Mattiello, Shekarchi, Ruggerio, Raimondo Prolonging Failed Lockdown – Due to Filthy Federal Lucre?


At her press conference Thursday, Governor Gina Raimondo stated that she would not end Rhode Island’s COVID-19 lockdown (“pause”, “restrictions”) until late spring 2021. This follows on eight months of excuses … er, reasons for implementing, then not ending, the lockdown. Let’s review, shall we?

> The most infamous – “two weeks to flatten the curve” – is the one that kicked off this madness.

> Next, the curve got flattened — but not enough. Never enough.

> Then hospital capacity, one of the few matters that we all agree on to a point, was the issue. Except that, in fact, this was not an impediment to ending the lockdown because it involves the one smart action that Governor Raimondo took in response to the pandemic: she set up field hospitals early on.

> Then, a couple of weeks ago, Governor Raimondo strongly alluded to an end to the lockdown once the vaccine is distributed, saying among other things,

So, try to do whatever you need to do, in your life, with your family and your friends to ask yourself, what do you need to do to get through these next few months safely, between now and when we have a vaccine.

> Now – oops, “a few months” is out the window as of Thursday because it turns out that sufficient vaccine will not be available until late spring. Yet another artificial goal to justify the extension of a failed solution.

And all throughout, a drumbeat of fear; an emphasis on the number of deaths; then on the number of cases. Never a mention of critical data like the disease’s very high survival rate, per the CDC, or which demographics are most vulnerable and that, therefore, maybe, just maybe, we could shield those demographics, take basic precautions and simply go about our lives.

No, it’s been eight months of, “we have to lock down or we’re all going to get very sick and die”.

Let’s say it. The emperor has no clothes. The lockdown is not working.  In fact, it is plain from repeated spikes, including in California and places that implemented tight lockdowns, that lockdowns are completely ineffectual, other than New Zealand, as pandemic control.

But this is even more evident in Rhode Island, where 71% of COVID deaths have occurred in nursing homes (nice work by WPRO’s Tara Granahan getting that information from the administration), not in the businesses that Governor Raimondo has shuttered for months.

What lockdowns are quite effective at is inflicting heavy damage; lives, jobs, businesses, education, healthcare/health insurance, sanity, the tax base.

In short, Governor Raimondo has dragged out an economic, social and mental strangulation of Rhode Island for over eight months against all data and plain evidence.  And she proposes, bewilderingly, to extend it another six months.  Apparently, “it’s not working, so we’re going to keep doing it”.

It is critical to note that Governor Raimondo is not alone but shares culpability in this strangulation.  The repeated extensions of a failed lockdown and studied disregard of the resulting destruction – Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, presumed incoming Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio have so far fully endorsed and approved of all of this by their silence and inaction.

We are naturally compelled to ask why our state leaders are doing this as it is obviously not due to public health.  Well, we almost certainly got the answer to that in mid-September.  And it isn’t pretty.  During NBC10’s “Ten News Conference” of September 13 with himself and Minority Leader Blake Filippi,  House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi stated at minute 09:35,

If we as a General Assembly were to come back and dissolve the state of emergency that we’re in, we would lose any eligibility for future federal funds.  And we need that very badly in Rhode Island.

Federal dollars – a tiny trickle of which would go to businesses that have hemorrhaged billions, a little to insider businesses and organizations, but much of it to prop up poorly-crafted state and local budgets now heavily damaged by the lockdown. Federal dollars over the survival of significant swaths of the state’s private sector.  “We had to destroy the village in order to save it” had the tiniest kernel of utterly misguided principle to it.  “We have to destroy the state in order to save our politics-laden public budgets” doesn’t even contain that minuscule kernel.

  • Lou

    Monique, you have been writing the same post for months. How about providing some examples of where “ending the lockdown” has been successful in defeating COVID? You know, actual data supporting your argument.

    • Monique Chartier

      … no one has claimed that. This post is about the claim that a lockdown will slow or defeat COVID-19. An eight month lockdown has decisively disproved this – to the point that Rhode Island now has the highest per capita number of cases. Conversely, while an eight month lockdown has not accomplished its stated/hoped for goal, what it has done is inflict death and heavy damage. So why are we continuing the lockdown?

      • Mario

        This is so transparently silly. First, it’s not a lockdown and never has been. It’s hard to know why the containment efforts are failing without more detail on who is getting it, but I can guarantee that the root cause is not that people aren’t moving around and interacting enough. Not too long ago we had people were pretending that masks were a health hazard, too. I think everyone now agrees that that was complete nonsense, and the anti-“lockdown” frenzy will go the same way.

      • Lou

        What makes you think things would not be significantly worse without the “lockdown”?

  • Pjgj28a

    Lou, can you provide examples, you know actual data, where keeping lockdowns defeating COVID works?

    As usual you point the finger and never, never have you provided anything useful in what you would do in dealing with COVID.

    Why don’t you, LOU, provide examples where lockdowns have worked successfully defeating COVID.

  • ShannonEntropy
    • Lou

      That looks like one of Justin’s graphs with an axis not defined and no definition of what “age adjusted” means…SCIENCE!

      • ShannonEntropy

        Oh it’s def not over… over a zillion kajillion people have already died and it’s only a matter of days before the rest of us do too

        But wonder why Johns Hopkins retracted that study that says the exact opposite. Could it be cuz the facts don’t fit the current narrative ?? Nah… couldn’t be that….

        p.s. can’t wait to see your tapeworm call Johns Hopkins a buncha right wing nut jobs to be ignored

        • Lou

          You realize you are presenting a retracted student newspaper article in an effort to prove something, don’t you? In any event, you also left out this part of their statement:

          “Because of these inaccuracies and our failure to provide additional information about the effects of COVID-19, The News-Letter decided to retract this article. It is our duty as a publication to combat the spread of misinformation and to enhance our fact-checking process. We apologize to our readers.”

          • Max

            It was legitimate study posted in the student newspaper. The retraction says it all. The study didn’t fit the narrative.

          • ShannonEntropy

            Translation: This article doesn’t fit the MSM’s current narrative about the commie cold so we’re pulling it

          • Lou

            Sorry to spoil the fun, but I think it’s time for your reality checks:

            “The COVID-19 death toll has surpassed 275,000, as of Dec. 3, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Cases are rising around the country, and projections anticipate that the death count will climb past 300,000 by the end of the year.

            The viral claim about “no excess deaths” — which has been amplified by unreliable websites and disseminated on Facebook and Twitter — stems from an online presentation by an economics lecturer at Johns Hopkins. But it’s flawed for multiple reasons, experts say.”


          • ShannonEntropy

            Yep… people are dropping dead from Kung Flu left and right… but it’s kinda weird that neither I nor anyone I know actually knows anyone who’s died from it. We must just be lucky I guess

  • Portia

    What is the evidence for the assertion that the Federal dollars came anywhere close to compensating for the lost revenues? Until you show the dollars and cents, stop with the irresponsible spreading of conspiracy theories.