SADOW: Edwards Pandemic Response Exemplifies Legacy Of Failure

Three years have passed since Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards launched the initial of 26 months’ worth of emergency declarations surrounding the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. Much of what he proclaimed was dead wrong in mitigating its impact. Tragically, science knew as bogus some of that well before the last of his executive orders, some within months of, and some even before, the first of these, yet he and his lieutenants and other policy-makers disregarded that to the detriment of the health and safety of Louisianans – and continue to do so.

Even before the pandemic became recognized internationally, plenty of past research demonstrated that wearing face coverings did little to prevent transmission of airborne viruses because only a minority of individuals wore these correctly and even for those that did that couldn’t stop totally transmission. Subsequent research has reinforced that and that as it turned out virus impact hardly differed between jurisdictions with mask mandates and those without.

Yet for well over a year Edwards ordered these worn indoors in most places and sometimes outdoors. This proved more than a minor inconvenience especially for preschool children where evidence continues to mount that some suffered developmental delays because of that.

School closures imposed by Edwards, with some extended as much as a year by local authorities, also hurt children. Early on and up until now, evidence has demonstrated no need for this, as youths seldom ever became severely ill from the virus and transmission rates were no different among them whether a jurisdiction had closed schools. The closures did have a demonstrably negative impact on children’s learning that will haunt an entire generation for the rest of their lives.

Requirements Edwards imposed on mandatory vaccinations for state employees, which other official such as those in higher education emulated and also forced upon students, also had a deleterious effect. This mandate didn’t boost vaccination rates nor did it impact transmission rates, outcomes revealed within the pandemic’s first year, yet this remained on the books months later. As a result, lives for many were disrupted needlessly in having to choose between a job or school, and it forced inoculation with something the long-term effects of which are unknown against a virus that for most posed little threat, even putting at risk lives for some.

This was because of the growing evidence that particularly among the younger vaccinated disproportionately they suffered subsequently from heart conditions. Yet to this day the state’s Department of Health continues to advocate for vaccinations even among toddlers despite the elevated risk of side effects and that almost none of youngest children suffer severely from the virus.


Perhaps the most harmful policy dealt with forced lockdowns of commerce. In the pandemic’s early days with so little known, a lockdown, which subsequent research has shown made no difference in virus mortality, was excusable, but Edwards kept one in place many months past that becoming known. As a result, unable to seek treatment or assistance, some people’s physical and mental health deteriorated needlessly, and Louisiana ended up having among the most per capita excess deaths over the next couple of years of all the states.

Some nonpharmaceutical interventions made sense from the start. It was correct to sequester and restrict interaction with the elderly having co-morbidities, who had mortality rates magnitudes above the typical person. Health care settings as well appropriately could have masking and distancing requirements. And advocating only for voluntary vaccination of people with co-morbidities, without requiring anybody to have that or proof of infection recently, would give the most vulnerable encouragement for extra protection by their own decision while the rest of the population without coercion could weigh risks and act voluntarily appropriately.

Instead, Edwards and his advisors, mimicked by others, ignored the science in favor of politics – nothing new, as his actions on climate have demonstrated – and assaulted people’s personal liberties (so multiple court rulings eventually determined). Worse, his policy overkill, the infirmities of which should have been clear before the end of 2020, due to the sharp increase in excess deaths likely in net cost more lives than it saved.

Less than a year from Edwards leaving office, compared to when he entered it Louisiana has fewer jobs, fewer people, more criminal activity, worse educational outcomes, and massively higher state spending. But perhaps the worst stain on this negative legacy is his mishandling, obvious within weeks of its commencement that he stubbornly chose not to fix, of the pandemic.



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