by Jon Sanders
Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
Here is the NC Threat-Free Index for the week ending April 26:
It’s been over a year. It’s well, well, well past time for the governor to end this open-ended “emergency” rule.
On April 21, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that he “expects to lift mandatory social distancing, capacity, and mass gathering restrictions by June 1” and gave new metrics for supposedly reopening: “The state anticipates lifting the mask mandate and easing other public health recommendations, once two-thirds of adult North Carolinians have received at least one vaccine dose and if trends remain stable.”
Those are not conditions upon which to end an emergency declaration. The governor is not bound by those metrics; he’s making them up. So the people of North Carolina should not be bound by those metrics. They are arbitrary and capricious measures, as were all of Cooper’s previously abandoned standards, as his actions proved. A responsible media would press him hard on this point, but our media won’t.
Having a two-thirds vaccination rate and “stable” “trends” are Cooper’s formulations only. There is no reason, none, to treat these metrics as if they are written in stone. Put another way: Cooper, the media, and others need to stop pretending that “reopening metrics” the governor made up on the fly are somehow forcing him not to reopen the state.
There’s nothing that prevents Cooper from lifting all executive orders and allowing people to rebuild the economy in all the various unseen and unimaginable ways that they would do it. They would be ways that no one, not the wisest economist, certainly not some witless central planner, could ever direct, dictate, anticipate, or comprehend.
The point is, at any time Cooper could lift his executive orders. He could do so today. As he should.