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Fighting the narrative of a failed reopening

Editors at National Review Online reach different conclusions from most of their media brethren about the impact of reopening the economy in states across the country.

Now, states like Florida, Texas, and Arizona have seen worrying increases in their positivity rates — the percentage of tests that are positive — in a sign of accelerating community spread.

The media’s tone about this trend is, of course, apocalyptic, with many commentators portraying the Republican governors of these states as callous extremists hell-bent on reopening, come what may. The fact is that states all over the country have been reopening, and California and North Carolina, both with Democratic governors, have seen spikes in new confirmed cases, too (although not dramatically increasing positivity rates). …

… The reality is that Greg Abbott, Ron DeSantis, and Doug Ducey are reasonable, public-spirited men who never said they would insist on full reopening regardless of the consequences. …

… They are following the evidence and adjusting to new data. We like the local watering hole as much as the next guy, but if bars are contributing to the surge of cases, it only makes sense to close them again. …

… The good news is that in none of these places have we yet seen a spike in deaths commensurate with the spike in cases. This may simply reflect the fact that deaths are a lagging indicator. But the evidence suggests that we are seeing a younger cohort of people getting the virus. …

… None of this means that reopening is a failure. The promise of reopening wasn’t that there would be no additional cases — most people conceded that there would be. The promise of reopening was that we could begin a necessary return to normal life, while managing new outbreaks, hitting the brakes when and where needed, and having plans in place to keep hospitals from coming close to getting overwhelmed, as almost happened during the worst period in New York.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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