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COMMENTARY OF THE DAY
By
Robert Namer
Voice Of America
©2024 All rights reserved
February 20, 2024

     The Dems want fear tactics,  COVID-mania just won’t go away.  The deadly strains of the virus have been gone for two years now and yet the recent outbreak of a mild flu-like variant is again stoking panic on the left and by left-leaning media outlets.

     Nearly 100 universities are requiring masks.  Lionsgate movie studios in Los Angeles and Atlanta-based Morris Brown College just stated they are reinstating not just mask mandates but social-distancing measures and contact-tracing as well.  CNN — which led the panic in 2020 and 2021, causing manic school, restaurant and business shutdowns and vaccine mandates — recently put out a headline on its website that encouraged its readers not to go outside without a mask on. 

     Really? The latest evidence finds this is less dangerous than a normal flu virus and tracking data suggest that the wave may have already peaked.  Even more disturbing is that the leftist medical community and media aren’t renouncing their calls for mitigation strategies that were catastrophically wrong in the panic era of 2020 and 2021 but instead calling for more of these assaults on freedom down the road.  It’s one thing for well-meaning medical experts to have disagreed about how to best combat a once-in-a-half-century deadly virus. 

     We didn’t know exactly what we were dealing with. But now we know with concrete scientific evidence that most of the mandates and lockdowns had a very small impact on the spread of the virus and on fatalities.  It turns out there was almost no difference in death rates in states with strict lockdowns and those with no lockdowns at all. Cross-country evidence also suggests masks had a very small impact. 

     Healthy children were never at risk from COVID (something we knew early on), so shutting down schools for one or two years was a sop to the teacher unions but a disaster for this generation of kids. Test scores are the worst in 30 years.  Another example of the continuing damage from school lockdowns: Before the pandemic, only 15% of public-school students were chronically absent, that is, more than 18 or more days a year.

     Stanford University education professor Thomas Dee’s data finds an estimated 6.5 million additional students are now chronically absent. In some states absenteeism has doubled.  But polls show that Democrats — even those who are highly-educated — generally still support the lockdowns that were mandated. These are the same people who lecture about “following the science.”  The most comprehensive study by experts at Johns Hopkins found that lockdowns reduced COVID death rates by 0.1%

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