The COVID-19 data makes clear that states that tried to remain open and functioning as the virus spread has fared no worse than those that went utterly paralytic. In many cases, they actually did better.
Yet the vocal and influential ”follow the science” crowd who promoted mask mandates, lockdowns, school closures, and other measures from the halls of Congress to local city halls has gotten plenty wrong – yet without paying a price.
Three weeks ago, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott announced that his state would be 100 percent open, and that he was ending the mask mandate.
Naysayers predictably predicted doomsday was evident.
It has not happened.
Abbott so far – admittedly things could still change – has defied the doomsayer.
Among them were President Joe Biden who accused Abbott of “Neanderthal thinking,” and Dr. Anthony Fauci, who said the move was “inexplicable.”
Dr. Irwin Redlener, head of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University, told the “Doctor Radio” show on Sirius XM: “If we don’t have consistent policies around mass business openings, school openings, that means that there’s going to be hideaways for the virus to start replicating even quicker, and that will spread to other communities that are being more responsible. So, it’s not only reckless for the citizens of Texas; it’s reckless for all of us. So that will retard our ability to get this pandemic under control in America.”
Dr. Lauren Ancel Meyers, director of the University of Texas COVID-19 Modeling Consortium, similarly chimed in, telling the Associated Press, “The fact that things are headed in the right direction doesn’t mean we have succeeded in eradicating the risk. The AP noted that Meyers said the severe winter freeze that had just hit Texas, by forcing people into tight quarters for an extended time, “could amplify transmission of the virus in the weeks ahead,” and that masks remained “one of the most effective strategies to curb the spread.”
The AP also pointed out that at the time Abbott acted, “Texas has seen the number of cases and deaths plunge. Hospitalizations are at the lowest levels since October, and the seven-day rolling average of positive tests has dropped to about 7,600 cases, down from more than 10,000 in mid-February.”
The mask mandate formally ended on March 10, and on Thursday, Madeline Osburn of The Federalist reported, “Two weeks later, the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have decreased by 21 percent. The rolling average number of daily new cases decreased by almost 2,199 over the past two weeks, a 36 percent drop.”
According to Worldometers’ COVID tracker, the number of new infections in Texas has plunged by almost half in the past two weeks, to a level largely unseen since last September. And the seven-day rolling average for deaths this week reached the lowest point in more than a month.
“Correlation is still not causation,” Osburn cautiously noted.
But, she concluded, “This is not to argue masks do or don’t work, but rather it’s to reiterate that mask tyrants and politicians drunk on emergency powers do not care about science or data, or even flat curves and ICU beds. Their arguments are based on fear and control.”
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