No-Lockdown Wisconsin, "Sweden of America," Has One of Lowest COVID Death Rates
Wisconsin, the only state in the Union in which the state's Supreme Court struck down the governor's attempt to close down businesses as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID, has a low COVID death rate, making it number 30 out of 50 states in terms of deaths per capita. Wisconsin stores, bars, and restaurants have been open since mid-May.
Wisconsin has a reported COVID-related death rate of 12 per 100,000 in population. New York, the highest, 149 per 100,000 in population.
Of the total 110,000 COVID deaths so far in the US, nearly half have occured in just three states, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Most of these are from the New York metropolitan area.
The current estimate by the CDC of the mortality rate of the COVID-19 virus is between .25% and .3%, orders of magnitude down from early predictions of possibly a 6% mortality rate.
All other states except Wisconsin have been, to a greater or lesser degree, under orders issued by governors to close business and stay at home. The orders have been unsuccessfully challenged in many states as beyond the powers of government, even in what may be a health crisis.
Wisconsin health authorities recently announced that the state is experiencing a downward trend in new cases.
COVID-19 is not the only pandemic of the last half century. Some have been deadlier, per capita than the current crisis as it has been reported.
At no time have entire segments of the economy have been deemed "non-essential," and state emergency powers invoked which, authorities claim, override everyday Constitutional norms of freedom of movement, freedom to assemble, and the general freedom to conduct life in an ordinary, law-abiding manner.
In 1957 the H2N2 Flu claimed more lives per capita in the US than present deaths reported to be related to COVID. The 1968 Hong Kong Flu also claimed more lives per capita than COVID. The 1968 - 1969 Hong Kong Flu pandemic was followed in the summer of '69 by one of the largest mass gatherings in US history, the rock festival Woodstock.
There are many types of known coronaviruses, such as the SARs and MERS. The present virus is only novel in that it is a new type of coronavirus. No safe vaccine has ever been developed for the coronavirus family of viruses, including an experimental SARS vaccine which had been tested in ferrets, and wound up killing many of them.
Common strains of influenza take anywhere between 30,000 and 80,000 people each flu season, mostly frail elderly, many in nursing homes, and the immune compromised.
All schools, colleges, and most businesses have never been closed during any previous pandemic. During the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, various cities closed schools for a number of weeks. A later survey by the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) failed to demonstrate any differences in illness rates between cities that closed schools, and schools which remained open.
Like Wisconsin, a number of countries have chosen not to close restaurants, taverns, and most businesses in response to the announcement of a COVID crisis. Sweden was one of them. Many articles have been devoted to showing that the Swedish model was a failure.
However, that argument most always compares the Swedish death rate to those of Denmark, Finland, and Norway, which imposed strict lockdowns. This overlooks the fact that other European countries with strict lockdowns have had more deaths per capita than Sweden, such as Italy, Spain, UK, Belgium, and until recently, France.
In striking down the Wisconsin governor's order to shut down the state, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly wrote in an opinion concurring with the majority:
“This comprehensive claim to control virtually every aspect of a person’s life is something we normally associate with a prison, not a free society governed by the rule of law,”
Liberal comedian Bill Maher has dubbed constant media attention to new coronavirus cases and deaths "panic porn."
In a shocking development, the principle scientist whose paper at Imperial College was used as the basis for predictions of possibly 2 million dead in the US, Neil Ferguson, is now being derided for his far from stellar record in making epidemiology predictions.
Johan Giesecke, the former chief scientist for the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention, has called Ferguson’s model, on which the world's lockdowns were based, “the most influential scientific paper” in memory. He also says it was “one of the most wrong.”