Letters: Joblessness: the consequence of a shutdown

Frank Dunphy, Pittsboro
Posted 7/24/20

To the Editor:

Putatively, “based on scientific data,” on March 27, NC Executive Order (EO) No. 121 mandated individuals “stay home” and distance six feet, and closed “non-essential” …

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Letters: Joblessness: the consequence of a shutdown

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Posted

To the Editor:

Putatively, “based on scientific data,” on March 27, NC Executive Order (EO) No. 121 mandated individuals “stay home” and distance six feet, and closed “non-essential” businesses; on June 26, EO No. 146 mandated face masks.

However on June 5, due to ambiguous data regarding face mask protection, the World Health Organization (WHO) didn’t advocate masks for the healthy public or six feet distancing, but recommended only sick people with fever/cough wear masks and three foot distancing.

During NC Emergency Management Briefing (EMB) on July 9, Dr. Mandy Cohen described increasing COVID laboratory cases, followed by a discrepant stable 9% positive test rate. She concluded, “While it is stable, it remains elevated,” omitting mention of potential benefit of herd immunity. Her final platitudes were (paraphrased): “We’re in a critical period to maintain health systems capacity, get kids back to school, and reignite the economy.” In another EMB (July 14) focused on School Reopening, she stated the COVID metrics “look similar to last week.” She never mentioned masks/six-foot distancing are not advocated by the WHO or new Stanford University data reporting very low COVID mortality (0.04% for those < 70 years), lower than the seasonal flu. The new Center For Disease Control guidelines advocating masks used flimsy Wuhan China data, models, “plausible” virology; two case reports of masked Missouri hairdressers; and an observational report from Massachusetts General Hospital showing masks reduced positive COVID laboratory cases from 15% to 12% in high risk health workers. Aforementioned problematic science was used by EMB to mandate healthy NC Citizenry wear masks.

Neither EMB analyzed job disintegration from the self-inflicted economic lock down. The Charlotte Observer reported a $150 million loss after cancellation of the National Republican Convention; Greenville WITN reported a $1M loss from cancellation of the NC Republican Convention. On July 9, the Wall Street Journal reported American and United Airlines plan huge job cuts (30,000 and 20,000, respectively) and Hertz Rental Car plus Brooks Brothers are claiming bankruptcy. Neither EMB discussed ripple effect of job losses to three metropolitan airports, (Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro), the 35 Hertz rental locations or Brooks Brothers retail sites. EMB participants mandated job loss with an easy stroke of the pen. Rebuilding jobs is more difficult, and if ignored, there may be nothing to return.

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