Yet at the same time that all this alarm is mounting, the actual number of COVID-19 deaths is at a nadir. Harvard Medical School Professor Martin Kulldorff pointed this out on Twitter, writing that “In [the] USA, COVID mortality is now the lowest since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.”
He shared this graph from OurWorldInData which clearly shows how COVID deaths per million are at, relatively speaking, extreme lows. Far more people were dying from COVID-19 months ago as we were winding down restrictions than are dying today as some call to reinstate them.
Hospitalizations are concerning, yes, but primarily insofar as they lead to high numbers of deaths, which, thankfully, is not the case so far with the Delta variant.
Others would say that deaths are a “lagging indicator” that come in several weeks after the increased spread of the disease. But the Delta variant has been spreading in the US for months now, and deaths have remained relatively flat, in part due to widespread vaccination.
“‘Emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have eroded,” as Nobel-Prize-winning economist Freidrich Hayek put it. “And once they are suspended it is not difficult for anyone who has assumed emergency powers to see to it that the emergency will persist.”
Examples of this timeless truth abound throughout history up until present day: from the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II to the now-permanent infringements on our civil liberties after 9/11 to the sweeping expansion of government control during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But, whether politicians like it or not, the COVID-19 crisis is largely over. So don’t fall for cynical arguments from power-hungry individuals who want their “emergency” powers to become permanent.