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The NC Threat-Free Index for the Week Ending May 17 — and Why Are We Still Under a “State of Emergency”?

Image source: Screenshot of June 13, 2020, WRAL report worrying about mask-free crowds in Raleigh’s Glenwood South district (pre-mandate).

Here is the NC Threat-Free Index for the week ending May 17:

  • As of May 17, there were 963,539 North Carolinians presumed to be recovered from COVID-19
  • Active cases comprised just 1.6% 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 over 0.1% (one-tenth of one percent) of NC’s population (note: active cases are lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus recoveries and deaths)
  • Now 34 out of every 35 (97.1%) of NC’s total cases were recovered, meaning they are no longer infectious
  • Only just over 0.1% of people in NC had died with COVID-19 (regardless of the actual cause of death)
  • About 90.6% 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 things considered, nearly 99.9% 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 relative growth in lab-confirmed cases vs. recoveries, and it is likely understated because it does not account for vaccinations)

Feebly justifying a state of emergency, Cooper’s source of ill-gotten power

In recent weeks, I have included the following note here:

It’s been over a year. It’s well, well, well past time for the governor to end this open-ended “emergency” rule.

Even though Gov. Roy Cooper suddenly, as of May 14, lifted nearly all of his personal and business restrictions, he still keeps North Carolina under a “State of Emergency.” Judging by the end of his “Frequently Asked Questions” to explain his May 14 order, however, Cooper feels a need to justify keeping North Carolina under a state of emergency — which itself is a clear sign he knows it’s not a state of emergency. This “state of emergency” is the source of his illegitimately seized authority, as he also well knows (for more on that, see Jon Guze’s four-part series on the need to amend the Emergency Management Act).

A true state of emergency would be blatantly obvious, not something that needs five belabored bullet points to explain it as if you’re giving a presentation for widening a city street.

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...