by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned Saturday about “blindly” lifting lockdowns and reopening the economy. “Use information to determine action – not emotions, not politics, not what people think or feel,” he said.
It’s Cuomo himself who is playing politics, acting on emotions, and ignoring information.
The fact is that the lockdowns weren’t about stopping the spread of the disease. Their justification was to slow the spread so our health care system wasn’t overwhelmed. And Cuomo should know that even in his home state there’s little evidence that the health care system was even close to being inundated.
Remember, the impetus for the lockdowns was based on dire forecasts that COVID-19 would kill more than a million people – even with draconian measures in place – and that its death rate was on the order of 30 times greater than the flu. Now that we’re getting antibody test results – which are showing magnitudes more had been infected than showed symptoms – the death rate is more like 0.3%.
Yes, that’s worse than the flu and enough to cause temporary, local shortages of health care, but not anywhere near enough to cause a nationwide breakdown of the system. …
… Outside New York – which accounts for more than a third of all deaths nationwide – the cases have been comparatively few and far between. …
… The fact is nobody knows whether the lockdowns made a difference. Johan Giesecke, who’s been described as one of the world’s most senior epidemiologists and is an adviser to the Swedish government, argued early on that the lockdowns weren’t evidence-based.
American Enterprise Institute adjunct fellow Lyman Stone notes that “the scientific and medical case for strict lockdowns is paper-thin.”
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