Texas and Florida are reporting fewer COVID-19 cases even as they reopened their states last March. In contrast, states that continued with their restrictive policies like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York are still dealing with increased coronavirus surges.
‘Neanderthal Thinking’ States Now Report Fewer COVID-19 Cases
When Texas and Florida decided to reopen their states last March, President Joe Biden reacted by calling their decision “neanderthal thinking” and predicted more surges.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott received heavy criticism from the left after he completely reopened the state on March 10. Meanwhile, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also got brickbats when he allowed businesses to fully reopen in September without a mask mandate in place.
Now, both states managed to keep infection rates down. This helped them get ahead in the process of economic recovery. In contrast, Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan, still held back by mask mandates and restrictive policies, are still recording daily increases in COVID-19 cases.
Together, the three states accounted for 44% of all new infections between March 29 and April 4. They have a combined 197,500 cases out of 452,000 nationwide, according to data from John Hopkins University.
Worst In The Nation
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that Michigan is the topmost state in infection rates during the past few weeks.
The state reported 390.2 cases of the virus per 100,000 residents in the last seven days. Governor Gretchen Whitmer blamed spring break travelers going to Florida. She urged residents returning from Florida to stay home and work or study remotely for a week upon arrival.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania is enduring a new wave of surges as it reported 221.4 cases per 100,000 residents in the last seven days. At the same time, New York reported 176.4 cases per 100,000 last week.
New York City is in even bigger trouble at 206.1 cases per 100,000. With the surge unabated, New Yorkers are turning their ire on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ongoing mask mandate.
Texas: Who’s The Neanderthal Now?
Earlier in March, Biden slammed Texas for lifting their mask mandates and restriction last March. He called the decision “Neanderthal thinking” as he felt the move was premature at the least and reckless at best. However, Texas reported a decline in cases and hospitalizations since then.
In defending his decision to lift the mask mandate, Abbott pointed to increasing vaccinations. “With the medical advancements of vaccines and antibody therapeutic drugs, Texas now has the tools to protect Texans from the virus,” Abbott said.
He then announced that the state will allow all businesses to operate at 100 percent capacity. In addition, masks are no longer mandatory.
Florida: Same COVID-19 Rates As Mask-Obsessed California
In a February article, Healthline posted the question of why two different states, California and Florida, seemed to have the same COVID-19 rates. Each state dealt with the pandemic in completely opposite ways.
While both states initiated lockdowns early in the pandemic, they diverged soon after. Florida never took a liking to mask mandates, lockdowns, and other guidelines and lifted these as soon as they can.
Meanwhile, California declared multiple lockdowns and a mask mandate in place since June last year. However, per capita cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19 in these states are similar. California reported 8,900 cases per 100,000 people while Florida is only 200 pax lower at 8,700.
“You’re asking us to have a deep understanding of a virus that’s only been around for 12 to 14 months,” said Brian C. Castrucci, CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation.
“I can’t explain why Florida is not worse off than it is. I don’t know why, We discount that little word novel, right [in novel coronavirus]? We’re still learning a lot about this virus,” he said.
Watch the CNBC video reporting that experts struggle to make sense of Covid trends in some states:
Why are Texas and Florida faring better than mask mandate states? Share with us what you think about coronavirus cases in your area. Leave your comments below.