Would a National Lockdown Have Saved the U.S. From COVID-19?

A comparison of Texas and California suggests that legal edicts matter less than The New York Times thinks.


The United States has seen more COVID-19 deaths per capita than all but 10 countries. In a one-year retrospective on the pandemic, The New York Times blames the lack of "a unified national strategy," which it says led to a "fractur[ed]" response.

At bottom, that critique—like federal COVID-19 adviser Anthony Fauci's complaint that "the states are very often given a considerable amount of leeway in doing things the way they want"—is an objection to the American system of government. Under the Constitution, the federal government is limited to specifically enumerated powers, which do not include a general authority to protect the public from communicable diseases. That responsibility lies primarily with the states, which retain a broad "police power" that goes far beyond the authority vested in the president or Congress.

The Times complains that President Donald Trump "turned over control" of the epidemic to the nation's governors back in April, telling them, "You're going to call your own shots." But contrary to Trump's assertion that he had "total" authority over COVID-19 control measures, that power was never his to grant. And it is odd that the Times wishes Trump had taken complete control of the situation, given his resistance to the sweeping social and economic restrictions that the Times favors. Any "unified national strategy" imposed by Trump almost certainly would have entailed overriding the lockdowns imposed by states such as California and New York, which the Times credits with saving many lives.

It's not clear the Times is right about that. Quoting Jeffrey Shaman, an infectious disease expert at Columbia, it says "the rush to reopen" was "the opportune moment that was lost." If so, states that imposed lockdowns early, lifted them gradually, and quickly re-imposed restrictions in response to surges in cases and deaths should have fared better than less cautious states. But a comparison of Texas and California, the two most populous states, does not provide much evidence to support that hypothesis.

In Texas, the Times says, Gov. Greg Abbott "quickly pivot[ed] toward reopening" by late April, which it says led to a spike in cases and deaths last summer. Yet after Texas "opened back up" on May 1, a month and a half passed before the state saw a sharp increase in the seven-day average of daily new cases.

Abbott closed bars and reduced the legal limit on restaurant occupancy to 50 percent in late June. But Texas remained more or less open, and newly identified infections, which peaked in mid-July, dropped to relatively low levels until the surge that began in October, which has intensified since late December.

In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom imposed the nation's first statewide lockdown on March 19, two weeks before Abbott issued a similar order. Newsom did not allow business to reopen until June, and he did so gradually. He closed "nonessential" businesses again in mid-November and ordered a new lockdown on December 3, tied to regional ICU capacity.

California, like Texas, saw an increase in daily new cases last summer, but it was not as dramatic. Between the end of October and December 21, however, California's seven-day average rose more than tenfold. As of yesterday, it was still nearly 10 times as high as the level recorded on October 31. In Texas, meanwhile, newly identified infections nearly quadrupled between late September and late November, then started another steep climb in late December. As of yesterday, the seven-day average was six times the number in late September.

The story is similar for daily deaths. The seven-day average rose more than eightfold in California between late November and yesterday. During the same period in Texas, that number more than doubled.

In other words, California, despite taking a much more restrictive approach than Texas, has seen much bigger increases in cases and deaths this fall and winter. That difference may partly explain why Newsom has been more aggressive than Abbott, since bigger spikes provide a stronger motivation for new regulations. But it is clear that the two governors are acting on different predispositions that have little to do with COVID-19 trends: Abbott has always assigned more weight to the costs of lockdowns than Newsom does.

How does the Times explain California's lackluster performance in curtailing the epidemic? It nods toward "pandemic fatigue" and mentions one of the factors that reinforces it: the hypocrisy of politicians, such as Newsom and San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who disregard the precautions they expect everyone else to follow. The Times adds that "disdain for masks and business closures resonated in more conservative parts of Southern California" and notes that "health officials pointed to people who had let their guard down at Thanksgiving as a turning point."

These factors underline the importance of individual choices, as opposed to legal edicts. Contact tracing data from New York indicate that "household/social gatherings" accounted for three-quarters of infections in that state this fall. Mobility data show that Americans sharply curtailed their public activities last spring before most states had imposed lockdowns and began moving around more before those lockdowns were lifted. The pattern in both Texas and California was similar to the nationwide trends, notwithstanding their markedly different policies. In both states, mobility peaked in the fall and has declined since then. These data suggest that government policy does not play as important a role in the behavior that drives virus transmission as the Times seems to think.

In terms of per capita deaths, California so far has done better than Texas. Its rate is about 25 percent lower. But both states are below the national average, and the five states with the highest death rates include four (New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island) with highly restrictive policies as well as one (South Dakota) that has taken a much looser approach. Similarly, the countries that rank higher in per capita deaths than the United States include Belgium, Italy, and the U.K., all of which implemented national lockdowns. Sweden, which eschewed broad restrictions last spring, ranks lower than the United States and a bunch of European countries that imposed lockdowns but much higher than its Scandinavian neighbors.

Simple comparisons like these cannot definitively resolve the issue of how effective lockdowns were. In a National Bureau of Economic Research paper published last August, UCLA economist Andrew Atkeson and two other researchers, after looking at COVID-19 trends in 23 countries and 25 U.S. states that had seen more than 1,000 deaths from the disease by late July, found little evidence that variations in policy explain the course of the epidemic in different places. Other analyses have reached different conclusions.

Do the benefits of lockdowns outweigh their costs? That question is crucial not just in setting current policy but also in deciding how to deal with future epidemics. Without the "fractured" approach that the Times decries, it would be a lot harder to answer.

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    1. The United States has seen more COVID-19 deaths per capita than all but 10 countries. In a one-year retrospective on the pandemic, The New York Times blames the lack of “a unified national strategy,” which it says led to a “fractured” response.

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    3. It looks apparent that will learn nothing that matters from the Covid-19 drill. There’s a number of glaring shortcomings in common sense that we wear like a N-95 Scarlet Letter. We focused on the FDA, which does deserve a star on our collective collar. They were whipped into submission, thankfully, but it is unlikely such a taskmaster will appear on the scene for eons, as we were told repeatedly that it was ‘icky’. But no heat was applied to that repeat offender, the CDC. Infectious diseases are aledgedly their Forte, but you would never know it from the value added that resulted. Their recommendations to the unwashed masses seemed like they were derived from a weather vane, and they still have not provided the public with what clinics do from trial and error: if you don’t want to get sick, wear a mask with a clear full face shield over it. Studies designed and monitored by medical experts may have been worthwhile if instead an Industrial Engineer was utilized. Masks are generally OK, but your hands are prone to touch your eyes, or move the mask aside. When someone is aware they are being studied, they will do this less often. The face shield prevents your hands contacting your face, so that one is less at risk due to hand contact. I’m not aware of government advice that recommends this, but frankly I’ve given up on CDC being any use in their ‘mission’. I have no idea how the Lockdown concept got any traction, but it seems like something the people who gave us the Patriot Act conjured up! This brainstorm is what ruined our lives and probably put us another 20 countries back in the global dunce ratings. But all of this pales in the big picture : our imitating a deer in the headlights was beyond the wildest dreams of the CCP. Why wouldn’t they just do it all over again? We would probably have a strong reaction : return to Lockdown and iron fisted rule by teachers unions… and learning Mandarin on a pass/fail basis.

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    5. When will you learn that all government programs work exactly as intended &, thus, the lockdowns worked. If they didn’t, it’s only because they weren’t done hard enough, early enough, long enough. Just like socialism, lockdowns didn’t fail, they just haven’t been tried. Or tried by the right people. Besides, they worked in Scandinavia. And, even if they don’t work, it’s the right thing morally. So you libertarians are wrong. And crazy. Duh.

  2. Lockdowns are fucking evil and that should be as far as the conversation goes.

    1. To save one life is to save the world. Donald Trump and the MAGA terrorists have the blood of over 200,000 Americans on their hands. We will NOT forget. We will NOT forgive. There are over 9,000 progressive libertarians commenting on Reason magazine online.

      1. 400,000. All of them the fault of the orangutan-in-chief. His non-actions served to amplify the disaster at hand, as if he marched his enthralled supporters through the doors of nursing homes everywhere to show just how fraudulent the COVID hysteria truly is.

        1. 400k? Why stop there? Worldwide there are over 2 million dead from this disease, obviously all of them because that big orange did nothing. I bet elsewhere in our solar system and throughout the galaxy the NYT will locate billions more forsaken victims. Give them time.

        2. What the hell are you talking about ? who pays you to write this crap?

      2. More like 9. The average commenter has 1,000 sock accounts.

        1. Who are you calling average?

        2. Mine all have the same username, but 1000 different emails.

      3. Expert virologists Predictions were in excess of 2 million deaths

        Facts show President Trump saved lives

        1. Yeah, but we also know the models used for those predictions are worthless spaghetti-code abominations with a history of always being wrong when compared to the real world.

      4. Even the beauracracy that hated Trump has advised that only about 6% of the grossly inflated fatalities are primarily due to Covid-19. The dropoff in cancer, heart attack and seasonal flu, etc confirm this, or that we will live forever once inoculated. It was likely a DNC misinformation tactic to give a $55 bonus for every Covid-19 fatality which I believe was upped to $71. This explains how someone in Colorado with 3 bullets in them had a toe tag COD Covid, despite no positive test. Human nature, incentives are are lethal toe tag…

    2. Now, now… If only everyone had followed New York’s shining example of how to deal with Covid-19, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Because we’d be dead.

      1. Ha!

    3. If only there was some sort of political philosophy that could push that message, and they had a publication that could do the same.

      1. ^this

        Do the benefits of lockdowns outweigh their costs? That question is crucial not just in setting current policy but also in deciding how to deal with future epidemics.

        It doesn’t matter since the net loss to freedom of association, freedom of assembly, and freedom of speech are never accounted for in the analysis. Most Governors and the judiciary have aptly demonstrated they have no constitutional objections to restrictions on healthy people and the legislatures have no interest in making it more difficult.

        Sullum is either naïve or gaslighting to portray the topic as open for discussion.

        1. It is clear that most people think freedom of association, assembly and speech have no value when a Republican is president. Unless you are assembling and speaking out against that president and the things he supports. Then those freedoms are sacrosanct.

      2. There is but most people still fall into the two party swindle. The politicians and power brokers just switch hats every couple of years.

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  3. Only idiots would be asking that question as California follows the exact same path as everybody else: 20% or so prevalence and then a drop.

    In a few years, you won’t be able to find people who admit they were for lockdowns.

    1. Few years try less than a few days.

    2. Why? If the people who are for the lockdowns control nearly every major news media provider, every social media platform that is allowed have their payments processed, every publisher of independents books, internet browsers, search engines, the government, etc. Why would you think history is going to admit all those people were wrong? In a few years, you won’t be able to read any material that doesn’t say the lockdowns were a fantastic idea.

      1. Science is just on the right side of history. Maybe you should go back to teaching Creationism in the trailer park filled with hypodermic needles.

      2. Because by then will be blindingly obvious what the lockdowns have done that even the Ministry of Truth won’t be able to lie about it.

        1. You don’t know the power of the Minitrue.

    3. This proves you are right.

      The overwhelming similarity of infection rate curves among the states, despite widely varying mandates, is empirical proof the mandates were utterly worthless.

  4. The Times complains that President Donald Trump “turned over control” of the epidemic to the nation’s governors back in April, telling them, “You’re going to call your own shots.”

    Trump and his fascist federalism! Returning to normal now, Trumpistas.

    1. The Times doing a little revisionist reporting too. Swell…

      1. Yeah I seem to remember Trump wanting to shut down all travel from Asia back in March. I also seem to remember prominent Democrats saying he was racist and that travel bans don’t work.

    2. Self-governance is the direct opposite of fascism.

      1. Not getting coronavirus is a human right. Biden is going to protect that right by locking the country down as it should have been from the beginning.

        1. Lockdowns are freedom!

        2. If you want to avoid the virus, just get some N95 masks or a P100 respirator. Learn to wear and maintain them properly. Then get some goggles or a face shield to protect your eyes. Done. Now you can protect yourself no matter what other people do! And you don’t need to force them to do anything they don’t want to do! It’s a win-win.

      2. Libertarians are plotting to take over the world so they can leave you alone.

      3. Yeah that was his point. Turn up the sarcasm detector, please.

        1. Pay more attention to what Diane says. It wasn’t sarcasm. It was trolling.

  5. Sullum – first problem, you’re reading the New York Times.

    1. What newspapers do you and Sarah Palin read?

      1. The Anchorage Gazette to start.

    2. Fake News! Sullum can’t read.

  6. We’re the lock downs about the Wuhan virus? I thought the Wuhan virus was the pretence for tanking the economy before an election

    1. Stupid auto apostrophe

    2. No, they’re tanking the economy to implement communism.

      1. Same thing.

  7. In March, a week after the US Senate did NOT convict Trump for the bogus and malicious House impeachment, Democrat Governors Cuomo, Wolf, Murphy, Raimondi, etc. conspired to plan, announce and implement their disastrous state lockdowns (knowing they would destroy the economy).

    If the massive lockdowns in NY, NJ, PA, RI, CT, etc in March-June had any beneficial public health impact (they didn’t), those same Trump hating Democrat governors would have reimplemented those same lockdowns after/since the much greater covid case surge that has occurred since November’s election.

    But of course, the entire purpose of the Democrats’ spring lockdowns (and huge expansion of mail in ballots for the election) was to destroy Trump’s reelection campaign (which it did), not to protect public health.

    Am surprised Sullum hasn’t figured this out yet.

    1. The goal is to be wrong within normal parameters.

      1. The American conservative tradition in a nutshell.

    2. While Democrat Governors destroyed thousands of small businesses (mostly owned by Republicans) and their state’s economies since the spring (and then deceitfully blamed Trump) since the spring, Sweden didn’t shut or destroy any businesses in response to the covid pandemic (and was vehemently condemned for not doing so).

      And yet, the US covid death rate surpassed Sweden’s on September 9, and has remained higher since.

      The US covid death rate is now 1,201 per million, compared to 1,102 per million in Sweden.

      The lockdowns did very little if anything to reduce the spread of covid, and at best, simply delayed the spread of the virus for several days, weeks or months.

      But the lockdowns served their purposes for Democrats (scare the public, destroy small businesses, rig the election, defeat Trump, and take away more Constitutionally protected rights from Americans.

      1. Why drag sweden into this?

        Just compare states. California to Texas, to Florida, to Illinios. to New York.

        Take 5 democrat controlled states out of USA numbers and the US looks alot better.

        (Assumes numbers at face value.)

        1. (Assumes numbers at face value.)

          So, yet another free and fair election?

      2. That’s if you believe the official numbers. COVID killed 2 guys in Colorado when they got shot.

    3. Why weren’t they afraid for their own re-election?

      1. Misery loves company.

      2. Which Dem Governors were up for reelection in 2020?

    4. Considering lock downs have been proven to not effect C19 mortality, writers like Sullum should be looking at second and third order effects. You would think exposing the enormous costs of the lock downs in terms of blood and treasure would be a juicy target to some enterprising libertarian journalist?

  8. In my county in California every death is tested for coronavirus – if positive it is listed as a COVID-19 death. We had one case – it would have been our tenth death – a man in his thirties who was in a wreck, with two broken legs and bad head injuries who died on the way to the hospital. He was initially counted as a COVID-19 death because his corpse tested positive. Our very first death was a 97 year old woman in a nursing facility being treated for respiratory problems.
    Once this is all over a check of deaths will show the coronavirus totals to be inflated.

    1. It is known that COVID can cause neurological issues. He probably wouldn’t have gotten into that wreck if he didn’t contract it.

      Boom, COD validated.

    2. California also counts a covid death if they were positive for covid up to 28 days prior to death.

    3. The official data doesn’t work that way. See here. Just because covid is listed on the death certificate with other causes doesn’t mean it makes into the statistics as a covid death (U07.1, etc.). It’s up to the doctor to decide what actually killed the person and to apply the appropriate code and national guidelines indicate that doctor’s should only use the covid codes if they actually think covid killed the person.

      They also break down covid deaths with and without other upper respiratory infections (pneumonia, influenza). From this data its clear that a lot of covid deaths had pneumonia and/or influenza with their covid. The official numbers also clearly state when a death is “with” covid vs. “of” covid. It’s the media that conflates those two. You really can’t trust the media for anything. The official numbers look to be handled pretty well, though. (And they still DON’T support the scare-mongering from the media, politicians and corona-bros).

  9. No, this is the NYT indulging themselves in an authoritarian power fantasy where everything works out if the government has complete control and the public obeys orders.

    1. “Quoting Jeffrey Shaman, an infectious disease expert at Columbia…”

      This guy is literally a Shaman. At a university named for an oppressor.

    2. “If we had done less, it would have been worse. If we had done more, it would have been better. Prove me wrong!”

  10. Oh, if only we had a GLOBAL lockdown strategy!!! [snark]

    1. You would be for it like the rest of the biden sycophants.

        1. Is what Biden said to you when he finished?

  11. The key failure of Drumpf’s pandemic response was his refusal to implement benefactor Charles Koch’s open borders agenda. With that blunder, many Americans were guaranteed to die — even in states with capable leaders like Andrew Cuomo.

    Of course, we Koch / Reason libertarians were advocating unlimited, unrestricted immigration long before we heard of covid-19. But a global plague is the ideal situation for open borders. Even as we speak, there are highly-skilled doctors trying to cross our southern border so they can help our overwhelmed hospitals. Fortunately we’re just days away from having a President who will invite them in.


    1. I’ve heard there’s a whole coronavan of Guatemalan immigrants coming to save us right now.

      1. Those future Americans know more about what is means to be an American than any white trash hick living in an Ohio trailer park!

    2. A+, 10/10.

    3. Yeah. Because we need literally "herds" of ignorant, uneducated, unskilled, high crime laborers from Honduras and El Salvador! Biden team said they need time to process their asylum claims. Asylum! What do they mean Asylum???? Are they refugees? I don't think so! Unless they mean they are war torn from the natural disaster that is Honduras, which they culturally take part in. If these Honduran immigrants can't make Honduras great - why do we think they will make the US great? When I think of Honduras, what do I think of? Homicides. They rank 5th... in the world for intentional homicides. Their neighbor El Salvador, is 1st.


      Yet we are dying to have herds of these people enter the US. The people that literally couldn't make it work out in Honduras... come here. Fucking Great! And you open border fucktards don't understand a damn thing. You literally get to pick what kind of future your kids and grandkids and great grandkids are going to have. The only people we should be letting into the United States are people with extreme and unwavering determination in the face of repeated failure and vastly above average IQ individuals. I don't give shit what ethnicity they are, or race or any of that shit. Only those two traits and then we bring them here, and we get them to FUCK. Meanwhile, we need to be exporting the Honduras "refugees" that only know how to swing a hammer and impregnate a woman. Those fucks need to go.

      Open borders.... Phhhhhhhhhhhht. Retarded nonsense! The future needs to capitalism (promotes the survival of the intelligent and diligent) not socialism (promotes the survival of poor, uneducated, victimhood types). And "borders" needs to reflect those goals. Mkay??? You want your daughter copulating and popping babies out with someone capable, right. Not a 90IQ nobody from sweatland, whos tatted up and knows how to fuck and use a firearm. Fuck no! Now I'm not saying all these individuals in this literal "herd" of honduras people are 90IQ quasitards, but I am saying most of them are. And the reason most of them are, is because look at their fucking country. Dirt floors, no air conditioning. no job opportunities, no education. They are one fucking rung above loin rags. "Open borders" is a shitty stupid mistake.

    4. Your consistency still makes me smile, although I suspect others might be weary of your humor.

  12. Lockdowns were caused by a nefarious alliance between banksters and bolshies. The bolshies’ goal was to discredit capitalism and make people dependent on the state and the banksters’ agenda was to bankrupt businesses and snap them up for a song. Many other groups had nefarious incentives as well. For example health experts wanted to create an epidemic of obesity to create fodder for their industry for years to come.

    In some cases the motivation was cynical, and in other cases it was completely unconscious. But the drive was very strong.

    People are afraid of the future so they create new problems to stave it off. But ultimately the point of humanity isn’t to be obedient to big government, but only to God’s laws. That is possible by amassing wealth and retiring and helping others do the same until only the robots are working and we’ve returned to the garden.

    1. Is that you Hank?

      1. No obscure, century old references to attempt to draw a parallel to today. Not hank.

        1. Yeah but drugs…

  13. To the NYT, everything is Trump’s fault.
    Even if other countries have similar or higher infection rates.
    Even if states that “did something” more than Trump mandated had equivalent or worse results than states that didn’t.

  14. All if the analysis uses data of questionable accuracy.
    Dying of covid vs with covid.
    Congregant care facilities show a very high death rate. We knew in February from the Italians experience, those with comorbidities, where at a much inflated chance of dying.
    Yet knowing that, “experts” could not fiqure out how to create a virus free facility.
    Lock downs were folly.
    Focus on protecting the vulnerable. The rest are free to make decisions best suited for them.
    That should have always been the goal.

    Now with a vaccine, get the vulnerable vaccinated and throw away the masks and move on.

    1. Don’t know what site it was, but last night my wife saw an article about the case for masks even after being vaccinated. Masks are the new normal.

      1. Oh yeah. SleepyJoe loves him some masks, you will grow to love them too.

    2. Iowan2,
      Get out of here with your libertarian ideas!
      Logical thinking, like quarantining the vulnerable, and allowing the young and healthy to continue their schooling and work have no place at this website.
      Reason is the website for Democrat talking points only.
      Take your ideas and go to parlor.

  15. I despise Trump and federal resources could have potentially been better managed but delegating the primary responsibility of the covid response to the states was absolutely correct.

    Now we no longer have a moron in charge and get to look forward to a retard with an authoritarian track record managing the hell out of covid….

    1. I’d prefer the moron, myself. Beyond the vaccine, there is no managing that needs to be done. Get the shot if you want it and get over it and get on with life. I can’t fucking believe we are still doing this.

  16. I’m so old I remember the rallying cry “TWO WEEKS TO FLATTEN THE CURVE!”
    A reminder. The area under the curve (deaths) is exactly the same no matter what you do. It was a ploy to not overwhelm heathcare systems,not save lives.

    1. Yes…and it worked.

      It became clear near the end of April that “flatten the curve” had morphed into “run away from the curve”.

      And we have been running like scared fucking idiots ever since…

      1. “Flatten the curve” became “Stretch the second curve into flu season”.

  17. you waste everybody’s time thinking you know the true stats. no lockdowns would not have saved anything. no. fuck you and your authoritarianism fever

    1. How is it even a question at this point? Anyone promoting lockdown at this point is just plain evil. Or retarded. Or severely misinformed.

      1. mind-boggling how this is Reason.

  18. You could also look at all the other countries that locked down harder and longer and still had their epidemics. There is very little reason to believe that any of these NPIs account for the striking differences in death rates in different places. It’s about the health of the older population and pre-existing immunity, I suspect. In Japan and Korea, old people tend to be pretty healthy. In the US and Italy and Spain, not so much.

    1. You are right about the health of the older population, well all ages actually. Metabolic syndrome is helping many people into the grave.

      It is beyond common knowledge at this point, that lock downs have no effect on C19 mortality. Which leaves lock downs with zero positive effects except to fuel the authoritarian fever dreams of the fearful.

  19. “Would a National Lockdown Have Saved the U.S. From COVID-19?”

    Headline is a question. As ever, the answer is, “No. Next?”

  20. There’s one person on this planet responsible for the pandemic, Xi Jingping. Has Reason written one article excoriating him and demanding his arrest and trial for crimes against humanity?

    1. Democrats could not have stolen an election if the UsA was at war with Communist china over the COVID19 biological attack. Trump would have won in a landslide even with democrat attempts to commit election fraud.

    2. This is the only comment that matters.

      It’s starting to be questioned. In the next few weeks, if it isn’t grabbed by the MSM, it’ll die. If they grab this as a headline, it may survive and be exposed.

  21. 42% of Adult Americans are obese, and have the full basket of health issues that precipitate from a state of obesity.

    Comparing one country to the next without looking at comorbidities is just partisan bullshit.

    Jesus I must have written this 500 times since April…

    1. Right. This is true and unavoidable. It could have been the message for almost a year now so that instead of scaring people into hiding, perhaps the message could have scared people into getting in shape, putting down the burger, and focusing on something else besides the notion that your neighbor will make you sick. I heard this from some of the most unhealthy fucking individuals I’ve ever seen!

      AND….even those mother fuckers got Covid and it turned out to be a mild cold.

      1. So how do we explain Japan and Korea which have very low case rates and death rates despite having older populations?

        1. It is some combination of pre-existing t-cell immunity perhaps, atop the fact that they are not all fat fucks, I imagine…

          As a friend who works in a hospital told me: “Only fat people are on ventilators”.

        2. Old people in those countries have much better metabolic health. Pretty much the best in the world.

          1. That’s what I was thinking, along with Jim’s answer. It’s something that has to be answered because it does stand out. Just like Sweden stands out and the coronabros can’t answer for it.

        3. Metabolic Syndrome and all the diseases that it creates – type 2 diabetes, cardio vascular disease, arthritis, psoriasis, crohn’s, etc. Primarily a dietary issue, too much sugar/carbs gives you hyperinsulinemia then it is all down hill from there.

      2. I run and mtn. bike often. When I tell people I run, they predictably say “He he…I only run when I am being chased”. I tell them “Well, with covid around, consider yourself chased”.

        Blank stare…

  22. you waste everybody’s time thinking you know the true stats. no lockdowns would not have saved anything. no. fuck you and your authoritarianism fever

  23. Georgia has no lockdowns or mask requirements. Georgia has one of lowest death rates in the USA for the last 11 months overall.

    49 deaths per day or so. ~20,000 deaths per year.

    ~650,000 americans will die from heart disease by march 1, 2021.

    1. To loveconstitution,
      You are right about Georgia, and I am a doctor here in Florida with pretty much the same situation.
      We are open for business, the restaurants, beaches, theme parks are all crowded with people not wearing masks. Maybe 2% of people in the streets wear them.
      My suburban Fort Lauderdale hospital is NOT being overwhelmed with coronavirus cases.
      Both of our ICUs, and our step down unit are at their usual capacity.
      Only 2 of the 12 beds in our MICU are occupied by corona patients.
      Our Florida governor, Ron DeSantis has done a great job during this pandemic.
      He is vaccinating the elderly and first responders before anyone else.
      The teachers union is advertising on the radio that they demand vaccines, but he is ignoring them.
      As a doctor on the front lines treating corona patients, I am scratching my head wondering what all the hysteria is about.

      1. It varies a great deal by region.

        Data on total hospitalizations and percent of ICU beds here.

      2. I have no idea what LC is talking about. Georgia is just like everyplace else. Maybe out in the rural areas it is different but that is true everywhere.

        Here are the guidelines put out by the government.

      3. Thank you for your testimony.

  24. As long as Sullum and his erstwhile allies get this shit in print, we’re fucked.

  25. Not entirely.

    But not dumping gain of function experiments from South Carolina to Wuhan might have.

    1. North Carolina

    2. “Gain of function” sounds innocuous enough but the long form article I read:

      Scared the shit out of me.

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      2. Conspiracy theory my ass!

        How many times a day do we need to be lied to by groups of government, oligarchs and media before claiming a conspiracy isn’t ridiculed?

  26. “At bottom, that critique…is an objection to the American system of government.”

    Shorter version.

  27. “The pattern in both Texas and California was similar to the nationwide trends, notwithstanding their markedly different policies.”

    For a Reason writer, the policies appear to be markedly different. From the perspective of a covid19 virus, they seem essentially the same. Too little, too late. We can’t bargain with a virus, and a virus doesn’t cut us any slack for good intentions.

  28. Conclusions
    While small benefits cannot be excluded, we do not find significant benefits on case growth of more restrictive NPIs. Similar reductions in case growth may be achievable with less restrictive interventions.

    1. Just as the WHO protocol told us until 12 months ago.

      1. Yup

  29. … do not include a general authority to protect the public from communicable diseases. That responsibility lies primarily with the states

    Does it? I’d argue the states have no such responsibility and even allowing them the mere authority opens a giant can of worms that would be near impossible to shut without a revolution.

    First it’s well known that state actors, namely police, have no responsibility to protect your life. While Constitutionally they could perhaps claim authority to protect ‘society at large’ against communicable disease, I don’t see where the ability would derive from given a starting point of, largely, complete ignorance.

    Second, such a responsibility would certainly lead to heinous government acts such as stripping people of any arbitrary right the powers that be choose. It doesn’t matter if it’s preventing sexual relations to stop STDs or, assuming they play the ‘communicable disease’ card right, forcing everyone to take “Mother’s Little Helper” (or whatever today’s version of meprobamate or fluoxetine is) for whatever reason they see fit.

    Finally, it would be even harder than playing ‘whack-a-mole’ or legislating ‘missionary position only’ since enforcement would be pert near impossible. Really, what are they going to do if you’ve suspended congress in the privacy of your own home? All of that said, the road to hell really is paved with good intentions so…

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