COVID Hysterics Scream 'Screw Freedom' but the Data Doesn't Support the Tyranny

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, Pool

Over the past several days, we’ve seen an increase in the number of people willing to openly trash the idea of individual rights playing a factor in the nation’s COVID response. Dr. Anthony Fauci was, of course, at the forefront of that shift.

While appearing on MSNBC, he good and fully set the constitutional order on fire, something he’s become rather adept at over the last year and a half.

Then there was this from Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was talking to professional lump and noted COVID expert Alexander Vindman for some reason.

Now, as a matter of principle, what’s in those videos is abhorrent. It is incredibly dangerous to suggest that freedom be suspended by government authorities for any reason whatsoever, much less the situation we are currently in. And while some have tried to claim the handling of smallpox during the Revolutionary War as evidence current actions are proper, smallpox had a mortality rate of around 60% at the time (and 30% overall). COVID-19, at its worst, has been around 0.5% and that’s only gotten lower as vaccination and natural immunity rates have risen.

Yet, let’s assume for a second that COVID really was worthy of illiberal, rights-crushing government action to “protect” people. Is anyone pushing that idea going to bother to stop and ask whether their hysterical prescriptions even work? Do mask mandates work? Do lockdowns work? Are vaccine passports a viable strategy? Because when I look at the real-world, correlative data, the answer seems fairly obvious.

The comparisons between North and South Dakota have been instructive for a long time and are worth repeating because the same trends continue in those states.

Note that South Dakota has a larger population and an older population, which when adjusted for shows they actually did better than North Dakota. But since cases are what is driving the current consternation, I want to stick to that metric. Remember, the idea being pushed is that masks somehow lower the spread and are thus necessary. I see zero evidence of that in these numbers from the Dakotas.

Let’s go outside the United States for a second, though, because I know the rebuttal will be that mandates don’t measure compliance. How about a nation with a universal mask mandate that is 99% complied with?

Returning to the United States, let’s look at Oregon and Hawaii, blue states with heavy COVID mitigation including state-wide mask mandates. How are they doing? Well, you wouldn’t know it by the media coverage that only obsesses over Florida, but it’s not good.

By the way, take a guess at which state currently has the worst COVID-19 outbreak? If you guessed Louisiana, you are correct. What does Louisiana have? — a mask mandate. That would seem like a prudent bit of information when judging whether we should “screw freedom,” right?

Then there’s Texas and California, another comparison I’ve made in prior writings. Texas has no mask mandate or lockdowns. California has had them almost continuously since early last year. Is the lack of correlation between mitigation and spread still existent in the comparison of those two states? In a word, yes.

Now, let me be clear. The choice to focus on cases (and hospitalizations to some extent) in this article instead of deaths is purposeful. My personal opinion is that it is outcomes that matter, not cases.

Yet, it is those pushing draconian measures that insist on using cases as a barometer because it’s what is convenient right now for their narrative. Because of that, it’s important to combat that notion with data that shows their proclamations, specifically about mask mandates, are simply not based on real-world data. Even if there were constitutional provisions (there aren’t) to crush rights to combat the virus, masks and lockdowns are not an effective means of doing that. Rather, mask mandates and lockdowns are virtue signaling nonsense, and that’s even more true for those forced on children.

Regardless, rights do not need to be crushed because we, ostensibly at least, still live in a free country. This is not Australia or Japan. Given that, Fauci and the rest of his like-minded cohorts can go jump in a lake.