When Texas governor Greg Abbott announced that he would lift all coronavirus restrictions in the state, he received the predictable backlash. California governor Gavin Newsom declared the move “absolutely reckless” while Pres. Joe Biden called it “Neanderthal thinking”. Meanwhile, Vanity Fair published an article with the title “Republican Governors Celebrate COVID Anniversary with Bold Plan to Kill Another 500,000 Americans”. Despite the widespread criticism, several states followed suit. One month after Texas’ controversial decision, how has the state fared? Ryan McMaken, in this April 21, 2021 article for The Mises Institute reports.
McMaken looks at the case numbers in Texas and compares them with Michigan and other states where partial lockdowns continue. He found that far from the devastating predictions issued by government leaders, Texas is actually doing well. As of April 20, Texas’ 7-day moving average for new cases is at 103 per million, while Michigan, where lockdowns and mask mandates are still being imposed, is at 790 per million. That’s eight times worse compared to Texas.
The author also says that the lockdowns-save-lives narrative is falling apart as recent data is showing that case growth in lockdown states are all much higher than Texas or Florida. In the case of Florida, McMaken says, the overall outbreak is “far less deadly than those in the states that embraced lockdowns long and hard”. New Jersey, where lockdowns were long and hard, had the worst covid death rate in the whole of US, and its case growth is nearly four times that of Texas.
McMaken states that even Dr. Anthony Fauci is grasping at straws in explaining the Texas experience. In a recent testimony to the Congress, Dr. Fauci said that what really matters is compliance to health protocols, rather than the existence of mask mandates and lockdown mandates. He adds that maybe people were voluntarily wearing masks and staying at home even without state-wide policies.
Editor’s Note: Lockdowns and mask mandates do not work. The World Health Organization knew this in 2019, when it published its report on non-pharmaceutical interventions [see Will the real WHO please stand up?]. We knew this as early as May 2020 [see the various studies about lockdowns here: Is a lockdown necessary?]. We know this now, thanks to the numerous data coming from Sweden, Belarus, and other countries that never imposed hard lockdowns the way the US and UK did, as well as the results in US states that lifted their lockdowns early. The refusal to lift lockdowns and mask mandates was never about the science.
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