"What If The Lockdown Was A Giant Mistake?": Ron Paul Rages "They Shouldn't Be Able To Get Away With This"
Countries like Sweden that did not lock down their economy and place the population under house arrest are faring no worse than countries that did. Sweden’s deaths-per-million from coronavirus is lower than in many lockdown countries.
Likewise, US states that did not arrest citizens for merely walking on the beach are not doing worse than those that did. South Dakota governor Kristi Noem said last week, “we've been able to keep our businesses open and allow people to take on some personal responsibility." South Dakota has recorded a total of seven coronavirus deaths.
Kentucky, a strict lockdown state, is five times more populated than South Dakota, yet it has some 20 times more coronavirus deaths. If lockdown and house arrest are the answer, shouldn’t those numbers be reversed, with South Dakota seeing mass death while Kentucky dodges the coronavirus bullet?
Governments have no right or authority to tell us what business or other activity is “essential.” Only in totalitarian states does the government claim this authority. We should encourage all those who are standing up peacefully and demanding an accounting from their elected leaders. They should not be able to get away with this.
The shutdown of the American economy should end as soon as possible. We have reached the point where fear and panic have precluded logic and facts. The damage from our overreaction to the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to prove greater than the death toll from the disease itself. The virus is not containable, and our attempt to achieve the unachievable grows more costly every day.
Covid-19 is not proving as deadly as first imagined. Last March 16, a group of researchers at Imperial College in London predicted 510,000 deaths in the UK and 2.2 million in the US. Within ten days, these early estimates were revised downward by more than an order of magnitude. As I write, the best estimate of ultimate deaths from Covid-19 in the US is about 60,000, the same as the 61,000 people who died from influenza during the winter of 2017-2018. Yet we continue to suffer from a shutdown whose imposition was justified by a fallacious model prediction.
The spread of the coronavirus is both inevitable and necessary. It is necessary because, in the absence of a vaccine, the only way to counteract the disease is to build immunity in the population. A person who contracts the infection and recovers is immune. They can no longer become ill or spread the disease. Infection and recovery is the most effective vaccination possible.
In a market economy, every job is essential. And every job is certainly essential to the person who depends on it for their livelihood. In the midst of a pandemic it’s sensible to ban mass gatherings of hundreds and thousands of people. But local governments are now imposing restrictions that make little sense. Parks and golf courses have been closed. The imposition of evening curfews is baffling.
Every government official with totalitarian instincts now has the moral justification to impose arbitrary and senseless curtailments on freedom of movement and association.
Ironically, in the midst of a supposed epidemic, hospitals all over the nation are closing down for a lack of patients. Why? Because government officials ordered them to cancel all elective medical procedures so they could be prepared to receive a crush of Covid-19 patients that never arrived. In the last four weeks, we’ve lost 22 million jobs. In our panic over the Covid-19 pandemic, we seem to have forgotten that a robust economy supports health care, education, fire and police protection, and the construction and maintenance of critical infrastructure that maintains human civilization. The toll from the artificial induction of poverty may ultimately exceed lives lost to the disease.
In 2011, researchers at Columbia University found that poverty contributes to 133,000 premature deaths annually in the US. Our stop-gap solution, massive government spending, is no panacea. Prosperity comes from production, not spending, borrowing, and taxing. If we don’t reverse course in a matter of days, we’re on our way to national suicide.