by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
Back on August 11, 2020, I wrote a post entitled “Cooper’s game of keeping NC not even in full ‘Phase 2’ yet.” It looked at the timeline of Cooper’s lockdowns, restrictions, and broken promises up till then, a process that hasn’t changed in the half-year since.
Here it is February 9, 2021, and not only is North Carolina still not in what Cooper originally called “Phase 2” of reopening (which was to happen on May 20) — we are actually under the tightest restrictions we’ve been under since May 2020. Actual case numbers continue to expose the lie that a virus responds to central planning, and meanwhile, research into lockdowns and other government interventions like Cooper’s are showing they are deadlier in the long term than the virus itself. Yet here we are.
I wrote back in August, six months ago, that:
… there’s no reason to treat the “phases” for reopening as if they are written in stone. The phases are Cooper’s formulation only; there’s nothing that forces moving into Phase 3 before lifting all executive orders and allowing people to rebuild the economy in all the various unseen and unimaginable ways that they would do it — 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.
Such an obvious point was, of course, caviar to the general as far as governor and his hand-selected media were concerned. Nevertheless, on Jan. 27, when Cooper announced the latest extension of his extreme restrictions, he admitted as much: “If we look at numbers and we see things getting better and better, we could always move in and remove some of those protocols.”
I remind everyone of that as prelude to the NC Threat-Free Index for the week ending February 8: