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Horowitz: Amid rioting in Minneapolis, coronavirus cases spike among younger people

Surprise, surprise: Burned-out buildings and increased crime aren’t the only things left in Minneapolis in the wake of the massive rioting over the past few weeks. Now it appears that COVID-19 cases among those ages 20-29 unnaturally spiked right around mid-June, exactly when you would expect them to, given the mass gatherings of protesters and rioters that commenced about one to two weeks before. Where do peaceful, law-abiding Americans go to get their apology after the media promoted lockdown and then went to the other extreme of promoting mass gatherings and super-spreading events to fuel racial strife?

Even though roughly 80 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Minnesota occurred in senior care facilities, those in their 20s now account for more confirmed positive cases than any other age group, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

But the more relevant point is the trend line. There appears to have been a massive spike in cases among those in their 20s right around mid-June. Those in their 20s consistently accounted for roughly 20 percent of all cases going back to the archived reports from May. Yet they now account for 59 percent of the new cases since June 25.

What is shocking and appalling is that the media and politicians are blaming states for gradually and cautiously reopening after the harsh and arbitrary lockdowns as the culprit behind the spike in more cases. MPR News is pinning the blame for the Minnesota spike on the bars. Yet even the most open states never sanctioned mass gatherings. Numerous studies have shown that super-spreader events are responsible for the lion’s share – perhaps 80 percent – of transmission in a country. That’s why Japan, which had a great outcome without a shutdown, was always careful to avoid mass gatherings.

Yet, somehow, we are to believe it’s the reopening of small businesses that is responsible for the spread, not roving and mobile mass gatherings all over the country.

Not only are uncontrolled mass gatherings more likely to spread the illness than small businesses, but the timing makes it clear they are the culprit for the spread in many places. Infection to hospitalization time seems to be about 11-14 days. The gradual reopening began in late April and early May in the southern states, while the rioting began in early June. While very few young people will get seriously ill, those who are older who catch it from them can get sicker. The increase in hospitalizations happened right around when we would expect it, in mid-June.

Obviously, the places we would expect to see the greatest effect are in the states where there was little herd immunity because the virus hadn’t spread much to begin with, which is the case in most southern states. New York City had large riots and protests, but it appears that the virus has already hit a brick wall after infecting and killing so many in NYC in March and April. The population density of the northeast made the virus spread very quickly long before the protests. But in other parts of the country, all bets are off.

Our government is now using its failure to protect us internally from domestic insurrection and externally from cross-border migration as a pretext to reinstitute lockdown. As I noted on Friday, much of the spike in serious cases at the border is the result of cross-border travel and migration that our government failed to shut down. Now we know that much of the spread of milder cases in the interior came from the mass rioting and protesting. The only things that should be shut down are downright encouraged, while we are forced to wear face diapers and our children can’t go to camp after being out of school for months.

We’ve learned something interesting over the past few weeks. People who rob, loot, maim, and burn don’t care about spreading a virus either. Who would have known? The sad thing is that the silent majority of law-abiding Americans are the ones getting blamed for the lawlessness of the mob and the mendacity of the governing elite.

One last thing…
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