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Looks like Cooper moved his reopening goalposts again just in time

Last week, I discussed the arbitrary and capricious nature of Cooper’s invented “metrics for reopening,” none of which he has demonstrably meant and all of which the media invariably treated as received wisdom up to the very second he abandoned them.

His newest metric he doesn’t mean is “once two-thirds of adult North Carolinians have received at least one vaccine dose and if trends remain stable.” (Another way we know he doesn’t mean that metric? He doesn’t account for people with natural immunity — i.e., those who have recovered from an infection and those already with antibodies against a Covid infection.)

As of May 3, the proportion vaccinated stood at 49.6 percent, but as WRAL reported that day, “vaccination rates are starting to drag both in North Carolina and nationwide. North Carolina’s percentage of fully vaccinated adults has crept up by only a percentage point or so each week recently.”

Well, what happened to Cooper’s other metrics? They’re no longer useful for their actual purpose. For example, consider test percent positivity (and the Cooper administration has had their thumbs pressing hard on that scale by far, far exceeding the scientific consensus of the threshold dividing positive vs. false positive test results):

What Cooper used to say about a vaccine

Those of us in the possession of a memory know that, even as Cooper has changed his tune again on metrics for reopening, he somehow managed to change his tune while changing his tune. Here’s what he used to say about a vaccine:

Of course, when Cooper said that, look what was happening to test percent positivity and his other (now abandoned) reopening metrics; e.g.:

Moving the goalposts is part of the process. Media should have been calling the governor out on such duplicitous and dangerous behavior instead of running flack for him, letting themselves be lulled by the soothing white noise of changeable standards to “protect” them, and otherwise acting like their bovine Ingsoc peers:

And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grammes a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours?

Yes, they swallowed it. Parsons swallowed it easily, with the stupidity of an animal. The eyeless creature at the other table swallowed it fanatically, passionately, with a furious desire to track down, denounce, and vaporize anyone who should suggest that last week the ration had been thirty grammes. Syme, too-in some more complex way, involving doublethink, Syme swallowed it.

Was he, then, alone in the possession of a memory?

Don’t expect a return to freedom in North Carolina.

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...