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NC Covid-19 Numbers Continue to Cliff-Dive

Over a month ago, to media reports of people fearing terrible outcomes as a result, on May 14, Gov. Roy Cooper surprised himself and the rest of us by lifting nearly all of his personal and business restrictions. He left the door to reinstating tyranny open a crack by keeping schoolkids forced into face masks and keeping North Carolina under a ridiculous “state of emergency” for the express purpose of getting federal money.

Media and certain health experts wielding computer models and an unmatched ability to avoid the screamingly obvious continued to push out fear porn and mask theater. On June 4, the News & Observer among others ran with this story: “NC researchers say keeping masks on will prevent thousands of additional COVID cases.”

The press release behind that research included this quotation, which had already been falsified: “‘As soon as you start relaxing mask wearing and physical distancing with any percent of the population vaccinated, you see an increase in cases,’ Mehul Patel, a UNC School of Medicine researcher and the study’s lead author, said in a press release.”

“As soon as” — well, here are how North Carolina’s Covid numbers have changed since Cooper’s announcement. Do we “see an increase in cases”?

  May 14 June 18 Change
New cases (7-day rolling average) 1,262.9 345.0 Down 73%
Hospitalizations (7-day rolling average) 950.3 488.6 Down 49%
Test percent positive (7-day rolling average) 4.1% 1.9% Down 54%

But May 14 wasn’t “as soon as” with respect to when Cooper decided to “start relaxing mask wearing and physical distancing.” What if we were to go back just two weeks earlier (April 28), when Cooper changed his orders so that bigger gatherings could be held and even that people would no longer be forced into the antiscientific security theater of wearing masks outdoors? Do we “see an increase in cases”?

  April 28 June 18 Change
New cases (7-day rolling average) 1,858.1 345.0 Down 81%
Hospitalizations (7-day rolling average) 1,115.3 488.6 Down 56%
Test percent positive (7-day rolling average) 4.3% 1.9% Down 56%

If the Perpetual Lockdown computer modeling was at all accurate, these results couldn’t be. If anything, the rapid decline in Covid numbers accelerated the more freedom was restored to people.

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...