Although the presidential election is still being contested, there is already talk about Joe Biden shutting down the country again to fight COVID-19 if he becomes President. One Governor, Tate Reeves from Mississippi, told the Clarion Ledger that if it happens his state won’t be participating.
“I’ve been asked that if the legal challenges that are currently being contemplated play out and the former vice president ultimately becomes the next president, then what is going to change? What I will tell you is, even based upon some of the things that I have heard and said from his campaign, I will tell you I don’t think much of anything’s gonna change with respect to the virus.
The fact is that we’re gonna try to work with whomever the president is, but we’re not gonna participate in a nation-wide lockdown. This notion that one of his advisers has said that all we really need is about a six-week national lockdown and we can slow down the spread of this virus is totally and completely beyond reasonableness. The people of Mississippi can’t just go home, shut down their small businesses, shut down their restaurants, shut down their gyms, shut down other small businesses for six weeks and just think that you can come back six weeks from now, flip a switch, and everything’s gonna be fine. That’s not the way the economy works.”
“We believe that while they may make recommendations, that in this country under the Stafford Act when you have emergencies – and this is clearly one of the longest-lasting emergencies in American history – that those emergencies have to be state-managed, locally executed, and federally supported. And so I don’t believe that there’s any constitutional or statutory authority for any president to shut down Mississippi’s economy. We will certainly fight that if it becomes necessary.”
You could have a reasonable debate about the effectiveness of a mask mandate, but at least masks don’t keep people from living their lives as lockdowns do. In fact, it’s a little bit weird to hear people talk about a lockdown like it’s the solution to our problems with the coronavirus because we already tried that and it failed. It failed pretty much across the board and of course, you can’t keep it in place forever because people have to work to live.
Is it possible that a lockdown could be an effective way to fight the coronavirus? In certain cultures, absolutely. In America? No way. People here are wealthy enough to travel across the country which can spread the virus. They also don’t trust the government and hate being told what to do. People aren’t going to obey orders, they aren’t going to participate in contact tracing in large enough numbers to make that work and we’ll be lucky if we can get enough people to take a vaccine to make it effective. The very nature of a country like America makes the coronavirus very difficult to control here and a lockdown certainly isn’t going to be the right way to address it.