There was considerable outcry from COVID-19 lockdown advocates when certain states decided to reopen early. Their argument was that COVID-19 cases would spike, resulting in a large increase in deaths. But the spike in infections of COVID-19 in reopened states did not happen.
The logic of the pessimistic predictions was understandable. If the purpose of the lockdowns was to “flatten the curve” then it was reasonable to assume that removing the lockdowns would “bulge the curve.”
According to a tweet by ABC News lead medical reporter Eric Strauss, ABC reviewed the stats from 21 states that lifted or eased their lockdowns on or before May 4, 2020 and found no spike in infections. Strauss based his statement on research done by fellow ABC reporter Ariel Mitropoulos (Twitter handle @AMitrops).
“JUST IN: [ABC News] looked at 21 states that eased restrictions May 4 or earlier & found no major increase in hospitalizations, deaths or % of people testing positive in any of them. [SC, MT, GA, MS, SD, AR, CO, ID, IA, ND, OK, TN, TX, UT, WY, KS, FL, IN, MO, NE, OH] via @AMitrops,” tweeted Strauss on May 28.
These results imply that perhaps medical professionals still do not fully understand how COVID-19 is spread. If implementing the lockdowns actually worked in reducing the spread of the disease, then lifting the lockdowns should have had the opposite effect. If we aren’t seeing large outbreaks with the easing of restrictions, then people are reasonably asking why we had the lockdowns in the first place.
Regarding the progress being made against the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp stated, “We remain encouraged by the numbers that we are seeing in testing, hospitalizations, and a wide variety of other data points from across the state.” Kemp continued, “We are also encouraged by the new treatment being rolled out for patients in Georgia in partnership with the Trump administration. This week, the Department of Public Health will distribute over 18,000 vials of Remdesivir to eighty-five hospitals across the state.” Georgia was one of the first states to start reopening.
Despite the lack of major outbreaks, it hasn’t been a completely smooth reopening everywhere. For example, Texas is currently fighting a surge in infections in the city of Amarillo. “Here in Texas, we have implemented a strategy that enables Texans to get back to work while mitigating further spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Abbott. “Amarillo is an example of this strategy in action, and our surge response teams have done a tremendous job in containing the hot spots within the Amarillo community and protecting health and safety. As we continue in our efforts, we are committed to prioritizing public health while safely and strategically opening the state.”
Many people across America and the world are experiencing considerable anxiety over the prospect of lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Hopefuly this report by ABC News will help reduce some of their stress.
As of the writing of this article, ABC News had not yet published their research.
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