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A brief history of COVID-19 hype

OPINION

BY LEN CABRERA

As early as March 23, it was obvious that COVID-19 would not surpass heart disease as the number one cause of death in the U.S. Alachua Chronicle has been consistently analyzing the data and showing that COVID-19 is not nearly as deadly as the hysteria used to justify the government response. Links to previous columns with short excerpts are listed below for new readers to catch up.

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March 23Listen to the rattles – “[Politicians and bureaucrats] rile us up with speculation and worst-case scenarios to convince us to surrender our freedoms… On the Diamond Princess, 83% of the people who were exposed to the coronavirus did not contract COVID-19… Our society will survive the coronavirus, but we may not survive the heavy-handed, one-size-fits-all, patronizing dictates.”

March 25 Salaried elites are destroying peoples’ lives – “politicians and bureaucrats who don’t have a personal stake in the outcome of a decision (“skin in the game”) are prone to making decisions that have negative consequences for other people…. Local decisions about “essential” businesses were not made with regard to safety but with regard to how commissioners feel about those businesses… Business owners should be allowed to do their best to keep people working, and elites who can continue to get salaries while comfortably working from home should get out of the way.”

March 27Never let a crisis go to waste – “we cannot rely solely on models to drive public policy… [L]ook at the… weekly Flu Review graph… 12 straight weeks with between 275 and 300 deaths per week in Florida from pneumonia and influenza, pretty much average for flu season. There have been 46 deaths so far from COVID-19… You should always question those who claim you must do something ‘for your own good.'”

March 29Time to take back our country – “It’s clear now that the threat was greatly exaggerated and the unprecedented actions taken by the government were unnecessary. Now we’re witnessing how power corrupts, and we see that politicians do not want to surrender their expanded powers.”

April 3Panic ensures bad public policy – “There’s no time for debate, no time for dissenting views, no time for nuanced policy that would acknowledge real-world data… 50% of all Florida cases are in Dade and Broward counties, 25 counties have fewer than 10 cases, and 8 counties have no cases… [Alachua has] no exponential growth in cases. In fact, it doesn’t even have a positive trend line.”

April 9There doesn’t seem to be a plan. Is that intentional? – “It’s been 31 days since the first recorded case of COVID-19 in Alachua County, and there are still no objective criteria for loosening restrictions… The data clearly show that many counties in Florida, including Alachua, are not at any major risk from COVID-19.”

April 17Paying the price – “While they were quick to trample the Constitution without thinking of the repercussions, they’re dragging their feet on ‘allowing’ us to live our lives. That’s what happens when politicians don’t pay the price for their decisions… each 1% increase in the unemployment rate could lead to 200 additional deaths [in Florida] over the course of a year… About 50% of Florida’s COVID-19 cases and 85% of all deaths are in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.”

April 21Sweden is showing that the destructive lockdowns were unnecessary – “Sweden has had fewer daily cases per capita than the U.S. since the lockdown began… [Dr. Fauci revealed] another agenda when he changed the rationale for the lockdown from ‘flatten the curve’ to ‘no new cases, no deaths.’… governors should immediately relax lockdowns to match Sweden… Florida is worse off than Sweden, which did not impose any lockdown… Florida’s fatality rate [for those under 65] is about 0.7% of verified cases, which is likely about 0.02% of actual infections.”

April 25Refusal to reopen economy exposes real agenda – “[City Commissioners] seem happy to see lives destroyed so they can swoop in and be the benevolent rescuers of the downtrodden… money will help one percent of Gainesville families… virus that’s only affected 0.09 percent of Alachua County… we’re close to 20 percent unemployment… No amount of data is going to be enough to convince politicians who want to fundamentally transform our economy.”

April 29Illegitimate Government – “The facial covering mandate is an example of petty tyranny… [Dr. Sunil Desai] downplayed the need for masks, saying hand hygiene is more important… [Paul Myers said] the evidence for the usefulness of masks being worn by the public does not support a mandate… CDC guidance is that masks should be a ‘voluntary public health measure’… a conservative estimate for the fatality rate for Floridians under age 65: 0.027% of infections… [Politicians] would rather trample our rights than secure them. As such, they are illegitimate and subversive of good government.”