Researchers examined the efficacy of citywide COVID vaccine mandates implemented across the United States in 2021 and found — meh.
“These mandates imposed severe restrictions on the lives of many citizens and business owners,” the researchers said in a study conducted by George Mason University’s Mercatus Center. “Yet, we find no evidence that the mandates were effective in their intended goals of reducing COVID-19 cases and deaths.”
The researchers evaluated New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
“We find no evidence that the announcement or implementation of indoor vaccine mandates in the cities listed had any significant effect on vaccine uptake, COVID-19 cases, or COVID-19 deaths, and this is largely consistent for all US cities that implemented the mandate,” the researchers wrote.
When COVID first appeared on our shores in early winter 2020, leaders of big cities — almost invariably Democrats — enacted major lockdowns, forcing businesses to close and shutting down entertainment and sports venues. They also ordered everyone to wear masks. When vaccines were created, those same leaders issued mandates requiring millions to take them.
For instance, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in August 2021 that science shows mask and vaccine mandates would slow the spread.
“The updated policies we announced today are critical to slowing the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, which is more dangerous and transmissible than earlier forms of the virus,” Kenney said in a statement. “The science is clear: these measures will protect Philadelphians and save lives.”
But researchers found zero evidence to back that up.
“Our findings put into question the efficacy of city-level vaccine mandates,” the researchers found. “Indoor vaccine mandates caused large disruptions for many individuals and businesses. New York City, for example, fired 1,430 city workers for failing to comply with its vaccine mandate. A survey found that over 90% of NYC restaurants reported having customer-related challenges, such as losing customers who objected to the mandate, and 75% having staff-related challenges. Those are just a small fraction of the disruptions caused by the mandates.”
“Most supporters of the mandates claim that the associated increase in vaccination rates, and its implied reduction in the spread of COVID-19, outweigh the cost of the disruptions. However, we find that the effects of the mandates on their intended outcomes are not statistically noticeable in any of the cities they were implemented in all empirical strategies used,” the report said.
Vitor Melo, a postdoctoral fellow at the Mercatus Center, said the cities’ “intended outcomes were to raise vaccination rates, for people to get more vaccines; and consequently, the expectation was that COVID cases and deaths would go down.” But he added that compared to cities that didn’t implement mandates, the study found “there’s not much to show for it,” WTOP reported.
The final report added one final “key takeaway.”
“Public health restrictions and regulations were widespread during the COVID-19 pandemic, and so understanding their consequences is essential. The authors find that city-level mandates had smaller effect on vaccine uptake (and consequently on COVID-19 cases and deaths) than nationwide mandates — and thus failed to achieve their intended objectives,” said the report.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.