Omicron is spreading. The media say: “Governments must act!

Many have done so, bringing back mask mandates and closing schools.

Do these rules work?


My new video shows why Florida’s approach is better.

Governor Ron DeSantis ended pandemic restrictions last spring and refuses to impose new ones. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result,” he said. Lockdown states let ‘hysteria drive them to do really damaging things’.

The media hates him for saying things like that.

“Some governors put their own political gain ahead of the lives of children,” CNN anchor Don Lemon said.

If you watch most television news, you would think that rules, bans and closures really do save lives. Florida killed people because Florida didn’t impose tougher rules, we’re told.

“Florida leads the nation in new COVID cases,” says Action News in Tampa.

“Florida has the worst coronavirus rate in the country!” fumes the host of “The Young Turks”, Cenk Uygur.

But this is not true.

Florida had less deaths than 16 other states.

Mississippi, Arizona, Alabama and New Jersey have had the most deaths per capita. New York, where most TV presenters and I live, had the sixth highest number of deaths.

Florida did better even though Florida has more high-risk seniors.

What is going on?

The media rarely lie. Most simply cite Florida when deaths are high and ignore the state when deaths drop. They deceive by omission. Florida’s good numbers just don’t match up with reporters’ biases.

But even some pro-lockdown politicians know that less regulated Florida is no more dangerous than other states.

After Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez complained that “anti-closure people” are “spreading COVID everywhere,” she was filmed partying in Florida.

Two days after Rep. Eric Swalwell sneered that “Republican liars…prolonged” the pandemic…”your canceled vacation”, he was pictured in Miami.

DeSantis laughs it off. “If I had a dollar for every lockdown politician who decided to flee to Florida in the past two years, I’d be a pretty rich, stubborn man.”

Fewer rules allow people to build better lives. The lack of shutdowns is one reason Florida’s unemployment rate is 4.5%, well below New York’s 6.6%.

Does that mean shutdowns and mask mandates are unnecessary — and less-regulated Florida has the answer?

No. We can not say that. There is no clear pattern.

Yes, strict mandate states like New York, New Jersey and Michigan have some of the worst death counts, but California had strict mandates and fewer deaths.

The one clear trend: Lockdowns don’t stop COVID-19, but they destroy opportunities. California’s unemployment rate is the highest in America.

Florida has done bad things. DeSantis should pay more attention to his own pro-freedom rhetoric. Last year he ruled that even private companies could not require customers or workers to be vaccinated.

Governor? They are private companies. They should have the right to make their own decisions. It’s usually the totalitarian left that doesn’t let people make their own rules.

That nastiness aside, Florida’s COVID-19 policies are some of the most sensible.

Since lockdowns won’t stop the virus, we have to learn to live with it. Thanks to vaccines and new drugs that reduce the effects of COVID-19, most of us can now.

“We don’t have to upend human life in our quest to eliminate COVID…which can’t happen anyway,” says economist Don Boudreaux.

Abandoning these laws is not “admitting defeat”, but “admitting reality. We learn to live with COVID the same way we learn to live with many other pathogens. … One day, each of us will be done with something.”

That’s why I’m going on vacation to Florida this week.

I’ll wear a mask if I’m in a crowd, but most of the time I won’t. It is a pleasure to breathe freely.

I could catch Omicron. But since I’m vaccinated and fit, I probably won’t die. I might even earn immunities that will protect me in the future.

And anyway, “We’ll all be destroyed by something.”

I choose to live free.

John Stossel is the creator of Stossel TV and the author of “Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media”.