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From the White House to the White Sands

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Brian Blase
PresidentatParagon Health Institute

Brian Blase, Ph.D., is the President of Paragon Health Institute. Brian was Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the White House’s National Economic Council (NEC) from 2017-2019, where he coordinated the development and execution of numerous health policies and advised the President, NEC director, and senior officials. After leaving the White House, Brian founded Blase Policy Strategies and serves as its CEO.

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It’s not easy to move a family with five kids. But, in January 2021, that’s what my wife and I did. We moved from Fairfax County—a large county in Virginia, just west of the nation’s capital—to Ponte Vedra Beach, a beautiful coastal community in northeast Florida. The response of our local government and schools to the pandemic was so extreme and anti-family that we made the decision to uproot our lives and move where freedom and children are more highly valued. A bit of background: my wife and I moved to Fairfax County right after we got married in the summer of 2004. We lived there for 16 years before we made the decision to move. In retrospect, there were a lot of reasons to move to Florida: no cold weather, no state income taxes, and a closer proximity to the beach. And those reasons would have made such a move worthwhile regardless of the pandemic. Without the pandemic though, we never would have thought about moving.

However, some people like us were doing honest assessments and looking wholistically at the benefits and costs of lockdowns—and considering everything that matters in life. It took only a few months to realize that the government response by locking kids in homes was a mistake. The harm to kids and young adults from being locked down was far greater than the societal benefit from doing so.

The full article can be found in The Journal by the James Madison Institute.

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