lockdowns along with testing and isolation. In May, 3,143 new recruits to the Marines were given the option to participate in a study of frequent testing under extreme quarantine. The study was called CHARM, which stands for COVID-19 Health Action Response for Marines. Of the recruits asked, a total of 1,848 young people agreed to be guinea pigs in this experiment which involved “which included weekly qPCR testing and blood sampling for IgG antibody assessment.” In addition, the CHARM study volunteers who did test positively “on the day of enrollment (day 0) or on day 7 or day 14 were separated from their roommates and were placed in isolation.”

What did the recruits have to do? The study explains, and, as you will see, they faced an even more strict regime that has existed in civilian life in most places. All recruits, even those not in the CHARM group, did the following.

All recruits wore double-layered cloth masks at all times indoors and outdoors, except when sleeping or eating; practiced social distancing of at least 6 feet; were not allowed to leave campus; did not have access to personal electronics and other items that might contribute to surface transmission; and routinely washed their hands. They slept in double-occupancy rooms with sinks, ate in shared dining facilities, and used shared bathrooms. All recruits cleaned their rooms daily, sanitized bathrooms after each use with bleach wipes, and ate preplated meals in a dining hall that was cleaned with bleach after each platoon had eaten. Most instruction and exercises were conducted outdoors. All movement of recruits was supervised, and unidirectional flow was implemented, with designated building entry and exit points to minimize contact among persons. All recruits, regardless of participation in the study, underwent daily temperature and symptom screening. Six instructors who were assigned to each platoon worked in 8-hour shifts and enforced the quarantine measures. If recruits reported any signs or symptoms consistent with Covid-19, they reported to sick call, underwent rapid qPCR testing for SARS-CoV-2, and were placed in isolation pending the results of testing.

Instructors were also restricted to campus, were required to wear masks, were provided with preplated meals, and underwent daily temperature checks and symptom screening. Instructors who were assigned to a platoon in which a positive case was diagnosed underwent rapid qPCR testing for SARS-CoV-2, and, if the result was positive, the instructor was removed from duty. Recruits and instructors were prohibited from interacting with campus support staff, such as janitorial and food-service personnel. After each class completed quarantine, a deep bleach cleaning of surfaces was performed in the bathrooms, showers, bedrooms, and hallways in the dormitories, and the dormitory remained unoccupied for at least 72 hours before reoccupancy.

The reputation of Marine basic training is that it is tough going but this really does take it to another level. Also, this is an environment where those in charge do not mess around. There was surely close to 100% compliance, as compared with, for example, a typical college campus.

What were the results? The virus still spread, though 90% of those who tested positive were without symptoms. Incredibly, 2% of the CHARM recruits still contracted the virus, even if all but one remained asymptomatic. “Our study showed that in a group of predominantly young male military recruits, approximately 2% became positive for SARS-CoV-2, as determined by qPCR assay, during a 2-week, strictly enforced quarantine.”

And how does this compare to the control group that was not tested and not isolated in the case of a positive case?

Have a look at this chart from the study:

Which is to say that the nonparticipants actually contracted the virus at a slightly lower rate than those who were under an extreme regime. Conversely, extreme enforcement of NPIs plus more frequent testing and isolation was associated with a greater degree of infection.

I’m grateful to Don Wolt for drawing my attention to this study, which, so far as I know, has received very little attention from any media source at all, despite having been published in the New England Journal of Medicine on November 11.

Here are four actual media headlines about the study that miss the point entirely:

  • CNN: “Many military Covid-19 cases are asymptomatic, studies show”
  • SciTech Daily: “Asymptomatic COVID-19 Transmission Revealed Through Study of 2,000 Marine Recruits”
  • ABC: “Broad study of Marine recruits shows limits of COVID-19 symptom screening”
  • US Navy: “Navy/Marine Corps COVID-19 Study Findings Published in New England Journal of Medicine”

No national news story that I have found highlighted the most important finding of all: extreme quarantine plus frequent testing and isolation among military recruits did nothing to stop the virus.

The study is important because of the social structure of control here. It’s one thing to observe no effects from national lockdowns. There are countless variables here that could be invoked as cautionary notes: demographics, population density, preexisting immunities, degree of compliance, and so on. But with this Marine study, you have a near homogeneous group based on age, health, and densities of living. And even here, you see confirmed what so many other studies have shown: lockdowns are pointlessly destructive. They do not manage the disease. They crush human liberty and produce astonishing costs, such as 5.53 million years of lost life from the closing of schools alone.

The lockdowners keep telling us to pay attention to the science. That’s what we are doing. When the results contradict their pro-compulsion narrative, they pretend that the studies do not exist and barrel ahead with their scary plans to disable all social functioning in the presence of a virus. Lockdowns are not science. They never have been. They are an experiment in social/political top-down management that is without precedent in cost to life and liberty.

[The earliest version of this article misstated the conditions of the control group. They were equally locked down with those who participated in the study. The difference between the two concerned testing frequency and the isolation response. This does not affect this article’s conclusion; indeed it strengthens it: even under extreme measures, the virus spread, and more so with the extra measure intended to control the virus. Nearly all infections were without symptoms.]

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    Author: Jeffrey A. Tucker
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    Date: November 16th, 2020
    Website: https://www.aier.org/

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    1. Bill says:

      Don’t support the lockdown. In fact, do what I did, I just ignored it. Lots of stores around here where I live post the obligatory signs on the entrance doors MANDATORY MASKS REQUIRED INSIDE, but I have hardly ever put one on, and neither do many others. No one even seemed to care, not even the people who work in the stores.
      I never became ill, don’t know anybody who did. This is what I’m talking about, you don’t need to fight them, just ignore them. Consistent mass disobedience is the most effective tool for bringing about change. Citizens have been inculcated to obey the State for decades, to not question authority. This is wrong, and stupid. The 71+ million people who voted for Trump need to realize this. Mass disobedience against illegal and illegitimate use of power by the State is actually patriotic. We not only have the right, but the duty to disobey when the State and its gov’t issue un-Constitutional edicts and decrees. It so easy, the leftist radicals already learned this lesson a long time ago, they learned it works.
      I saw a bumper sticker, it said – “I do not cooperate with the authorities, I will not offer obedience to Gov’t, I owe no loyalty to the State.” Let’s make things unpleasant for the Dems. It’s time to put up or shut up.

    2. Bill says:

      It’s not enough that we must resist the body politic, but also those that support them. Specifically, those in the private sector associated with professional sports, Hollywood based entertainment, professional musicians, etc., BOYCOTT THEM. For the most part, they are overwhelmingly leftists, and generally have contempt and even hatred for the middle class, where by far are the majority of those who pay for the entertainment. Starve this multi-headed beast too. By depriving them of your viewership and participation you deprive them of your money they use to support radical causes. Many have even vocalize public support for the very entities that work against our interests. They won’t want to admit it, but these people are nothing without us. Save you money for yourself and your family.

      • Old Sailor says:

        I’ve been boycotting them for years! No movies, no professional sports. They would change their tune real fast if everyone would join the boycott. Hit them where it hurts, right in the wallet. It would be a shame if they had to sell all their $35 million mansions and live in a $200k house with a mortgage like the rest of us.

    3. Andrea.Iravani. says:

      This article appeared on Global Research by a German psychologist who does raise valid points regarding individualism, autonomy, freedom of thought, common sense, government, The Great Reset with a Mind Control Agenda for domination by the psychopath class. 

      While I respect people’s choices and rights to choose to be atheists or agnostic if that is their belief, I cannot help but be quite alarmed at the concept of the author that faith in God and the acknowledgement of the devil is what the authpr considers to be magical thinking, while overlooking the fact that the fact that the earth, the universerse, and any of us are even alive is an extroirinarily magical series of coincidences that defy all logic and rational explanation, and that there are even physical laws such as gravity and chemistry guiding the universe, earth, and life are without question magical. The fact that anything or anyone even exists is magical. So does the author believe that he, the earth, and the universe do not exist, because to acknowledge that they do entails a very high level of magical thinking of accepting something that has absolutely no logical or rational explantion at all. The author also states that God does not exist since children do not have innate knowledge of God, but civilizations throughout history have traditionally believed in God, or Gods and Godesses. This does not happen in most cases until after the age of reason when people begin questioning things like this.  Children are not born knowing math either, but that does not mean that math is a false belief that is a sign of a delusional individual. 

      Andrea Iravani

      https://www.globalresearch.ca/dispel-the-magical-belief-in-authority-confront-the-greed-for-power-and-violence-strengthen-community-feelings/5729560

    4. Andrea.Iravani. says:

      This article appeared on Global Research by a German psychologist who does raise valid points regarding individualism, autonomy, freedom of thought, common sense, government, The Great Reset with a Mind Control Agenda for domination by the psychopath class. 

      While I respect people’s choices and rights to choose to be atheists or agnostic if that is their belief, I cannot help but be quite alarmed at the concept of the author that faith in God and the acknowledgement of the devil is what the author considers to be magical thinking, while overlooking the fact that the fact that the earth, the universe and any of us are even alive is an extroirinarily magical series of coincidences that defy all logic and rational explanation, and that there are even physical laws such as gravity and chemistry guiding the universe, earth, and life are without question magical. The fact that anything or anyone even exists is magical. So does the author believe that he, the earth, and the universe do not exist, because to acknowledge that they do entails a very high level of magical thinking of accepting something that has absolutely no logical or rational explantion at all. The author also states that God does not exist since children do not have innate knowledge of God, but civilizations throughout history have traditionally believed in God, or Gods and Godesses. This does not happen in most cases until after the age of reason when people begin questioning things like this.  Children are not born knowing math either, but that does not mean that math is a false belief that is a sign of a delusional individual. 

      Andrea Iravani

      https://www.globalresearch.ca/dispel-the-magical-belief-in-authority-confront-the-greed-for-power-and-violence-strengthen-community-feelings/5729560

      I see that satan’s agents are still carrying out the will of the devil by hacking my posts. They always say that the devil doesn’t bother you if you are sinning. Misery loves company. They want everyone to join them in their hedonistic heathenistic life styles. It is all that they are capable of. Stealing and destruction. Cursed by God with infinite stupidity for serving the devil.

      • I say AMEN brother says:

        The lord jesus christ tells us of what’s happening right now in THE DAYS of SORROWS ,Matthew’s Chapt:24,Mark Chapt:13,and Luke Chapt:21,See all these things have to happen before the lord jesus christ returns ,in the book of Jude these people are called scoffers and mockers and they are demonized have you ever took the first four letters of Democrats and added the letter N to see what it spells,something to think about isn’t it?

    5. when the $119.3 billion funding of the New England Journal of Medicine ‘s readership becomes threatened …we start hearing a different tune.

      yodee hoe cotton-eyed joe

    6. cranerigger says:

      As a former Marine, as with all our military personnel, we recognize that many of our individual rights are placed on hold during our military service. We become participants in the UNIFORM CODE OF MILITARY JUSTICE. When our service is successfully completed, we return to a civilian life with natural rights including those spelled out in the BILL OF RIGHTS. Thanks to those brave Americans that participated in this study to help all of us understand lockdowns. Semper Fidelis.

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