California Has More Cases Despite Strict COVID Strategy

Written by William Hale

We the people have much to think about as our nation slowly exits the COVID-19 pandemic. This world-alternating event served as a great test for the efficiency of American institutions, the legitimacy of our scientists and public officials, and perhaps most of all, the strength and temperament of our country’s individuals. No matter where you fall on any of these questions, the COVID confusion and subsequent social chaos has at least made one thing crystal clear: Government can not control the will of a virus.

Despite endless scientists, academics, and various political actors ensuring the efficacy of California’s strict approach to navigating the pandemic, the Golden State has produced a worse COVID outcome than states with a less authoritative approach such as Texas and Florida. 

California’s seven-day moving average of 6,297 COVID cases tallies more than Texas’ 3,102 and Florida’s 1,470. However it should be acknowledged that California is the most populous US state at around 39 million, which is 10 million more than Texas, and approximately 17 million more people than Florida. 

Governor Newsom’s invasive hands-on approach to the pandemic has come with a significant social cost as well. California fully reopened their economy for the first time in June 2021, more than a year after Florida quickly ended their short lockdown, and on November 9th, Florida’s largest school district finally unmasked children in the classroom — enabling parent’s authority over their kids’ health decisions, not the government. This, of course, is not the case here in California. As we approach two years since identifying the COVID-19 virus, kindergarten and grad students alike still can’t see the faces of their fellow classmates and teachers. 

While this pandemic is not a competition between states, Newsom hasn’t demonstrated that his COVID strategy is a successful one. California should consider the social, economic, and public health implications of their over-governance, and instead adopt the approach of Florida and Texas as the pandemic comes to a close.

Photo Cred: Alexandr Spatari/Getty Images