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Jeffrey A. Tucker

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Emancipation From Lockdown in Florida

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Governor Ron DeSantis has proven it: it is actually possible for a politician to wise up and do the right thing. In a sweeping order announced September 25, the governor has opened up the entire economy. He has even limited the ability of local governments to impose more restrictions and collect fines for mask violations. 

Inevitably, the announcement was decried by the lockdowners, even though, as the governor pointed out:

- Covid+ hospitalizations have declined by 77% since the July peak. 

- Covid+ ICU hospitalizations have declined 72% since the July peak. 

- ED visits for Covid-like illness have declined by nearly 80% since the July peak.

- Daily hospital admissions for Covid have declined by 81% since the July peak. 

- The percentage of positive diagnostic test results for new cases was reported at 4.32%. 

- 24% of hospital beds are empty; so are 23% of ICU beds.

Most impressively, the governor did this despite a trend in deaths that does not look particularly great. For this he is being blasted but it misses the point entirely. His actions were particularly brave, bold, and wise precisely because he didn’t wait for some magic turning point in the data to permit Floridians to exercise the rights and freedoms. 


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In a War on Restaurants, Media Tout the Lockdown Narrative

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Just when the fear starts to subside, and growing public skepticism seems to push governors into opening, something predictable happens. The entire apparatus of mass media hops on some new, super-scary headline designed to instill more Coronaphobia and extend the lockdowns yet again. 

It’s a cycle that never stops. It comes back again and again. 

A great example occurred this weekend. A poll appeared on Friday from the Kaiser Family Foundation. It showed that confidence in Anthony Fauci is evaporating along with support for lockdowns and mandatory Covid vaccines. 

The news barely made the headlines, and very quickly this was overshadowed by a scary new claim: restaurants will give you Covid! 

It’s tailor-made for the mainstream press. The study is from the CDC, which means: credible. And the thesis is easily digestible: those who test positive for Covid are twice as likely as those who tested negative to have eaten at a restaurant.
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Governments Are Faking It, and Copying Each Other

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A mystery for months is how it is that so many governments in so many different places on earth could have adopted the same or very similar preposterous policies, no matter the threat level of the virus, and without firm evidence that interventions had any hope of being effective. 

In the course of two weeks, traditional freedoms were zapped away in nearly all developed countries. In a seriously bizarre twist, even the silliest policies replicated themselves like a virus in country after country. 

For example, you can’t try on clothing in a store in Texas or in Melbourne, or in London or in Kalamazoo. What’s with that? We know that the COVID bug is least likely to live on fabrics unless I have symptoms of it, sneeze on my handkerchief and then I stuff it in your mouth. The whole thing is a ridiculous mysophobic overreach, like most of the rules under which we live. 

Then there was the inside/outside confusion. First everyone was forced indoors and people were arrested for being outdoors. Later, once restaurants started opening, people were not allowed indoors so eating establishments scrambled to make outdoor dining possible. Are we supposed to believe that the virus lived outside for a while but then later moved inside?
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We Need a Principled Anti-Lockdown Movement

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Shell-shocked is a good way to describe the mood in the US for a good part of the Spring of 2020. Most of us never thought it could happen here. I certainly did not, even though I’ve been writing about pandemic lockdown plans for 15 years. I knew the plans were on the shelf, which is egregious, but I always thought something would stop it from happening. The courts. Public opinion. Bill of Rights. Tradition. The core rowdiness of American culture. Political squeamishness. The availability of information. 

Something would prevent it. So I believed. So most of us believed. 

Still it happened, all in a matter of days, March 12-16, 2020, and boom; it was over! We were locked down. Schools shut. Bars and restaurants closed. No international visitors. Theaters shuttered. Conferences forcibly ended. Sports stopped. We were told to stay home and watch movies…for two weeks to flatten the curve. Then two weeks stretched to five months. How lucky for those who lived in the states that resisted the pressure and stayed open, but even for them, they couldn’t visit relatives in other states due to quarantine restrictions and so on. 

Lockdowns ended American life as we knew it just five months ago, for a virus that 99.4-6% of those who contract it shake off, for which the median age of death is 78-80 with comorbidities, for which there is not a single verified case of reinfection on the planet, for which international successes in managing this relied on herd immunity and openness.
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