TALLAHASSEE, FL – A new study on state responses to the COVID-19 has given failing grades to New York, New Jersey, and California due to their strict lockdown measures and mandates, but surprisingly ranks Florida among those with the very best response to the pandemic over the course of the past two years.
The study, published by the Committee To Unleash Prosperity, issued grades to all 50 states in the country based on how the pandemic impacted each one respectively in numerous categories, such as death toll, economic impact, educational issues, and more.
The states that made the report’s lowest ten entries were mainly made up of ones with the most draconian measures in place to combat the pandemic, such as extended business and school lockdowns, according to Stephen Moore, one of the study’s authors.
Moore noted that New Jersey finished dead last in 50th place – followed by New York in 49th – due to performing “poorly on every measure,” with California, Illinois and Washington, D.C. also receiving “F” grades on their pandemic “report cards.”
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“Shutting down their economies and schools was by far the biggest mistake governors and state officials made during COVID, particularly in blue states,” Moore said. “They had high age-adjusted death rates, they had high unemployment and significant GDP losses, and they kept their schools shut down much longer than almost all other states.”
In direct contrast, Republican-led states such as Utah, Nebraska, Vermont and Florida in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, respectively – were the most highly ranked, with the report stating that those with more lenient lockdown measures did not experience significantly higher mortality rates due to COVID, but did display less severe impacts upon their economies and educational institutions.
“The states that locked down their economies have had unemployment rates on average about two percentage points higher than states that did not engage in severe lockdowns,” the report stated. “These high state unemployment rates have persisted for two years now. Most lockdown states have still not fully recovered the jobs lost in the early months of COVID.”