Data from the CDC and state DHHS show that North Carolina has not been suffering excess deaths from Covid-19 since mid-March 2021. While Covid-19 is still out there, its effect on North Carolina is no longer causing a statistical anomaly in terms of deaths, meaning it is behaving more and more like an endemic virus, such as a flu, not a pandemic. If North Carolina is no longer witnessing excess deaths owing to Covid-19, then why does Gov. Cooper still keep the state in the minority of U.S. states still under a "State of Emergency"?
North Carolina is one of only ten states that continue to schoolchildren to all be masked. Elected officials want mask policies to be in the hands of local communities and not the Cooper administration. A recent ABC Science Collaborative study of COVID-19 transmission in schools is misleading and ignores scientific research on the harms of face coverings.
K-12 public school districts in North Carolina have received about $6 billion in federal funds to help address the coronavirus pandemic. On average, since last March, school districts have spent about 11% of funds appropriated for Covid relief. The low level of expenditures raise legitimate questions about the nature of the emergency and how federal dollars are spent.
Research continues to find serious, deadly effects of lockdowns and severe government restrictions over Covid-19, such as Gov. Cooper's, while failing to find evidence of their purported benefits. From March 2020 through January 2021 (the end of available data), under Cooper's unrelenting orders, North Carolina has been witnessing a second excess death event other than Covid-19. It is disheartening to see evidence of an ongoing, non-Covid death event months and months after citing science and data to sound the alarm repeatedly in the hopes of warding off such grim results.
Reforming the Emergency Management Act is about good governance, regardless of who resides in the governor’s mansion. No individual should have the power unilaterally to deprive citizens of their liberty for an extended period. Reforms would still allow for rapid responses for true emergencies.
It is not clear that states have sacrificed jobs to save lives or sacrificed lives to save jobs. North Carolina now does well on the combined impact of Covid deaths and lost jobs. This analysis does not, however, include other causes of death, mental health issues arising from isolation, learning losses in K-12 schools, or increases in child abuse and domestic violence that could be costs of tighter restrictions.
On March 17, 2020, Gov. Cooper used emergency powers to shut down restaurants and bars to in-person eating and drinking, and he did so without concurrence from the Council of State, as required by the EMA. Cooper then claimed authority elsewhere in state law, setting a dangerous precedent that legislators must fix by reforming the EMA.
North Carolina has a fund balance of $5.4 billion, the state has yet to spend $254 million of previous federally distributed aid, and schools will receive another $3.8 billion in aid because of the American Rescue Plan. Since the aid is more than needed to return children to the classroom and spread out over seven years, it should be seen for what it is: a bailout for teacher unions from Democratic lawmakers.
Part 3 of this series provides the data from the CDC and DHHS used to make the graph. It uses a sample week to demonstrate how to apply the data. The hope here is to bring more clarity to what is a very real threat still facing North Carolinians.
"I am a Democrat. He’s the governor, and a Democratic governor.” And with that explanation, North Carolina state senator Paul Lowe cast the deciding vote to sustain Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of a bipartisan bill offering in-person learning for kids.
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