Friday May 29, 2020
Maryland politicians have destroyed more than four hundred thousand jobs in dictatorial responses purporting to thwart the coronavirus pandemic. “Nearly one in five Maryland workers have filed for unemployment” compensation, theBaltimore Sun reported. The situation is so bad that even the Washington Post recognized that Maryland’s COVID “restrictions have crippled the economy and paralyzed daily life since mid-March.”
Shaky extrapolations of predicted infection rates sufficed to nullify limits on state and local government power. On March 20, Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, ordered the shutdown of all “nonessential” businesses. Ten days later, Hogan issued a mandatory “stay-at-home” order for all Marylanders. At that time, roughly a thousand Marylanders had tested positive for COVID and eighteen had died from the virus.
Despite the shutdown, Maryland has had over forty-eight thousand COVID cases and more than twenty-two hundred fatalities. If the shutdown had been effective, the transmission rate should have plunged after the fourteen-day incubation period for coronavirus. Didn’t happen. The shutdown utterly failed to stop the pandemic but inflicted collateral damage that will hobble the state for many years and probably permanently blight thousands of lives.
From the beginning, Maryland’s response epitomized iron fist progressivism—one overreaching decree after another. Piety repeatedly trumped safety.