“By going into lockdown,” New York Times science writer Carl Zimmer matter-of-factly reports , “Massachusetts drove its reproductive number down from 2.2 at the beginning of March to 1 by the end of the month; it’s now at .74.” Zimmer is talking about the number of people the average carrier infects, and if the Massachusetts lockdown […]
“More than four months into fighting the coronavirus in the United States,” The New York Times says , “the shared sacrifice of millions of Americans suspending their lives—with jobs lost, businesses shuttered, daily routines upended—has not been enough to beat back a virus whose staying power around the world is only still being grasped.” Most Americans, […]
Is it misleading to cite expanded COVID-19 testing as one possible explanation for the post-lockdown increases in confirmed cases that some states have seen? Or is it misleading to cite post-lockdown increases in confirmed cases without taking expanded testing into account? I am inclined to think the latter is more true than the former. But […]
Another Round of Coronavirus Lockdowns Might Be Coming. They'll Be Far Less Enforceable Than Before.
There’s probably no better demonstration of the nonsensical nature of America’s ongoing coronavirus lockdowns than the scene that played out on Monday at a playground in Brooklyn. Middleton Playground, in the New York City borough’s Williamsburg neighborhood, had been closed since June 1 for “social distancing violations”—because children were using the playground to, well, play. […]
Ohio’s COVID-19 lockdown violates due process and the separation of powers, a state judge concluded today, ruling in favor of a company that sought to reopen a water park without suffering criminal penalties. “This unbridled and unfettered consolidation of authority in one unelected official is dangerous grounds to tread on,” writes Erie County Court of […]
During an April 2 interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News, Surgeon General Jerome Adams compared deaths caused by COVID-19 to deaths caused by smoking and drug abuse. “More people will die, even in the worst projections, from cigarette smoking in this country than are going to die from coronavirus this year,” he said. Wallace […]
The past is a different country, one I used to live in. In that country, as I remember it, people moved about and met with others freely, passing close to strangers on the sidewalk, wearing gloves and scarves only when the weather required it. They rode crowded buses and packed subway trains, commuting to their […]
A month ago, The New York Times published an internal Trump administration document that predicted the United States would be seeing 3,000 COVID-19 fatalities per day by June 1, raising the national death toll above 200,000. The document also projected that the daily number of new confirmed cases would exceed 200,000 by then—i.e., by now. “The […]
States began lifting their COVID-19 lockdowns more than a month ago, and so far the results have not been nearly as disastrous as many people predicted . By and large, according to estimates by two teams of researchers, virus transmission in Florida, Georgia, and Texas—three states with large populations that loosened their restrictions at the […]
John Roberts Does Not Think California's Special Restrictions on Religious Services Discriminate Against Churches
The Supreme Court last Friday rejected a Chula Vista church’s request for an injunction against California’s pandemic-inspired restrictions on religious services, an issue that has divided federal appeals courts. In a concurring opinion , Chief Justice John Roberts argues that the state’s COVID-19 control measures seem to be consistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee of […]
If you are a critic of COVID-19 lockdowns, here are some numbers you will like. I also have some numbers you will not like as much, which I will get to in a minute. According to a model by researchers at the University of Utah, the “real-time reproductive number” for the COVID-19 virus—the number of […]
Do Pandemic-Inspired Bans on Religious Services Violate the First Amendment? Circuit Courts Are Split.
Are COVID-19 lockdowns that prohibit church services like Oregon’s ban on peyote—a neutral, generally applicable law that incidentally impedes religious freedom? Or are they more like the ban on animal sacrifice that Hialeah, Florida, enacted in 1987, which not-so-incidentally prohibited a Santeria ritual? Those questions are at the heart of constitutional challenges to pandemic-inspired restrictions […]