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Posts Tagged ‘South Dakota’

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Good News: Fauci’s Out and Common Sense Might Be Returning

Posted by M. C. on August 17, 2020

Recall, Fauci was the “expert” who told us a few months ago that we would never be able to shake hands again.

Fauci’s advice, forecasts, and assessments proved to be wildly wrong, contradictory, and just plain bizarre: Don’t wear a mask! You must wear a mask. Masks are important as symbols. Put on goggles. Stay home! Churches must be severely restricted but Black Lives Matter marches and encounters with strangers met over the Internet are perfectly fine.
Imagine how many thousands of lives could have been saved had the Administration listened to Dr. Atlas back in April. CDC Director Robert Redfield admitted last month that lockdowns were killing more Americans than Covid.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/17/good-news-fauci-s-out-and-common-sense-might-be-returning/?mc_cid=edd08212fb

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These days it seems there is not much good news out there. People are still panicked over the coronavirus, governments are still trampling civil liberties in the name of fighting the virus, the economy –already teetering on the edge of collapse – has been kicked to the ground by what history may record as one of the worst man-made disasters of all time: shutting down the country to fight a cold virus.

That’s why we’ll take good news wherever we can get it, and President Trump’s hiring of Dr. Scott Atlas to his coronavirus task force may just be that good news we need. As the media has reported, President Trump has sidelined headline-hogging Anthony Fauci in favor of Atlas, the former Stanford University Medical Center chief of neuroradiology.

Recall, Fauci was the “expert” who told us a few months ago that we would never be able to shake hands again.

Fauci’s advice, forecasts, and assessments proved to be wildly wrong, contradictory, and just plain bizarre: Don’t wear a mask! You must wear a mask. Masks are important as symbols. Put on goggles. Stay home! Churches must be severely restricted but Black Lives Matter marches and encounters with strangers met over the Internet are perfectly fine.

When Anthony Fauci demanded a lockdown of the economy for an indefinite period he actually seemed oblivious to the havoc it would wreak on the economy and on people’s lives. People like Fauci and others who demanded lockdowns and stay-at-home orders were still collecting their paychecks, so what did they care about anyone else?

Dr. Scott Atlas is not only a former top physician and hospital administrator: as a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution he also understands the policy implications of locking a country down.

On April 22, Dr. Atlas wrote an op-ed in The Hill titled, “The data is in — stop the panic and end the total isolation.” In the article he made five main points that are as true today as when he wrote them: an overwhelming majority of people are at no risk of dying from Covid; protecting older people prevents hospital overcrowding; locking down a population actually prevents the herd immunity necessary to defeat the virus; people are dying because they are not being treated for non-Covid illnesses; we know what part of the population is at risk and we can protect them.

Imagine how many thousands of lives could have been saved had the Administration listened to Dr. Atlas back in April. CDC Director Robert Redfield admitted last month that lockdowns were killing more Americans than Covid. “First do no harm” was thrown out the window and nearly six months of wrong-headed policy has done perhaps irreparable harm to the country.

South Dakota and Sweden did virtually nothing to lock down or restrict their populations and they actually fared better than lockdown states in the US. They had lower death rates, their hospitals were never over-run with Covid patients, and they have an economy to go back to.

We very much hope that Dr. Atlas will not “moderate” his message to please the blob in Washington. Trump’s Covid policies to this point have caused more harm than good. With Fauci out of the driver’s seat we finally have a chance of turning things around.


Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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Coronavirus Pandemic: South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem Stayed the Course | National Review

Posted by M. C. on June 8, 2020

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/06/coronavirus-pandemic-south-dakota-governor-kristi-noem-stayed-the-course/

By

‘The people themselves are primarily responsible for their safety.’

Pierre, South Dakota — The coronavirus crisis hasn’t been kind to the reputations of many governors.

New York’s Andrew Cuomo held effective news conferences that at first burnished his image, but he’s now ducking responsibility for sending virus patients back into nursing homes where the disease promptly spread. Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer is now seen as a scold who on the one hand has kept pot dispensaries open but, on the other, last week told residents who’ve gone three months without hair care to just “Google how to do a haircut.”

Among the governors whose reputation has clearly been enhanced is South Dakota’s Kristi Noem. The 48-year-old Republican, who still ranches her family’s land, didn’t issue a shelter-in-place lockdown order for her state. “The people themselves are primarily responsible for their safety,” she said in a public statement in April. She added that the state and national constitutions “prevent us from taking draconian measures much like the Chinese government has done.”

But that didn’t mean South Dakota didn’t take clear steps to control the virus. Noem issued an executive order in March urging the elderly and those with preexisting conditions to stay home and encouraging employees to practice social distancing and to telework if possible.

“We do follow Center for Disease Control guidance,” Noem told Greg Kelly of Newsmax TV. “But we also made decisions that were best for South Dakota. South Dakota is not New York City.” Indeed, per square mile, New York has more than 26,000 residents per square mile, while South Dakota has only 12.

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New York vs. Texas: NY Has Nearly 50 Times More COVID-19 Deaths Per Capita | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on April 29, 2020

Many states now report total deaths per 100,000 that are
one-thirtieth the size of New York’s toll. Texas, for instance, reports
total deaths numbering 2.3 per 100,000. The total in South Dakota, which
has been much maligned for not imposing any statewide lockdowns, is 1.2
deaths per 100,000.

Were New York a foreign country, the US’s total death rate from COVID-19 would be cut by 36 percent:

The truth, of course, is that these statements by politicians and government “experts” were attempts to justify extreme government edicts that have created widespread unemployment, poverty, child abuse, and illness. They are irresponsible scare tactics employed for political purposes, and were never based on any actual evidence or knowledge about the situation. After all, these officials don’t even know the fatality rate of COVID-19.

https://mises.org/wire/new-york-vs-texas-ny-has-nearly-50-times-more-covid-19-deaths-capita?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=da4fb45608-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-da4fb45608-228343965

As of April 26, there were nearly 55,000 COVID-19 deaths reported in the United States. Of those, more than 22,000 (or about 40 percent) were in the state of New York alone. New Jersey was in second place, with nearly 5,900 COVID-19 deaths reported.

If we combine these two states, we find that a majority of COVID-19 deaths in the United States have come from them alone. Combined, these two states accounted for more than 51 percent (28,213) of all deaths, while all other states combined made up less than 48.5 percent (or 26,567) of deaths.

ny

Measured in terms of deaths per 100,000, New York (114 per 100,000) and New Jersey (66 per 100,000) also had the highest rates. But New York had the worst rate by far.

New York’s number of deaths per 100,000 soars above those of all other states, is double that of Massachusetts, and is more than seven times those of Maryland and Pennsylvania.

The difference becomes even more stark as we move west and south. New York’s death rate is now 22 times as large as Florida’s and 25 times that of Alabama.

compared

Many states now report total deaths per 100,000 that are one-thirtieth the size of New York’s toll. Texas, for instance, reports total deaths numbering 2.3 per 100,000. The total in South Dakota, which has been much maligned for not imposing any statewide lockdowns, is 1.2 deaths per 100,000.

Were New York a foreign country, the US’s total death rate from COVID-19 would be cut by 36 percent:

ny

Whenever comparisons of this sort are made, however, many claim that all areas of the country will closely follow in New York’s footsteps unless ever more strict lockdown measures are taken immediately.

Indeed, we’ve been hearing for weeks that various states and regions are just “two weeks behind New York” in terms of COVID-19 infections and deaths.

For example, more than a month ago, the Philadelphia Inquirer on March 27 quoted one medical expert claiming: “We anticipate we are no more than two weeks behind New York City….Cases are doubling every two to three days. We had 46 confirmed cases last night. You do the math.”

Also in Pennsylvania, a medical expert from Lehigh Valley on March 22 insisted that “we are two weeks behind Manhattan in terms of spread and seriousness.”

On April 3, Maryland governor Larry Hogan proclaimed that his state was “about two weeks behind New York.”

Meanwhile, on April 1 WBHM reported that an Alabama health official had claimed: “Birmingham is about two weeks behind New York City.” Nearly a month later, Jefferson County, Alabama, where Birmingham sits, reports a death rate of 5 per 100,000, or 4 percent the size of New York’s death rate.

When we note outlandishly incorrect predictions such as these, a common response from lockdown boosters is “Well, social distancing prevented that!”

But did it?

So far, there’s no empirical evidence even showing that social distancing works. As T.J. Rodgers wrote in the Wall Street Journal this week, there is no correlation between government-forced “shutdowns” and a muted number of deaths from COVID-19:

No conclusions can be drawn about the states that sheltered quickly, because their death rates ran the full gamut, from 20 per million in Oregon to 360 in New York. This wide variation means that other variables—like population density or subway use—were more important. Our correlation coefficient for per-capita death rates vs. the population density was 44%. That suggests New York City might have benefited from its shutdown—but blindly copying New York’s policies in places with low Covid-19 death rates, such as my native Wisconsin, doesn’t make sense.

Similarly, political scientist Wilfred Reilly ran the numbers, taking into account factors such as population and population density. He found no evidence “that lockdowns are a more effective way of handling coronavirus than well-done social-distancing measures” and concluded:

The question the model set out to ask was whether lockdown states experience fewer Covid-19 cases and deaths than social-distancing states, adjusted for all of the above variables. The answer? No. The impact of state-response strategy on both my cases and deaths measures was utterly insignificant.

Moreover, the timing is less than convincing for the “lockdowns worked!” claims. For example, in the case of Maryland, the governor claimed, “we’re two weeks behind New York,” even after a stay-at-home order was in place. That is, his prediction assumed social distancing. Nearly a month later, Hogan was clearly very wrong.

In Alabama, on the other hand, a statewide stay-at-home order did not come down until thirteen days (i.e., nearly two weeks) after the New York lockdown. Had Alabama truly been “two weeks behind,” it would have already been nearly comparable to New York in its death rate by the time the order was implemented. Obviously, that didn’t happen.

The truth, of course, is that these statements by politicians and government “experts” were attempts to justify extreme government edicts that have created widespread unemployment, poverty, child abuse, and illness. They are irresponsible scare tactics employed for political purposes, and were never based on any actual evidence or knowledge about the situation. After all, these officials don’t even know the fatality rate of COVID-19.

Now, it’s entirely possible that as time progresses later waves of illness could increase total deaths, and there may be some “hot spots” where there are serious strains on the medical infrastructure. However, given the track record of the experts in predicting who is two weeks behind New York, it looks like it will only be a coincidence if these predictions of New York–like death rates prove correct at some point. Just as financial permabears often “predict ten of the last two recessions,” I have no doubt that many government-employed experts will predict twelve of the next three hot spots. Meanwhile, thanks to these experts’ recommendations, important medical procedures will be banned, people in need of medical care will be frightened into staying home, and food shortages may become a reality.

The real question we should be asking ourselves is why is New York is such a mess in terms of COVID-19? New York’s deaths aren’t just high by US standards. The state’s total deaths per 100,000 are higher than both Spain’s and Italy’s, both of which are considered to be among the most hard-hit countries on earth. New York has reported nearly as many COVID-19 deaths as Spain (23,500), even though Spain has a much larger population of 46 million. New York is also only about 5,000 deaths behind Italy, even though Italy has a population three times the size of New York State.

Indeed, these numbers are so high that one wonders if deaths are even being counted properly, or if there is something about New York’s medical infrastructure that is especially inferior. Perhaps New York is home to a particularly virulent strain of the disease. Perhaps the disease was in circulation for far longer than the experts insist is the case. The experts don’t know the answers to these questions.

Nor should we expect answers to these questions any time soon. But what we do know is that it strains the bounds of credibility to insist that South Dakota will soon be New York if it doesn’t impose similar lockdown measures. This doesn’t mean that no caution is warranted, or that high-risk populations should neglect social-distancing measures. But the claims that we’re all “two weeks behind New York” are neither accurate nor helpful.

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Lived 30 miles from NYC for a year. Manhattan, with its persistent aroma of sewage, packs and stacks 70,000 people per square mile.

After a year near Cesspool City, I was so ready to return to a West Coast county with fresh air and two people per square mile.

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What Governors Can Do | Mises Institute

Posted by M. C. on April 10, 2020

The bad press is already started regarding Sweden. How they make out will be interesting.

Too bad it will be years before reliable information will be leaked.

To my Pennsylvania comrades-don’t expect relief anytime soon.

https://mises.org/power-market/what-governors-can-do

Jeff Deist

Which state has the courage to become the Sweden of the US, and take a different (read: better, freer) approach to coronavirus?

As of yesterday, five US states remain at least reasonably “open” in terms of their implemented measures to fight the pandemic. Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota have no state orders in place closing businesses and forcing residents to stay home, while Iowa and North Dakota shut down “nonessential” businesses but have not issued stay-at-home orders.

Three states, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Utah, have partial lockdowns in place.

The other forty-two states have varying orders in place, and some regions such as the San Francisco Bay area have issued their own stricter shutdown policies. Population-wise, nearly 95 percent of all Americans today live under some kind of restrictions on movement and business, decreed either statewide or by counties and cities.

There is a tremendous opportunity here for state and local politicians to distinguish themselves. South Dakota governor Kristi Noem in particular has been steadfast in resisting political pressure to order a statewide lockdown, and surely most Americans readily understand how sparsely populated Western states might approach a pandemic very differently than big urban cities.

What should that approach look like? Here are some broad brushstrokes:

  • First, one brave governor (or county supervisor, mayor, etc.) gets the ball rolling by forming an impromptu coalition of states interested in staying open or reopening. Political pressure to go along with other states is strong, and the federal government has a long and sordid history of bullying states into compliance with national edicts using the carrot and the stick. The Trump administration thus far has been surprisingly reluctant to issue a nationwide shutdown, and governors looking for daylight should seize on this. They will need each other to stand against the tide—see, e.g., this broadside, against Noem.
  • Hold a press conference to announce the coalition, pick a marketable name for the effort (something like “South Dakota—Open for Business!”), and hold weekly calls open to media. Discuss conditions, options, and ideas, but make it clear that each state is wholly independent and that decisions are necessarily localized—this is not an interstate compact.
  • Announce guidelines, not orders, to citizens along these lines: people over seventy are strongly encouraged to self-quarantine in a strict manner. Those over fifty who have existing medical vulnerabilities to the virus are encouraged to do the same. Healthy people under fifty are welcome to return to daily activities but are strongly encouraged to wear masks (proven to be effective in several Asian countries). Of course many residents will self-quarantine regardless, and some businesses will choose to shut down regardless, per their individual choices.
  • Reopen government courts, and set a deadline of sixty or ninety days hence for resumption of contract enforcement (including evictions). Ask the state bar association to set up statewide centers for landlords and tenants to meet and renegotiate—using realistic numbers—rental agreements. Hard-line landlords can go to court, and hard-line tenants can refuse payment, but evictions benefit neither party in the immediate term.
  • In stages, reopen public schools and universities based on local conditions. Hold parental votes online to determine whether each school district will continue online classes or revert to physical attendance.
  • Announce that restaurants, bars, and retail outlets are open as usual, with the strong caveat that provable cases of virus transmittal will be heard in state courts under a broad doctrine of premises liability. This will encourage the kind of measures by owners that have been seen in Taiwan and Singapore, ranging from using digital thermometers at store entrances to relentless scrubbing of surfaces in restaurants.
  • Immediately bid out a statewide insurance claims facility for coronavirus deaths so that in worst case scenarios families will be compensated for loss of loved ones. Insist that payments are retroactive to cover deaths prior to the bid, and use the model of airlines after crashes (quick payouts, little paperwork, claims personnel with good bedside manner). Payouts of $1 million would not be impossible to insure against in low-population states, where deaths likely will remain well under five thousand. Insurers themselves can go to the reinsurance markets, and insurance companies would have every incentive to test, treat, and take measures necessary to keep citizens alive. They would become de facto partners when it comes to securing medical equipment, hospital beds, and personnel. Insurance companies also would have a strong incentive, unlike politicians, to determine what constitutes death “from” the virus as opposed to death with the virus simply present in the body. Use bond revenue (discussed below) to cover premiums.
  • Immediately bid out to pharmaceutical companies for a supply of hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and other promising drugs. Eliminate unnecessary state restrictions on prescribing and dispensing such drugs, and consider making them available over the counter until infections subside. Distribute them widely across the state, and charge break-even (cheap) prices for generic versions.
  • Issue state bonds for sale to private equity investors, hedge funds, foundations, and individuals. Take a deep breath, and secure them with real estate owned by the state—make government, rather than taxpayers, sacrifice for once! Price them aggressively, with higher than market rates of interest (but not junk bond rates). Make these bonds nontaxable by the issuing state itself, both with respect to income and capital gains. Use the funds to provide insurance, medical equipment, hospital capacity, testing centers, and protective gear as needed.
  • Encourage regional airlines, or major airlines serving the state, to relocate aircraft there and resume “domestic” flights (and/or flights between “open” states).

None of these ideas is particularly difficult to implement per se, but do any governors have the political will to do so? They should if they take an honest look at the landscape of a country that is coming unglued. Every day there is less and less to lose by trying something different. In a crisis, bold usually wins. So the choice at present appears to be bold freedom or bold tyranny.

Americans are reconsidering federalism and even nullification in an era of intensely polarized anti-Trump sentiment. The Left argues for soft secession in the form of “Bluexit” from the hated red states; conservatives such as Angelo Codevilla call for strategic defiance of the feds in what he terms a “Cold Civil War.” Golden State governor Gavin Newsome even recently referred to California as a “nation-state,” and why not? With 40 million people, a huge economy, tourism, Hollywood and Silicon Valley, ports and coastlines, and major universities, not to mention beaches, deserts, and mountains, the state easily could be an independent nation.

We were already in uncharted territory, but the coronavirus truly laid bare the deep and intolerable political divisions wracking our country. Governor Noem and others could begin the healing process now, literally and figuratively, by showing us a way forward without DC. The virus could be the catalyst for a new map of America.

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