RALEIGH – The efforts to flatten the curve have widened the damage, and Governor Roy Cooper’s plan to reopen North Carolina, after weeks under COVID-19-inspired lockdown edicts, is “wholly inadequate to the moment we face.” That’s the perspective of John Hood, chairman of the John Locke Foundation.
Writing in the Carolina Journal, Hood explains how Cooper’s plan is nonsensically more restrictive than federal guidance in a state sporting among the best case numbers and hospitalizations in the country for its population.
“[…] Even if you consider that federal guidance still reasonable, given new information about the base prevalence of the disease (which appears to be at least 10 to 15 times greater than the number of confirmed cases) and its actual fatality rate (which is far lower than originally announced and highly stratified by age), North Carolina may well meet the criteria by the time our extended stay-at-home order expires on May 8.
But this is where Cooper’s plan gets really unreasonable. It employs the federal guidance only selectively. During their Phase 1, North Carolinians will largely remain under a stay-at-home order, until late May at the earliest. A few more stores will be open, as well as parks.
The federal guidance for Phase 1 is far more expansive. Elective surgeries at hospitals could resume. Establishments such as workplaces, gyms, churches, ballparks, arenas, movie theaters, and even restaurants could reopen, subject to capacity limits and other social distancing rules. Cooper’s plan also spaces out Phases 2 and 3 more than the federal guidance specifies, delaying our state’s reopening well into the summer.
And most unreasonably of all, the governor makes no distinctions among North Carolina’s very different communities. Just as it would be unreasonable to apply the same level of restriction simultaneously to New York and New Mexico, it is unreasonable to treat Durham County the same as Duplin County, which has no reported deaths and fewer than half the number of confirmed cases per capita. […]”
Read the full op-ed at Carolina Journal.