Empower Wisconsin | Dec. 17, 2020
By Christopher Bedford, The Federalist
Thus far in Florida, approximately 20,000 people have died of COVID-19. In Texas, the number stands around 24,000, and in New York, about 35,000.
New York is the smallest of the three, with 19.54 million residents. Then comes Florida, with 21.67 million, before Texas, with 28.7 million residents.
COVID numbers are difficult to trust. Cases are often counted more than once as patients go in and out of the hospital, and some deaths are attributed to COVID that are barely related, if at all.
There’s a perverse incentive to write down “COVID” and get state and federal money, no doubt, but one thing rings clear through all the din: Despite larger populations, currently freer peoples, and a media narrative that screams otherwise, there are far, far fewer deaths in Texas and in Florida than in New York.
For months, American media consumers have been treated to news of Florida and Texas’s incoming death spirals. For months after, we were promised those death spirals were just around the bend. The funny thing with COVID, though, is unlike global warming doom science — always 3-12 years away and “too complex” to explain when it inevitably doesn’t happen — COVID doom predictions are checkable in just a few weeks. And COVID doom didn’t happen.
Along Florida’s Gulf Coast, the streets are packed on weekends. In Naples, Florida just one week ago, lights hung majestically from lamp posts, a live Nativity stood in the road, Santa let children sit on his lap, and live bands performed every few blocks. Indoors, the bars were busy, and just after midnight the last pub’s band wound down for the night.
Young parents and some of the elderly wore masks (some old, masked couples dancing adorably to the music), but most people didn’t, and the next morning the beaches and pools were once again bustling. It was the first glimpse of the old normal — truly normal — I’d seen since March. It was wonderful.
Florida’s freedom isn’t some new and dangerous experiment, by the way — the Sunshine State has been open for nearly three months. Yet in New York this past weekend, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered indoor dining shut down again.
Read more at The Federalist.