Issues & Insights

‘Neanderthal’ Governors Outscore Biden On The COVID Science

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I&I Editorial

President Joe Biden wasn’t too happy when Texas and Mississippi decided to reopen their economies and liberate their people from statewide mask mandates, calling it “Neanderthal thinking.”

But wait a minute, who’s following the science here, and who isn’t? While Biden is clearly in love with the idea of the government forcing Americans to wear masks and keeping heavy restrictions on businesses, the science is piling up showing that these measures are not very effective, if they are at all.

One Swiss group, for example, found 10 studies challenging the effectiveness of masks. One is a Danish review that compared a control group that followed social distancing guidelines but didn’t wear masks, while another group wore high-quality surgical masks. It found no statistically significant difference between the two groups.

An article in the New England Journal of Medicine, meanwhile, noted that “Focusing on universal masking alone may, paradoxically, lead to more transmission of COVID-19 if it diverts attention from implementing more fundamental infection-control measures.”

The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine noted last July that “despite two decades of pandemic preparedness, there is considerable uncertainty as to the value of wearing masks.”

Then there’s the fact, as we noted in this space back in November, that states experiencing the biggest spikes in COVID cases last fall already had statewide mask mandates in place. The Heritage Foundation drilled down the county level and found that “97 of the 100 counties with the most confirmed cases had either a county-level mask mandate, a state-level mandate, or both.”

So, it would seem to us that Texas and Mississippi have a reasonable, scientifically sound case for lifting their mask mandates, without having to worry that it will lead to a spike in COVID cases.

Score one for the Neanderthals.

What about lockdowns? The case for those is even weaker than masks.

The Foundation for Economic Education noted three scientific studies that concluded lockdowns were ineffective at stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

One, published in the prestigious journal The Lancet, concluded that “government actions such as border closures, full lockdowns, and a high rate of COVID-19 testing were not associated with statistically significant reductions in the number of critical cases or overall mortality.”

Another from Tel Aviv University simply said “We would have expected to see fewer COVID-19 fatalities in countries with a tighter lockdown, but the data reveals that this is not the case.”

Other research determined that: “Full lockdowns and widespread COVID-19 testing were not associated with reductions in the number of critical cases or overall mortality.” And that “a similar pattern – rapid increase in infections that reaches a peak in the sixth week and declines from the eighth week – is common to all countries in which the disease was discovered, regardless of their response policies.”

Then there’s this. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem recently noted that her’s “is the only state in America that never ordered a single business or church to close.”

“We never instituted a shelter-in-place order. We never mandated that people wear masks. We never even defined what an essential business is.”

Unlike much of the rest of the country, South Dakota’s new COVID cases peaked in November and have been declining ever since. On a per-capita basis, the state ranks below lockdown-happy mask-mandating states such as New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts in deaths per capita. Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis was pilloried for giving Floridians more leeway, has a lower death rate than 26 other states.

Score another one for the Neanderthals.

The science is also clear, as we’ve pointed out here, that schools can and should safely reopen. But you don’t hear Biden cajoling school systems to do so. In this case, science takes a back seat to the teachers’ union gravy train that finances so many Democrats’ election campaigns.

And guess what, in Texas, 91% of students are now back to in-person instruction, according to the Burbio index. In Mississippi, it’s 81.2%. But in allegedly science-loving blue states, the numbers are far lower. Only 13% of California students are receiving in-person instruction. In Oregon, 15.3% are in classrooms. Biden’s home state of Delaware is doing a better job, but still only at 59% are in school there.

What is clear in the science is that the school shutdowns are disastrous for students. As the American Institute for Economic Research notes, “virtual learning is particularly harmful to students from poor socio-economic backgrounds who do not have sufficient resources to support their learning.”

So the final score is: Neanderthals 3, Biden 0.

What Biden and his fellow leftists are worried about isn’t public health, or science, or even acting like evolved human beings. What they are really worried about is losing their ability to control people.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.

9 comments

  • Spot on article! I don’t understand what’s happening in America these days, it’s become like the old U.S.S.R.

  • Scare crow has been removed from all presentations of The Wizard of Oz including text, photos, and videos; His portrayal as a gender male and as a mindless fool discriminates against Democrats in particular and all politicians in general.

  • My wive and I are neanderthal hybrids. I am from the European branch and she from East Asia. She speaks 5 languages and taught voice in a Chinese University. I own two graduate degrees and have been a adjunct professor of political science. I am a life time member of MENSA. Our documentation comes from 23 and me. Having said, that true neanderthals back in the day, created stalgmite seating 175k and glue manufacturing 150k ago. They fished by boat, buried their dead ceremoniously, took better care of the disabled and elderly than Cuomo, and they performed the first cave art in Europe. They had larger craniums and current experimentation with human and neandethal brain orgonoids show the neanderthal are more convoluted and have more coherent electrical activity than the human ones at the same stage.

    Most white people and East Asians are part neanderthal. African’s not so much. What I hate to see is the perpetuation of negative sterotypes about neanderthals. Being called a neanderthal in my mind means being innovative, pioneering, kind and intelligent. It is no wonder the Red state govenors are doing so well with their science.

  • This article is junk, at best.
    And the cherry picking on the so-called science, is extraordinary.
    I don’t see any examples of science in this article…just extreme bias, and false conclusions based on that bias.
    There are plenty of countries in the world who locked down early and implemented other measures to stamp out covid-19.

    But the really funny part?
    The authors of this junk, who discuss science, to which they have no experience, are no doubt Austrian Economists.
    And yet, there is absolutely zero evidence in support this crazy and extreme form of capitalism.

    • But their is plenty of evidence that totalitarianism and Marxism leads to millions of dead and the rest are slaves except for the ruling class which I’m sure you believe you belong to and they always have a penchant for stifling any evidence that takes power away from the ruling class

      • Mike… that’s an irrelevant non-sequitur.

        And the rest of your post is just inane nonsense.
        I could say similar things about extreme capitalism.

        Imagine how much chaos, death and destruction there would be if Austrian “economics” was implemented.

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Issues & Insights is run by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

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