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It’s Not Journalism; It’s Fear-Mongering

What an outrageously misleading ‘report’ in the New York Times:


Apoorva Mandavilli’s report titled “Cases in Florida, a national Covid bellwether, are rising – especially among younger people” (March 28) is irresponsible and deeply misleading.

Florida’s 7-day average of daily new Covid-19 cases is indeed, as of March 27th, 8 percent higher than it was two weeks earlier. Yet by reporting case counts only from Florida and not from other states, Ms. Mandavilli conveys the mistaken impression that Floridians are about to endure an unusually excessive amount of unnecessary suffering because of Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (in)famous refusal to lock that state’s citizens down and to compel them to wear masks.

So let’s compare Florida to other some other states.

Over the same time period, the 7-day average of daily new Covid-19 cases in New Jersey is up by 20%; in New York by 28%; in Puerto Rico by 13%; and in Michigan by a whopping 134%. Citizens of each these jurisdictions have lived under, and continue to live under, tighter Covid restrictions than do Floridians. Puerto Ricans, in fact, are still under a stay-at-home order.

Reporting such as is done here by Ms. Mandavilli is either appallingly incompetent journalism or reckless fear-mongering. Either way it’s inexcusable.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030


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