The Case for Normalization | National Review

The Case for Normalization | National Review

Matthew Yglesias has a good newsletter today on how many Covid-mitigation measures no longer pass the cost-benefit test:

But Covid-19 mitigation measures are causing burdens over and above the burden of disease per se. To the extent that disruptions are caused by sickness, we would expect to see more disruptions in conservative parts of the country with low vaccination rates. Instead, we see equal if not greater disruptions in liberal parts of the country, even though the higher vaccination rate reduces the burden of disease. That’s because those jurisdictions are implementing Covid-19 mitigation measures with costs that exceed their benefits. And by making high-vaccination places relatively dysfunctional, these mitigations are sending a negative (and inaccurate) signal about the power of vaccination to let people live their lives with confidence.

Tellingly, it’s not just that more liberal jurisdictions have these measures. The rules are specifically strictest in areas of life where left-wing people have the most political clout — universities and public schools — rather than in places with the highest objective level of vulnerability (nursing homes).

And he has some good advice for Biden that the president is very unlikely to take:

What he should do is forcefully articulate a pathway for re-normalization, and he should do some Biden coalition-building stuff and do it in conjunction with some other key actors. The president can’t order K-12 schools to change their quarantine rules. But the Secretary of Education can make it clear to the NEA and AFT that unless they enthusiastically agree to a return to normal schooling for next year, the White House is going to go nuclear on them. Then there can be a happy joint announcement with the Education Department, the CDC, and a bunch of education leaders that practices will vary district by district for this spring, but by next fall students aren’t wearing masks or doing quarantines.

Then the administration can set a date much earlier than the beginning of the fall school year and make that the day that the mask mandate for airplanes, Amtrak, and federal buildings ends. They can coordinate with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to do the same for Congress.

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Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.