While New York City is boasting about having no COVID-19 deaths on Monday, Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky has a different opinion. New York had a serious lockdown for months, and is just in stage four of reopening the city. Governor Cuomo is under fire for his decision with nursing homes, among other actions that New Yorkers have now viewed as poor judgement. As America continues to struggle economically with lockdowns, Senator Rand Paul, given the deaths that have happened, thinks maybe states should have gone in a different direction.
“New York had the worst death rate of any place in the world amid a lockdown so perhaps a lockdown didn’t do any good and perhaps a lockdown killed our economy, but didn’t do anything to stem the tide of the virus. So I see nothing to be admired in New York’s lockdown. I see a mountain of people who died, particularly in the nursing homes. I don’t think the lockdown did them any good. I think it killed the economy, but didn’t do any good for trying to contain the virus,” Paul said.
In regards to government mandates versus individual choices, Paul said that individuals should be able to assess their own risk level, and make plans accordingly. Paul said that we have to “put the disease in context,” because those who are under the age of 45 are looking at a situation that is less dangerous than the flu. In his view, this is a very different scenario than those over 80 who are in a nursing home. Paul said that there is no need to shutdown the entire economy for those with depressed immune systems, and that these people can plan accordingly. Even though we’ve “crippled’ the economy, America still doesn’t know how much they’ve done to respond to the virus.
Paul said that New York’s virus numbers have nothing to do with Governor Cuomo’s response, and more to do with the level of immunity reached by majority of the people there. He compared the situation to what is happening in Sweden. Similarly, the virus hit Northern Italy in a huge way, and he doesn’t believe it will come back in the same way as the first time.
Why this matters: The economic effect of the Coronavirus has been huge. Congress is set to pass another stimulus bill, putting more money on the government’s credit card. Furthermore, in states that did lockdown, like California, the virus is coming back. Paul has made a statement different from many on the left, who want to keep the economy and schools shutdown this fall. He is being realistic about the numbers, and as a libertarian, believes it should be the person, not the government, who decides. Paul is also a medical doctor.