In mid-May, the inevitable happened: the number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States surpassed 80,000 as many states began to allow businesses to re-open in incremental phases.
Lawmakers, pundits, and many public safety advocates have stated that the numbers should justify extending state lockdowns even further. This is particularly popular with the Democratic Party, which has adopted the position that such shutdowns on economic activity should remain in place until…well..they actually have no answer for that.
In case people are unaware, disease deaths don’t disappear when said disease dissipates. That isn’t how numbers work. If a miracle cure for coronavirus became available to every American tomorrow, the number of deaths would still rise over time.
When governments first began forcing businesses to close their doors, we were told that the intent was to “flatten the curve” — that is, slow the number of cases — so that our medical infrastructure would be able to avoid a sudden and unmanageable surge in patients. We’ve done that. Looking at the numbers nationally, only New York City was hit as hard as it is. By May 12, New York state posted over 337,000 confirmed coronavirus cases — the most in the country — followed by New Jersey with 140,000. From there, these numbers drop drastically by state.
With more updates, the estimated fatality rate for COVID-19 has continuously sank. The more information we have, the more it seems like we really are dealing with a more severe version of the flu. This isn’t to suggest that mitigation measures aren’t necessary, because they are. But, the possibility that we have nuked our economy needlessly appears more likely.
So, why did we do this?
Here’s the thing: governments lie. They’ve been lying since the concept of government was created. And when the state amasses unprecedented levels of political power, it doesn’t just vanish when a crisis subsides. The Patriot Act is still in place. Federal agents can still spy on you without a warrant (just ask President Trump). The War on Terror has allegedly been over for years at this point.
So, no — it’s not wrong at this point to ask if the government has gone too far. In places like New York, California, Michigan, and others — there is no question that it has.
Here’s One America News with more difficult questions we should all be asking right now.