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The NC Threat-Free Index for the week ending February 8

Back on August 11, 2020, I wrote a post entitled “Cooper’s game of keeping NC not even in full ‘Phase 2’ yet.” It looked at the timeline of Cooper’s lockdowns, restrictions, and broken promises up till then, a process that hasn’t changed in the half-year since.

Here it is February 9, 2021, and not only is North Carolina still not in what Cooper originally called “Phase 2” of reopening (which was to happen on May 20) — we are actually under the tightest restrictions we’ve been under since May 2020. Actual case numbers continue to expose the lie that a virus responds to central planning, and meanwhile, research into lockdowns and other government interventions like Cooper’s are showing they are deadlier in the long term than the virus itself. Yet here we are.

I wrote back in August, six months ago, that:

… there’s no reason to treat the “phases” for reopening as if they are written in stone. The phases are Cooper’s formulation only; there’s nothing that forces moving into Phase 3 before lifting all executive orders and allowing people to rebuild the economy in all the various unseen and unimaginable ways that they would do it — ways that no one, not the wisest economist, certainly not some witless central planner, could ever direct, dictate, anticipate, or comprehend.

The point is, at any time Cooper could lift his executive orders. He could do so today.

Such an obvious point was, of course, caviar to the general as far as governor and his hand-selected media were concerned. Nevertheless, on Jan. 27, when Cooper announced the latest extension of his extreme restrictions, he admitted as much: “If we look at numbers and we see things getting better and better, we could always move in and remove some of those protocols.”

I remind everyone of that as prelude to the NC Threat-Free Index for the week ending February 8:

  • As of Feb. 8, there were 730,454 North Carolinians presumed to be recovered from COVID-19
  • Active cases comprised just 7.4% of NC’s total case count (note: a case of COVID isn’t a permanent infection, and only someone with an active case of the virus can conceivably transmit it to you)
  • Active cases represented less than 0.6% (six-tenths of one percent) of NC’s population (note: active cases are lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus recoveries and deaths)
  • About 11 out of every 12 (91.4%) of NC’s total cases were recovered, meaning they are no longer infectious
  • Only 0.09% of people in NC had died with COVID-19 (regardless of the actual cause of death)
  • Meanwhile, about 92.5% people in NC had never had a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19, despite the PCR test cycle threshold set so high as to produce a large amount of false positives (note: this proportion will always decline, but we have been living with this virus since February 2020, as far as testing is concerned)
  • All considered, about 99.4% of people in NC posed no threat of passing along COVID-19 to anyone — a virus most had never had and the rest had recovered from (note: this proportion will fluctuate based on the relative growth in lab-confirmed cases vs. recoveries, and it is likely understated because it does not account for vaccinations)

Jon Sanders / Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...