The Other McCain

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Remember How Everybody Was Going to Die Because Georgia Ended Lockdowns?

Posted on | May 16, 2020 | 4 Comments


The headlines last month were scary:

Georgia’s dangerous coronavirus experiment
Joel Mathis, The Week April 21

Georgia’s Kemp neglected to warn people
about his dangerous gamble

Steve Benen, MSNBC, April 22

Kemp poised to lift restrictions,
despite warnings of renewed outbreak

Alan Judd and Greg Bluestein, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 29

It was a “gamble,” an “experiment,” and the media all agreed it was “dangerous” for Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to do this “despite warnings.” You would have thought, based on the coverage, that Kemp’s plan was so reckless and irresponsible as to guarantee a “renewed outbreak” that would kill thousands. But what actually happened?

Georgia’s daily COVID-19 deaths had already peaked by the time Kemp announced he would begin re-opening the state’s economy. On April 16, Georgia recorded 52 deaths from the virus, concluding a week (April 10-16) in which the state recorded 205 deaths, an average of 35.7 deaths daily for that week. For the seven day period ending Thursday (i.e., May 8-14), Georgia recorded a total of 105 coronavirus deaths, an average of 15 daily. In other words, comparing these two seven-day periods, there was a 58% decrease in Georgia’s COVID-19 deaths. The number of daily new COVID-19 cases reported has likewise declined more than 50% since April, even as the number of tests performed has increased.

COVID-19 is a new disease. Everything we know about this virus, we’ve learned in the past six months. However, something Michael Fumento remarked last month bears repeating: Epidemics are always subject to Farr’s Law, in which cases rise and fall in a bell-curve pattern. The death toll peaks and then recedes because, in the early stages of the outbreak, the disease “grabs the low-hanging fruit” (the most vulnerable population), but eventually runs out of such victims. While quarantine policies can “slow the spread” and “flatten the curve,” ultimately no human intervention matters more than the effect of Farr’s Law.

By the time Governor Kemp announced his “gamble” in the third week of April, the number of COVID-19 deaths in Georgia had already peaked. While the number of reported cases was still continuing to rise (it did not peak until April 27, when 937 new cases were reported), this was an artifact, the result of more widespread testing, which identified asymptomatic or mild cases. Throughout the course of Georgia’s coronavirus outbreak so far, there have been 1,557 deaths and, with the daily death toll still decreasing steadily, it seems unlikely the state will experience the “renewed outbreak” that Kemp’s critics warned about.

As of 10 a.m. today, Georgia’s per-capita death rate from COVID-19 (measured in deaths per million residents) was 150, which was 88.5% lower than the state of New York’s death rate of 1,417.

Oh, and just for your information, the daily number of U.S. coronavirus deaths nationwide peaked at 2,683 — on April 21, which was 25 days ago. The highest daily number of deaths in the past week was 1,772 on Wednesday (May 13), and that number was 34% below the April 21 peak.

UPDATE: Earlier this week, Stacey Lennox said, “Dear Media, Governor Kemp Will Accept Your Apology Now.” Don’t hold your breath.

UPDATE II: Welcome, Instapundit readers! Hope you will remember that the Five Most Important Words in the English Language are:




4 Responses to “Remember How Everybody Was Going to Die Because Georgia Ended Lockdowns?”

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