The Neanderthals were right. That's the story this morning after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott shared the news that Texas reported zero deaths from COVID for the first time since they began collecting data. This comes after Joe Biden called Texas, Mississippi, and other red states “Neanderthals” for daring to lift clearly ineffective business restrictions and mask mandates.
Now, to be clear, this doesn't mean there won't be more COVID deaths in Texas. Of course, there will be, as the virus is going to be with us for a very long time, if not forever in some capacity. But what this shows is that the things the “experts” have so harped on were never the silver bullet in fighting the coronavirus. Arbitrary lockdowns and nonsensical indoor and outdoor mask mandates were pervasive in many states that did far worse than places like Florida, which had little to no restrictions throughout the pandemic.
This should have been common sense for figures like Dr. Anthony Fauci, who to this day is still insisting children, yes children, need to wear masks into the fall next year. But they were never truly following the science. Rather, they were following politics, and politics demanded that federal authorities, from the president to bureaucrats, had a scapegoat for their failures. Masks and lockdowns became that because any time bad news emerged, they could always blame you instead of their chosen policies. You see, if you would just follow their edicts more closely, then everything would be fine.
In reality, that was an incredibly ignorant and damaging way to run the response to a pandemic. Some may ask why Texas saw such a dramatic drop following the recension of its COVID restrictions and mandates. In my opinion, the answer is simple: It was always smarter to encourage people to get outside, spread out, and mitigate in smarter ways (i.e. light social distancing vs. obsessing over ineffective masks). When households are the chief vector, not gyms, schools, and restaurants, you should not be closing the latter, forcing people to stay cooped up in an environment where the spread is most common.
I'd offer that, given the data we have on mask-wearing and infection rates, the government's obsession with masks has made things worse. Putting aside whether masks themselves are stronger vectors for infection due to a lack of proper material and sanitation, they clearly discouraged proper social distancing. Had the CDC stuck to its original recommendation to not wear masks but to distance until the vaccines arrived, there's no telling how many lives would have been saved over the last year. But again, the government needed something tangible on which they could hang their hat and say “we are doing something.” Masks fit that bill because the physical nature of them leads to an almost cult-like devotion.
Texas, Florida, Mississippi, and now several other states said enough is enough, and they've been rewarded for it. If we had an honest media, that would be a major story, and it would put pressure on other states to follow. In the end, Joe Biden was wrong, and these Republican governors were right. I won't hold my breath for an apology, though.