Eight days ago, this is where Rhode Island stood with hospitalizations, the original and only goal of the lockdown. Now Rhode Island is seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases. Good time to update, especially with a press conference by Governor Raimondo coming up shortly.
At 168 “Currently Hospitalized”, we are still less than half the peak in late April of 377. And Rhode Island hospitalizations were not overwhelmed even at this peak. In fact, the Governor Raimondo herself stated mid-April that the need for hospital beds would peak in late April or early May and that Rhode Island was not going to see a worst case scenario. She was correct on both points. Nor has Rhode Island come close to the peak for hospitalizations
Yet despite achieving this goal, Governor Raimondo, with the express consent by inaction of Speaker Mattiello and Senate President Ruggerio, has inexplicably not lifted the onerous and damaging lockdown of Rhode Island.
Moreover, as we are now seeing in Europe, lockdowns do not work to stop the disease.
Yes, we need to be vigilant. Vulnerable populations must continue to take steps to protect them and we all need to be thoughtful of our interactions with them. But let’s also not overreact.
By continuing to impose what has now been demonstrated to be an ineffectual (yet highly damaging) measure to suppress spread when the singular goal of the measure was achieved six months ago, our state leaders are flexing power in a way that is completely detached from facts, science and data. This is, accordingly, an an abuse of power and an overreaction, the result of which, intended or not, is to punish Rhode Islanders in the short and long term for something that is beyond our control.