The major conclusions drawn from this working paper are that lockdowns did very little if anything to help mitigate Covid-19 deaths, especially when you account for differences in demographics that give some states an advantage, and some a disadvantage.
Covid-19 has been no different than any other disaster. Politicians made the most out of the situation based on the incentives at hand. Systems that incentivize public officials to do the right thing through sound checks and balances saw the least abuse of power. Conversely, those that afforded more discretion to executive figures saw more irresponsible and disruptive behavior.