As American politicians double down on locking down our lives, not only are European countries moving away from lockdowns, but some of their political leaders are engaging in a blame game over who thought of such a maniacal idea to begin with.
The Danish Jyllands-Posten newspaper reported on Friday that contrary to the assertion of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen that it was the "authorities" and "the government's recommendation that we shut down all unnecessary activity," it appears that the National Board of Health never advised a lockdown. The controversy in Danish media stems from her use of the Danish word "myndighederne," which means "authorities," during the March 11 press conference announcing the lockdown.
But the Jyllands-Posten charges that no such authority gave consent to or recommended these measures. "As late as the day before the March 11 press conference, the board drew up a list of 'possible actions' against covid-19."
"There were no shutdowns and forced interventions here. In addition, on February 28, Søren Brostrøm [director of National Board of Health] signed a recommendation which, according to jurists, meant that general encroachments on Danes' freedom were excluded — e.g. forced treatment and barring of areas. Only in certain 'specific situations' did Brostrøm give green light for intervention. Kjeld Møller Pedersen, professor of health policy at SDU, states that 'the government has abused health-care advice.'" (Translated from Danish by Google translate.)
It's fascinating to watch politicians and the mainstream media in Europe trade barbs about who was responsible for the lockdown, as if it were the plague itself, while American politicians and media figures continue to embrace it. This comes on the heels of a blockbuster BBC report lacing into U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson for ordering the lockdown and ignoring science. There is now anticipation of major reprisal against him for going along with the lockdown.
The European media is now going after those who induced the panic as well. Yesterday, BILD, the widest circulated newspaper in Europe, ran a headline: "Drosten study on infectious children grossly wrong." On April 29, German virologist Christian Drosten published a paper claiming, contrary to nearly every other study, that children can transmit COVID-19 just as much as adults. In turns out that, instead, his own data show that children carry an 86% lower mean viral load than adults. Imagine media in the U.S. going back to all of the assertions made by the purveyors of panic in recent weeks and debunking them.
Denmark has seen nothing but declines in its infection rates after opening schools and malls several weeks ago. Given that Denmark has enjoyed the lowest death rate per capita of any continental European country among the Western countries, one would expect it to champion the lockdown strategy rather than repudiate it. However, as the Danes dig through the colossal damage done by the lockdown and realize that the models and premises undergirding the lockdown to begin with were wrong, they are rightly asking questions and pointing fingers.
Belgium had the opposite experience from Denmark's and suffered the most deaths per capita of any country in Europe. One would think Belgium's leadership would be traumatized by the virus and strongly push the lockdown narrative as well, just like the politicians in New York. Instead, Interior Minister Pieter De Crem said on Sunday that Belgium's hospitals were never in danger of being overrun as in Italy and Spain and implied that the lockdown was unnecessary.
"If there was a second wave, then I think we will find ourselves in a different situation, namely with testing and tracing. But I think we can rule out that we will have to go back to the tough measures," De Crem said.
The head of Norway's Institute of Public Health also believes the lockdown was unnecessary.
Beaches are set to open even in Italy, while Spain, which has the second-highest COVID-19 deaths per capita rate in Europe, plans to open its soccer league on June 8. Meanwhile, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is still keeping the beaches closed with no science to back up his assertion that there is any danger in the open air and sunlight. Meanwhile, though France, which is not a country known for valuing religious liberty, is opening up all religious services, numerous states and cities in the U.S. are still banning church services.
Sadly, in the land of the free and the home of the brave, only a handful of states have learned their lesson from the disastrous lockdowns and the flat-earth science undergirding them. According to an analysis by the University of Maryland, states that reopened their economies two weeks ago or earlier have seen, on average, day-to-day declines in new cases of -0.4%. Contrast that to states that have not yet opened their economies or that opened them much later, where daily cases are nearly unchanged. Georgia and Florida have especially enjoyed successful results despite predictions of rampant death and disease.
On Friday, Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, expressed her surprise that lockdown cities like Chicago, D.C., and Los Angeles were not experiencing the same steady decline as some other areas, including the freer states and cities. Maybe she ought to ask the Europeans to solve her riddle with science and freedom. They seem to value truth and liberty a lot more than American government officials. Who would have thunk it?!