President Trump wisely has taken his first steps to reopen America, and has just as wisely reminded the nation’s governors that the ball is in their court. This is not just wise, it’s brilliant: if people are torqued at government restrictions, they will not have the president to blame. Their beef will be with their governors and their governors alone.
I’ve argued from the beginning of this manufactured crisis that far more damage will be done by the panic than by the virus. It turns out I was right. And now a prominent Israeli professor is confirming what I have said all along.
Yitzhak Ben Israel of Tel Aviv University, who is on the research and advisory board for one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the world (Teva), has concluded that all the lockdowns, all the shutdowns, all the closing of churches, schools, beaches, businesses, restaurants, and parks was nothing more than economy-destroying madness. It has all been unnecessary because coronavirus runs its own course no matter what governments do or do not do.
Professor Ben Israel plotted the rates of new coronavirus infections in the U.S., the U.K., Sweden, Italy, Israel, Switzerland, France, Germany, and Spain - the countries that most resemble the United States in culture and governing structure. He discovered an amazing and even astounding thing. It didn’t matter whether a country pursued a severe incarceration-in-place policy like Israel, or went about business as usual like Sweden, coronavirus followed precisely the same pattern. In the words of columnist Medina Melvin of Townhall, “coronavirus peaked and subsided in the exact same way. In the exact, same, way.” (Emphasis mine.)
Dr. Ben Israel’s research showed that all countries experienced identical patterns of disease progression. Infections grew steadily, even exponentially, until they peaked in the sixth week, and began to rapidly subside by the eighth week.
Israel has imposed strict quarantines. It does not allow residents to even leave their neighborhoods to buy food. Beyond that, they are only permitted to leave their homes for essential work and medical care.
These restrictions applied even during Holy Week, when just a handful of worshipers were allowed at the Western Wall (the holiest site in Judaism) during Passover, and Easter Mass was performed at a nearly empty Church of the Holy Sepulcher, built on the site where Jesus was crucified.
In Stockholm, by stark contrast, cafes and restaurants are open. Kids are going to school and to soccer practice. Parks are full. Sweden, in other words, is open for business. People are practicing some social distancing, and gatherings of more than 50 people have been suspended.
But the disease has followed the same arc in both places, which means Israel - and the United States - locked everybody down for no good reason ...