by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
[T]he Centers for Disease Control has long predicted that coronavirus cases would increase as the country reopened, for the simple reason that the lockdowns were never intended to stop the spread of the disease, only to slow it down. Remember? Flatten the curve?
The point of the lockdown was to give the country the time to ramp up testing, look for treatments, and increase medical supplies. By curbing the spread, health officials could more readily identify hotspots and conduct contact tracing, and the health care system could cope with any increase in demand. Which, as Kudlow points out, is exactly what’s happening now.
What’s more, the increase in coronavirus cases matters only if they are going up faster than expected, and whether this is resulting in a second wave of deaths.
Neither of those appears to be true.
Take Georgia, for example. Gov. Brian Kemp took plenty of heat for reopening the state starting in late April. He was gambling with people’s lives, we were told. …
… In fact, the number of daily deaths in the state had already peaked on April 16 at 57 and has been steadily declining ever since. The state recorded a total of 37 deaths all last week, and zero on Sunday.
The same trend is happening nationally, which has seen the growth rate in the total number of cases steadily outstrip the growth in COVID-19 deaths for many weeks now.
So far this month, in fact, the number of new cases on June 21 was 16% higher than on June 1, but the daily number of deaths was 63% lower.
Still, won’t the current spike in cases lead to a subsequent spike in deaths?
That’s unlikely. … [D]eath rates are higher at the start of an outbreak for the simple reason that the disease claims the low-hanging fruit first.