Coronavirus

Revenge of the Coronavirus

As COVID-19 case numbers surge, governors are rolling back re-openings, and Democratic leaders are backing national mask bans.

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America might want to be done with the coronavirus, but the coronavirus isn't done with us.

Despite promises from Vice President Mike Pence that new cases had stabilized around 20,000 daily, new case numbers surged nationally last week, with 45,255 new cases on Friday, beating daily case counts from April, which hovered around 30,000. 

In response to the spike in cases, governors in Florida, Texas, and California have rolled back re-opening plans, closing bars and warning residents to stop partying and stay home. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, meanwhile, have both backed national mask mandates.

Were states too quick to re-open bars and other businesses? Is testing to blame? What about schools? And how is all of this affecting the 2020 presidential election? On today's Reason Roundtable podcast, Nick GillespieKatherine Mangu-WardPeter Suderman, and special guest Robby Soave discuss all of this and more.

Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor.

Music: "Gain" by Text Me Records / Grandbankss.

Photo: KEVIN DIETSCH/UPI/Newscom.

Reopen the Schools!, by Robby Soave

Florida and Texas Close Their Bars In Response to Surge in New COVID-19 Cases, by Christian Britschgi

As New Lockdowns Loom, How Did We Get Here Again So Quickly?, by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

CDC Antibody Studies Confirm Huge Gap Between COVID-19 Infections and Known Cases, by Jacob Sullum

Trump Worries That More Coronavirus Testing Makes America Look Bad, by Peter Suderman

The Pandemic's Economic Carnage Looks Worse Than Expected, by J.D. Tuccille


NEXT: Reason TV Video on the Case for Letting Hong Kong Refugees Migrate to the United States

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  1. In response to the spike in cases, governors in Florida, Texas, and California have rolled back re-opening plans, closing bars and warning residents to stop partying and stay home. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, meanwhile, have both backed national mask mandates.

    Luckily a large portion of America is still ungovernable and is telling the governors to go get bent. And the Democrats seem to be running on a platform of rioting and looting is okay provided you wear a mask while doing it.

    1. Would that be the same large portion of America that is seeing record numbers of new cases each day?

      1. Well fuck man it’s almost like testing has increased dramatically.

        But you go on hiding in your closet over a cold.

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      2. Yes and the same one that deaths are at their lowest level since late March and have been dropping steadily as cases went up.

        The disease isn’t very deadly and no where near as deadly as they said it was. Now, pick up your purse and calm down Karen. You are not going to die from the evil Kung Flu.

      3. Hey chipper. Why did you switch from death (declining) to infections? Are you really that much an ignorant statist you dont see the bait and switch?

        1. He’s hoping you and me don’t.

    2. I don’t think the trend is favoring Trump right now. The relentless hammering he’s getting in the media is having an effect. Recently, several acquaintances who never even mentioned politics in 2016 have told me how much they now dislike Trump over his handling of the virus. This is one round of fake news that seems to be hitting home with folks…they want someone to blame for the economic paralysis, not seeing their grandkids, and lost vacations.

      1. Recently, several acquaintances who never even mentioned politics in 2016 have told me how much they now dislike Trump over his handling of the virus.

        He said acquaintances and not friends so these people may be real. So, I suppose that tears it. If Trump can’t win over the totally-not-made-up, politically-disinterested, acquaintances-of-creech vote we all might as well vote for Biden.

        1. Hope you aren’t whistling through the graveyard, mad.casual.

      2. Fuck me I hate defending any politician, but the idea that all of this is in any way Trumps fault is fucking laughable.

        He listened to the WHO and Fauci, he tried to shut travel down, he left it up to the states to decide how they would handle things.

        It was Democrat mayors and governors who shut state and local economies down. It was a democratic governor who fucked up so bad that his state became the death capital of this disease in America.

        I just don’t get what Trump was supposed to do differently? Be more of an authoritarian dickhead?

        1. I feel your pain, as I don’t like Trump at all, but sometime feel the need to defend him. The problem I see is that there are a fair number of Trump supporters and other whack jobs that think this is all a hoax. Kung Flu. So when Trump gives a wink and a nod to that idea, like he most recently did in his televised rallies, it gives all those fools a sense of entitlement that ignoring all this crap is somehow righteously rebellious. And then they act in a way that contributes to the spread, which isn’t surprising.

          I don’t think we should all panic, nor have nation wide mask requirements. Why should densely populated areas have the same rules as sparsely populated regions? However, I am annoyed how in the LA area, which is currently having a surge, some people act like the thing is already over. When I have gone to indoor stores, there are at least 10% to 20% of people not social distancIng nor using masks. IKEA was the worst; I am not going back there again.

          We can’t seem to act moderately as a nation. Either we are all gonna die or hey let’s just pretend this doesn’t exist. The President gets blamed for a lot of things that aren’t his fault, but I do blame him for spreading misinformation and sowing discord, which is his specialty.

          1. Here was what we were told.

            http://ethicsalarms.com/2020/06/08/oh-no-its-monday-ethics-review-6-8-2020-a-yoos-rationalization-orgy/

            However, as public health advocates, we do not condemn these gatherings as risky for COVID-19 transmission. We support them as vital to the national public health and to the threatened health specifically of Black people in the United States. We can show that support by facilitating safest protesting practices without detracting from demonstrators’ ability to gather and demand change. This should not be confused with a permissive stance on all gatherings, particularly protests against stay-home orders. Those actions not only oppose public health interventions, but are also rooted in white nationalism and run contrary to respect for Black lives. Protests against systemic racism, which fosters the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on Black communities and also perpetuates police violence, must be supported.

            1. Michael, was this the same letter that claimed “1,200 health professionals have signed” it, where a lot of those ‘health professionals’ weren’t doctors, PhDs in biological sciences, or nurses, but were activists?

              Complete clown world. Congratulations Leftists: you’ve managed to pervert yet another area of science away from the scientific method and logical reasoning.

        2. Feel the same, while I certainly have no love for Trump the dems mocked him when he shut down travel, then when things got bad insisted he did it too late and caused the pandemic. The press hides the in your face hypocrisy from the left and even expands on it. As far as I can tell the democrats think corona was a political gift from the gods.

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  2. Democratic leaders are backing national mask bans.

    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, meanwhile, have both backed national mask mandates.

    1. Hey, you think Reason has editors?!

    2. Wondered if anyone else would catch that. I see typos in articles so often here that I’ve been tempted to take a red pen to a dozen, send them in and ask for a job.

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  3. When you roll for initiative, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
    How many have died because their “elective” heart stents were not put in?
    Is anybody even trying to count them?

      1. They were if it wasn’t considered an ‘essential procedure’.

        Though another doc here claimed they were still doing cancer testing and other procedures during the business closures, so I think the answer is going to depend on which region you look at.

    1. Covid related death bro. It’s like you don’t even government.

  4. Best reason to get rid of masks is the above picture. Pols are going to use masks to sell bad ideas – or perhaps campaign donations and lobbying support. ‘This space available. 1-800-Imahore

    1. If Democrats had any balls they’d get that shit tattooed on their foreheads.

    2. On the contrary, a black mask suits Pelosi.

    3. Best reason to get rid of masks is the above picture.

      Disagree. The mask helps cover up when she’s shedding her skin.

      Looking at the picture above, I think one recommendation from the CDC about using paper or plastic bags to prevent the spread of COVID and the ends would justify the means.

  5. “As COVID-19 case numbers surge, governors are rolling back re-openings, and Democratic leaders are backing national mask bans.”

    Plus, members of the BLM are joining the KKK, Antifa fellows are teaching civility classes, republicans are busy studying Marx, democrats are repealing FDR and LBJ’s social programs, lions are enjoying the benefits of vegan diets, Muslims are converting to Judaism in mass, the Pope admits Martin Luther was right after all, and the sky is falling just as Chicken Little predicted.

  6. Lots of new cases but the number of deaths is continuing the same steady downward trend that it’s been on since before they started loosening the lockdowns. It’s almost like “number of new cases” isn’t a very good metric.

    1. When you’re not seeing the number of deaths you were hoping for, it’s time to find another number you can use to scare the idiots.

  7. It’s almost like two weeks ago people started getting together in large crowds while screaming at the top of their lungs…

    1. But if one life can be saved by… oh, wait.

    2. Well luckily shootings are way up in blue cities too.

  8. If anything was learned it is that government is a failure at handling crises and reverts to the same authoritarian stance they always taken. It is why rights have been stripped away and the Constitution has been weakened. Because, say it with me, never let a good crisis go to waste.

    1. It has a exposed a lot of the sophist libertarians here however. The fake ones who beg for government when they get scared.

      1. I’m disgusted by the whole lot of people in this country who think that way, libertarian (small l, big L, makes no difference to me) or not. I know the trope about “sheeple” is tired and worn to the point of being a self-parody, but seeing the bleating hordes of my supposed countrymen begging to be handcuffed even tighter so that they can calm their little prey-species hearts and get some sleep. I don’t put much faith in polls (as instruments of detecting public opinion; I have plenty of faith in them as instruments of shaping public opinion), but they show large majorities of people asking for mandatory face diapering and more government-forced closure of private businesses and other assorted tyranny, and from what I have seen, I don’t doubt it.

        The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. How are we supposed to effectively push back against the tyrants (and make no mistake, every government official with any kind of power is a tyrant looking for a chance to oppress someone, no matter how principled they were before being elected/appointed) if most of our compatriots have such a bad case of Stockholm Syndrome that they cheer their tormentors every time they are flogged?

        I don’t care how dangerous the virus is (turns out, not much, but that’s beside the point). It says “Liberty” on our coins, not “Safety.” Liberty is not safe. _Life_ is not safe. None of these lockdowns, forced closures, prohibitions of social gatherings, mask wearing edicts, capacity or distancing limitations, or anything of the kind were in any way appropriate or justified, even if this was actually a disease that’s as dangerous as they pretend it is. While it’s true that the government’s decrees (a) saved no lives, unless you consider a bit of a delay in a death to be a life saved; (b) have killed many thousands, and are still killing (13x increase in suicide rate in one area in northern California); (c) have devastated the economy, eliminated many families’ life savings, and destroyed countless small and not so small businesses; and (d) were not the reason people isolated themselves or took other protective measures in the first place, as people were already doing all the things before they were forced to, well… that’s not even the point.

        In a free society, this shit does not happen. At all. Period. That is the point.

        Clearly, we’re seeing a shortage of free societies that’s as comprehensive as the shortage of toilet paper two months ago. Aside from Sweden, every country in the world has proven not to be a free society, and Sweden’s reasoning wasn’t based on the concept of liberty either.

        I think Trump’s handling of the “crisis” (the disease is not the crisis… the reaction people, particularly those who live in governor’s or mayor’s mansions, are having is the actual, no-quotation-mark crisis) was about as good as any could have been. Sure, there have been the usual gaffes (or at least that is what they would be if Biden had uttered them; when Trump slips up, it’s always “He wants you to drink bleach!!1!!1!”

        Trump followed the principle of federalism and delegated to the states, as he should have. The states (along with some larger cities) are where things got really and truly FUBAR’d. Few GOP governors showed any backbone, with most of them crumbling and becoming whiny pseudo-Democrats when the media was so meeeeeaan to them.

        The correct course of action, in terms of government mandates, was to do nothing. Issue recommendations, sure… as long as they are optional, talk until your voice is gone. No mandates, though. If you ask me nicely to do something and give me a valid, rational reason for the request, I will consider it. Demand that I do something because “[you] said so,” and I am then convinced with every fiber of my being that the only correct course of action is to do the opposite.

        People have survival instincts, and they will act to preserve themselves, if they believe that there is an actual risk. I never perceived COVID itself as much of a risk, because I could see so clearly that the real risk was our so-called public servants, aided and abetted by the media, trying to keep the terror value ratcheted up regardless of what was actually happening. It was a dead giveaway that chicanery was afoot how they kept switching the numbers they were using to terrorize the cloven-hooved, wooly-haired among us into begging for more oppression. They were the real threat, my main worry ever since the start, and they have not done anything to make me think I erred since then.

        Perhaps if the public servants had taken a less force-y approach and gone no further, the danger inherent within COVID would not be so dwarfed by the terrible power of the government that it seemed so benign by contrast. It’s like a government that proposes to eliminate a city’s rat problem by detonating a thermonuclear warhead in each of the city’s most infested areas. Rats may have been a serious problem before the proposed solution, but who even cares about rats when the city’s about to be nuked?

  9. Cases are way up and deaths are way down.

    Literally, could not ask for a better result.

    1. Well, except for the lockdowns, social distancing mandates, and economic ruin.

      Aside from the assassination of JFK, you couldn’t ask for a better parade.

      1. I am arguing against the article thesis.

  10. America might want to be done with the coronavirus, but the coronavirus isn’t done with us.

    You spelled “government toadies” wrong.

    1. OK, that handle’s pretty good.

  11. Rise of new cases; but which test are people testing positive for? Active COVID or anti-bodies; which means the person is past being sick? Why aren’t these test numbers being distinguished clearly?

    Also note that instead of talking about the number of deaths, which as a percentage of cases is dropping significantly, we keep getting misleading numbers about available hospital beds. As if this is a static number and/or not primarily related to non-critical surgeries being done. A patient might use a hospital bed today and be release tomorrow; thus freeing up that bed for another patient.

    If the last 3+ years of Trump and now the COVID scare-mongering haven’t revealed the MSM as an extension of the Democratic party, I don’t know what ever will. How amazing would it be if the MSM held the Democrats to the same standard as the GOP?

    1. Idiots like JFree are only looking at the percentage of the ICUs being used, in the high 80s, while ignoring that 2/3rds of that usage is due to elective surgeries delayed by the original panic. Texas, california, and arizona are still under 35% normal ICU usage due to covid with stays being on average much shorter than they were in march as treatment protocols improved. On top of that the states have backup plans they can engage to double ICU coverage of they need to. They would need a 600% increase in covid hospitalizations to be worried… yet the panic mongers too stupid to look at actual numbers are pushing panic.

    2. 3+? I think anyone who was going to realize it did so in 2008 back when the MSM shilled for Obama.

  12. Avik Roy once again trying to explain to simpletons that a rise in cases of the young is not worrisome.

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1276490546471677952.html

    There is a reason the left and media switched off of deaths. The narrative to destroy the right is all that matters. Crashing the economy is just a secondary benefit to them.

  13. “Authority has every reason to fear the skeptic, for authority can rarely survive in the face of doubt.” ~ Robert Lindner

    If you were waiting for government to tell you to distance, wash your hands, and wear a mask, or if you stopped as soon as they said reopen; you are an idiot. Government’s interests are not yours and those of those about whom you care. Power and the CYA weaseling that preserves it are government’s prime, likely only, interests.

    Government actions are never, truly, for the purported people or purpose but for politicians and bureaucrats power, ‘profit’, and privilege.

    Protect yourself and your loved ones!

    1. So, no masks then?

      1. Masks.
        N95 masks, to hell with reserving them for the government.
        Masks before the government gives permission.
        Masks after the government lies about their effectiveness.
        Masks, still, after the government say that none but them still need them.

        Dependency on the government is dangerous.

        1. I doubt that the government workers needing N95 are going to pop on over to Ace Hardware to pick up two or three at a time. I don’t see any ordinary person doing that as having any effect on health care workers’ ability to get them. They take what they need higher up in the supply chain, not at the piddly retail level that we serfs live in.

          Also, that’s a big hell no on the masks. There’s no way to protect myself or my loved ones– I am going to get the disease eventually, as will everyone else (until herd immunity), so might as well be now. Why put off ’til tomorrow what you can do today? I won’t try to go out and catch it intentionally, but I am not going to suffocate myself with a respirator to try to prevent it either.

          Also, yes, if it’s not N95, it’s infection control theater (and even then most people don’t do it right. They can be painful when worn tightly enough to work, so people simply do not wear them effectively.

          Masking without N95 is the Karen-demanded “do[ing] something,” without any requirement that such thing have any actual benefit. It’s not about being effective, since that’s something that is not immediately apparent. They only have to get the people to believe that something is effective, and the people are all too eager to go along with it. People perceive clutching a lucky rabbit’s foot as being better than sitting there and accepting that the situation is not under their control, when in fact both choices have the same odds of any given outcome, though only one of them makes someone look like a fool.

  14. The progs are trying to blame this all on GOP governors in AZ, TX and FL, conveniently ignoring their crown jewel of California

  15. I enjoyed this episode more than others, even with all the crosstalk and Robby being present. This podcast would be much better with Suderman as host, and KMW and Gillespie. Welch should go work for HuffPo.

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  17. Shut down the economy, cases drop slightly, open up ,cases spike.
    Shut down the economy, cases drop slightly, open up ,cases spike.
    Shut down the economy, cases drop slightly, open up ,cases spike.
    Shut down the economy, cases drop slightly, open up ,cases spike.
    Shut down the economy, cases drop slightly, open up ,cases spike.
    How many times are we going to do this? WHO and the CDC predicted in the beginning over 80% of the world population would get the virus. Shutdowns will not stop it.

  18. I find it interesting that these four libertarians all have and use masks. Why? Because it is good manners and a courtesy to others. They don’t feel they have to make some political statement one way or another. They recognize it is good and so wear the masks where appropriate. This is what I think when I hear the term personal responsibility.

    1. Personal responsibility is about taking care of and, well, responsibility for yourself and your actions. It is not about taking care of others. The world is a risky place. Every time you leave your house, you risk catching a disease, car accidents, plane crashes, whatever. If you are worried about the virus, then isolate yourself. You protect yourself. THAT is personal responsibility. Making me responsible for your health is not.

      1. No. That is called being an asshole. The original conservative notion of “personal responsibility” was that one, without government coercion, act in a responsible manner for themselves and their community. The key part is the lack of government coercion, not a lack of care for others.

        1. I agree that I will not go out among the public if I feel like I am sick. That’s as far as my responsibility goes.

          If you want me to go beyond that, on the premise that I _may_ have a virus but not know about it (which I probably don’t), and that I _may_ be spreading it (still a dubious proposition), and that a mask _may_ limit this (another dubious proposition), then simply present me with the evidence that all of this is the case.

          I’ve already agreed to stay home if I feel sick; now the burden of proof is on you. I will act on clear evidence that I have a contagious disease. I will, however, not act in the absence of any evidence at all that such actions will do anything more than cause me discomfort (physical and social) and additional risk to myself.

          1. It is well known that pre-symptomatic carriers can spread corona, and the notion that you are fine to act normal until you have symptoms is why it is spreading so much. Temperature checks, health questions, quarantining after a positive test, those all happen too late. And yet we still pretend that those will work. We know what works: social distancing, face masks, and good hygiene. The fact that so many are opposed to those simple measures is completely nuts.

      2. Cleary you are not a fan of John Donne.

    2. “”Why? Because it is good manners and a courtesy to others. “”

      I’m not seeing a lot of good manners and courtesy to others going on right now. People with manners a courtesy will not tear up other people’s property.

      “”hey recognize it is good and so wear the masks where appropriate.””

      Appropriate seems to be very debatable. It is appropriate that someone infected, or may think they are, to wear a mask. A non-infected person wearing a mask is not appropriate since it serves no medical purpose. But because of fear, people want to treat every non-infected person as if they are infected. Requiring such a demand based on fear is not appropriate.

      1. We don’t have enough testing and people who are non symptomatic can be spreader, so yes you are a potential spreader. Wearing a mask is a good.

        1. I was tested to get a clearance for a procedure. So no.

          Me bending down to your fear is not good.

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  20. This episode what quite the strawman bashing fest. Other than Suderman, who at least did a little homework, the rest apparently didn’t feel the need to educate themselves about any of the topics today and just spouted off in any direction their biases took them.

    Having the kids home preventing you guys from getting any work done? What a mess of a podcast.

  21. Question for all fascist pig governors who keep their states on lock down: If masks are the answer, then why haven’t you opened up your state yet?

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  23. May the whole world soon overcome the corona epidemic. Wishing everyone peace and good health

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