October 4, 2020 – Re-post from Paul Prentice
We hear all the time about how COVID shut down the economy. That is incorrect; COVID did not shut down the economy, the political response to COVID shut it down. There were a series of policy choices at several levels of state and local government. The economic damage from those choices is immense. This is not a natural disaster, it is a man-made disaster.
National data show that U.S. real GDP fell at an annual rate of 5% in the first quarter, and was followed by 32% decline in the second quarter. This is the worst economic performance since the Great Depression. The total decline in lost economic activity is $2.26 trillion.
The decline in total U.S. employment was 25.4 million jobs lost–about 16% of all US jobs.
There has been an estimated permanent loss of 7.5 million small businesses. This includes a loss of 40% of all minority-owned small businesses. It is also estimated that 60% of restaurants will not survive.
In Colorado, real GDP fell at an annual rate of 4% in the first quarter, about equal to the
national decline. Second-quarter data is not yet available but we can expect that Colorado
followed the national trend with about a 30% decline. The Colorado peak-to-trough decline in total employment was 343,500 jobs lost–about 12% of all CO jobs.
A survey by “Keep Colorado Free and Open” evaluated the impact of COVID on local businesses. The survey found that 19% of businesses re-opened in defiance of the governor’s orders. Of those who re-opened in defiance, 21% had their business license threatened by the health department. The average reported loss was over $100,000 so far this year. Could you survive a $100,000 loss in income?
Those are all numbers, but what does it mean to shut down an economy? The economy is the means by which we earn a living. It is how we feed our families. And it is the path to a more prosperous life for us and our children. The economy is you. To shut down the economy is to shut down not just our means of earning a living, but it is to shut down our very lives.
Those in favor of an economic shutdown argue that it is worth it, to save lives. But that is not what the medical science shows. The COVID data is vastly exaggerated. Hospitals are provided with financial incentives to report inflated COVID infections and also inflated COVID deaths.
More testing shows more cases; it does not mean more spread. The testing is so advanced that it can detect one broken strand of COVID-DNA in one sample. That is then reported as a COVID infection, even though it is not enough viral load to even have symptoms, let alone enough to infect others. National CDC data showed that only 5% of reported COVID deaths were from COVID alone. The other 95% had one or more co-morbidities.
A Colorado study showed that 20-30% of reported COVID deaths were not from COVID.
Imagine the headlines: “Man eaten by shark, dies of COVID”; or “Woman run over by truck, dies of COVID”. This is only partly in jest; there are actual cases of such from around the world. In the UK, anyone who dies within 3 months of a COVID diagnosis is counted as a COVID death, even actual people who died in a car crash.
New data from Scotland show that 75% of reported COVID deaths were not from COVID.
Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida just announced a total and unrestricted reopening of their entire economy – yet they have a higher percent of at-risk elderly than does Colorado.
But even if we accept the inflated death rates, the risk of dying is minimal. Data from CDC show that in the U.S., you have a 99.94% chance of not dying from COVID. There are very few things in life that have a 99.94% chance of a favorable outcome! And for people aged 0-19, the death rate is 0.00003%, even if they have COVID. That is about as close to zero as you can get.
In Colorado, you have a 99.97% chance of not dying from COVID. That is about the same
percentage as in South Dakota that had no lockdown at all. In El Paso County, you have a
99.98% chance of not dying from COVID.
Study after study shows that there is zero statistical correlation between the degree of
economic lockdown and death rates. This is true of international studies between nations that locked down and those that remained open. It is true for U.S. States whether they had severe lockdowns, partial lockdowns, or no lockdowns at all. There is no scientific evidence for the efficacy of lockdowns.
Yet there is evidence of increased lockdown-related deaths from suicide, drug abuse, domestic abuse, and delayed medical care. In the false name of avoiding death, our political leaders are preventing us from living. I urge state and local officials to follow the science.
Follow the data. Open the economy now!
COUNTIES AGAINST COVID CHAOS
Join in solidarity on Sunday, October 11th to hear the response from your county officials about the resolution we issued on September 27 to re-open El Paso & Larimer county businesses 100%.
We need a show of numbers to let officials know:
• We’re fed up.
• Enough is enough.
• We want businesses open NOW!
Invite your friends and family to join us and stand against the COVID chaos—because it’s time to get back to the old normal!
Remember, this is a right granted us by the First Amendment:
• To petition government for redress of grievances is the right to make a complaint to, or seek the assistance of, one’s government, without fear of punishment or reprisals.
Let’s unite and demand:
• NO MORE LIES!
• NO MORE RESTRICTIONS!
All residents are strongly encouraged to attend in order to show their support for unlocking Larimer County.
Remember: Strength in numbers!
IT’S TIME TO RETURN TO FREEDOM!
• Facebook: @KeepCOFreeEvents
• Website: https://bit.ly/COVIDChaos
• MeetUp: http://bit.ly/COVIDChaos2
And, remember to mark that you’re going on to help drive others to take action!!
Paul Prentice is an Economics Fellow at Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University and a Senior Fellow at Independence Institute. This article is a Guest Editorial, submitted on 09/30/2020 to the Colorado Springs Gazette.