Lockdowns need to stop: The data shows restrictive lockdowns are not working


Washington is now in the third month of the second government-mandated lockdown and there appears to be no end in sight. Governor Inslee ordered the first lockdown last March, nearly a year ago.  Even Michigan’s Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, Chicago’s Mayor, Lori Lightfoot and California Governor Gavin Newsome have all recently relaxed restrictions on businesses in their respective jurisdictions.

Its time for Washington to do the same.

Washington Policy Center recently published a detailed study showing that current restrictive lockdowns are not working. It’s not surprising, since lockdown policies are based on faulty assumptions about the primary source of COVID-19 infections. State officials assume small business, restaurants and other hospitality services are where the majority of new infections originate, but science shows this is not the case.

As a result of the faulty assumptions, lockdown orders punitively shutdown the hospitality industry putting thousands of workers on to state-funded unemployment benefits.

A new survey release by the Washington Hospitality Association shows that 75% of the public supports re-opening restaurants. The latest national data shows that at 50% indoor occupancy, a safe environment can be achieved. The analysis found that states with 50 percent indoor dining capacity have the lowest death rate per 100,000.

The survey finds that, “Seventy-one percent of respondents said they support Senate Bill 5114/House Bill 1321 to allow restaurants to reopen at 25 percent and give the legislature, not the governor, power to increase capacity over time.”

Washington Hospitality Association 1/22/2021 Poll on reopening restaurants

The unfair and inconsistent application of lockdown rules highlights the problem when government officials start picking winners and losers in society. Similar to the private vs public construction or new vs existing construction problems last year, either a business can operate safely or it cannot.

The state needs to stay out of picking which businesses can operate and which cannot and focus on providing guidelines on how to keep employees and customers safe.

The lockdown restrictions on our state should be lifted and reasonable health guidelines allowed. Businesses in other states are operating safely. They can operate here too as long as they can show they can do safely limiting the spread of COVID-19.

This is the right approach to re-opening our state’s businesses safely.

For more on re-opening the economy under medical guidelines, see Dr Roger Stark’s latest article on the ‘The Medical Argument for Reopening the Economy’.

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