New information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently flipped the conversation around COVID-19 upside down.
The agency noted that 94 percent of what have been labeled COVID-19 fatalities involve, on average, 2.6 additional underlying health conditions or causes of death. In other words, the pandemic fatality data–which has been the focus of the news cycle since March–is misleading.
When the recent discovery is added to the arsenal of knowledge doctors and public health officials have already amassed, the known threat of COVID-19 is left significantly diminished. While we should all take the pandemic seriously, it’s clear the virus’ most severe consequences are reserved for a specific demographic: Older people and those with underlying health conditions. In Pennsylvania, more than 9 in 10 fatalities related to COVID-19 involve people over the age of 60; nearly 8 in 10 are over 70 years old.
Gov. Tom Wolf should adjust the state’s lockdown policies to adapt to the new reality; current rules are simply too strict given the relatively modest threat the virus poses to most residents. Allowing all businesses to operate under their own judgement and giving them the autonomy to implement safety protocols that best fit their operations should be the priority. Entrepreneurs know how best to protect their employees and consumers, not Big Brother.
It’s called personal responsibility.
Read the full op-ed on The Express by Guy Berkebile, owner of Guy Chemical in Somerset, Pa., and is a partner of the Job Creators Network Foundation.