We are thrilled that catastrophic lockdowns are front and center in gubernatorial races across the country. Governors Whitmer of Michigan, Walz of Minnesota, Brown of Oregon, Pritzker of Illinois, and Tony Evers of Wisconsin are getting hammered for heavy-handed shutdowns.
We think it’s imperative that voters hold governors and other state/local officials responsible (and some Republicans like Hogan of Maryland supported them) for the abuse of power in shutting down businesses, schools, churches, playgrounds, parks, and restaurants with almost no health benefits whatsoever. As we have pointed out many times on these pages, lockdowns did incalculable and long-lasting damage to our kids, our small businesses, and Americans’ mental and physical health.
The issue of lockdowns has become so toxic that Democratic governors that once were militaristic lockdown advocates (see above) are rewriting history and accusing Republicans and Trump for the shutting down of our economy. In many cases, these accusations are flat-out false.
Trump made mistakes for sure in dealing with Covid, but he also made a critically important and life-saving decision that goes completely unappreciated. In April 2020, he rightly deferred to the 9th and 10th amendments of the Constitution and allowed the states to make their own decisions about how they wanted to deal with the virus.
The result with a few exceptions was that red state governors opened up their economies and blue states stayed shut down. The subsequent impact on deaths was negligible, but the red states’ economies recovered quickly in jobs and economic output while the blue states’ economies remain to this day comatose. Had it not been for red states like Florida and Texas reopening early on, the national economic damage would have been far more calamitous.
Recall that we at CTUP did the definitive study on how governors performed in their COVID response. The seminal work on this subject of grading governor Covid responses was conducted by CTUP. Here is a list of the ten worst performers.