A new analysis from the American Institute of Economic Research (AIER) shows the seven states that didn’t shut down during COVID have much lower death tolls and lower unemployment rates than those shut down by their governors.

Entitled “A Closer Look at the States that Stayed Open,” the report notes that Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recommended that all 50 states issue stay-at-home orders.

“To assess Fauci’s claims that stay at home orders, in particular, are a model policy that every state should have adopted, we can look to Utah, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Wyoming, and Arkansas. These are the only seven states to never issue stay at home orders and the results are telling, but not necessarily in Dr. Fauci’s favor.”

The difference in the number of deaths per capita is stunning.

“One of the first things that jump out is that all seven of these states are amongst the top performers in terms of minimizing deaths per capita. In fact, the most draconian states such as New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Michigan, where the governor even banned the selling of seeds, are the worst-performing states. Whereas states like Wyoming, Utah, South Dakota, and North Dakota, which did not lock down are amongst the best overall in terms of deaths per capita.”

Results through August 25 (Worldometer data posted to the Kansas Policy Institute COVID Information Center) shows the states not locked have 62% fewer deaths per million of population and 7% fewer cases per million.  Their mortality rate (deaths divided by reported cases) is 1.3% – is 59% lower than the 3.2% rate for states shut down.

New York had 1,695 deaths per million as of August 25; New Jersey is the worst, at 1,808 and Massachusettes and Michigan were at 1,300 and 669, respectively.  Wyoming had just 64 deaths per million, Utah was at 124, and North and South Dakota were at 181 and 182, respectively.

AIER says the states that avoided stay at home orders also fared far better economically than those that embraced them.

“Despite COVID-19’s role in the decline of the fossil fuel industry which is a key component in states like North Dakota and Wyoming that didn’t issue stay at home orders, they still managed to maintain better employment rates than many states that did lock down.

“The rest of the states that didn’t issue stay at home orders (Utah, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Arkansas) fared just as well if not better than other states. In particular, Utah and Nebraska did extraordinarily well maintaining a 4.5% and 4.8% unemployment rate, respectively while keeping death rates low.

“In contrast, pro-lockdown states like New York, California, and Massachusetts saw catastrophic unemployment numbers, 15.9%, 13.3%, and 16.1% respectively, alongside high COVID-19 death rates.”

 

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