COVID-19 death rate is 75% lower in states that didn’t lock down: WSJ

By Joe Kovacs

Army Pfc. Kelly Buterbaugh, a combat medic assigned to the Delaware Army National Guard Medical Detachment, talks with fellow soldiers at a drive-thru testing site for COVID-19 on the grounds of Central Middle School in Dover, Delaware, June 17, 2020. About 10 soldiers and airmen with the National Guard supported the saliva-based testing of 130 people at the school. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Capt. Brendan Mackie)

A lead editorial in the Wall Street Journal reveals the per-capita death rate for the coronavirus is 75% lower in states that did not panic into lockdown mode.

“GOP governors have faced enormous media pressure to lock down their states in solidarity with Democrats, and some now are getting browbeaten to shut down again amid coronavirus flare-ups. So it’s worth pointing out that states that didn’t lock down this spring kept the virus under control and experienced fewer deaths than most [of the states] that did,” the Journal’s editors said on Wednesday.

“A new analysis by The Sentinel, a Kansas nonprofit, compares the 42 states that shut down most of their economies with the eight that did not. The latter group includes mostly rural states with some small metropolitan areas: North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Utah. Private employment on average fell by 7.8% between May 2019 and May 2020 in these states while plunging 13.2% in the others.”

A giant clothespin representing the U.S. economy chokes Uncle Sam during a Reopen America rally in Stuart, Florida, on Friday, April 24, 2020. (Photo by Joe Kovacs)

The 75% lower fatality figure in open states caught the attention of radio host Rush Limbaugh.

“We’re talking fatalities,” Limbaugh said on his national broadcast Wednesday. “We’re not talking cases. We’re talking actual numbers of deaths, which they don’t spend much time talking about, nor hospitalizations as well.”

“They (the media) still focus on the number of cases, right? As we discussed yesterday, that’s because they want you to think cases equals sickness, equals irreversible sickness, equals death. They don’t actually say it. They want you to conclude it. But, per-capita fatalities due to the COVID-19 virus were 75% lower in open states.”

Limbaugh continued: “You are being led to believe that the death rate is skyrocketing, and you’re being led to believe that it’s only a matter of time; we’re gonna have to shut down again. We’re gonna have to go back inside again, gonna have to shut down [the] economy.”

Rush Limbaugh (Video screenshot courtesy

He also found it odd that Republican “governors have faced enormous media pressure,” according to the Journal.

“I thought the media was the news? What is the media doing pressuring anybody?” he asked, admitting it was a rhetorical question to illustrate his point.

Limbaugh also commented on the coronavirus directive by Lincoln County, Oregon, to specifically exempt “people of color” from wearing face masks required of all other county residents if they “have heightened concerns about racial profiling and harassment due to wearing face coverings in public.”

“So to avoid racism, we are telling African-Americans in Lincoln County, Oregon, you don’t have to wear a mask,” he noted. “You can make yourself even more vulnerable to this disease even though you’re at the top of the vulnerability list. Why would a woke county in Oregon allow noncompliance by the group that we are told is most susceptible to getting this virus? Why subject black residents to such great danger? I know it’s not a noose, but it looks a lot like racism here. What else could this be?

They think they’re doing them a favor by exempting them from wearing a mask, or are they admitting, ‘Yeah, wearing the mask, it’s really a pain. We understand this. It’s an irritant. You guys don’t have to do it. You don’t have to do it. We’re not gonna be racist and make you wear a mask.'”

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