by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
Image source: Screen shot from the recent WRAL report on people celebrating Independence Day in Fayetteville.
Over the past few weeks, the NC Threat-Free Index has included a disclaimer alerting readers that its numbers reflect what Gov. Roy Cooper refers to as a “State of Emergency.” Such a disclaimer seems necessary given there is such a massive gulf between what those numbers show and what any reasonable person could possibly call an “emergency.”
Cooper’s abuse of language and the Emergency Management Act calls to mind the very reason I started this index last year. As I wrote,
Normally, government officials and media consider it their public duty to calm people and tamp down unhealthy, irrational fears. Not this year. Apparently, part of their vision of a “new normal” involves terrified reporters terrifying viewers and terrific outrage at people who aren’t sufficiently terrified.
I prefer my media-fed mass hysterias narrated by Orson Welles.
I’m reminded of how great leaders responded to fearful crises. Their words were inspirational:
This present response, however, cannot be said to inspire anything noble or commendable — only shame and distaste.
With that said, here is the NC Threat-Free Index for the week ending July 5:
For June 21, the estimate is now 71.7% of adult North Carolinians with immunity (vaccine-induced immunity and natural immunity), using CDC estimates of actual infections and DHHS estimates of current vaccinations and the formula outlined here.
As a reminder, it is widely accepted that herd immunity from Covid-19 is with 70% of people immune. Furthermore, the ongoing, rapid decline in virus numbers in North Carolina (new cases are down 77% just since May 14, when Cooper lifted nearly all restrictions) is also indicative that North Carolina is either at or very near herd immunity.
Also, unlike with previous weeks, most of the “new” deaths announced in the past week occurred in the past two months. There were 35 total “new” deaths, and 35 that had occurred from May 2021 on. Five “new” deaths were announced from August–October 2020, but they were offset by five deaths retracted that had previously been reported in November 2020–January 2021.
* As of this writing, DHHS has not provided this week’s estimate of recoveries, although they are supposed to be provided on Mondays not later than 4 p.m. The estimate is therefore my own.