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Florida Bests California Again – This Time in COVID Outcomes

Director at Public Health and American Well-Being Initiative
Joel M. Zinberg, M.D., J.D. is the Director of the Public Health and American Well-Being Initiative at Paragon Health Institute, and a senior fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute. A native New Yorker, he recently completed two years as General Counsel and Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President.

A new study from the Paragon Health Institute shows that Florida’s more open approach to the pandemic resulted in far fewer societal, educational, and economic disruptions than California’s draconian response while yielding approximately identical health outcomes.

In fact, the study notes, while people fled California at an increasing rate during the pandemic, Florida saw significant population gains.

“More severe government measures did not improve health outcomes but led to worse economic and educational outcomes” said Paragon’s Dr. Joel M. Zinberg. “In addition, people voted with their feet.  There was a significant correlation between the severity of states’ government measures and states’ migration outflows. California, which had the third most severe government measures in the nation, experienced a surge in its already high out-migration during the pandemic.”

Not only did stricter states see no marked difference in COVID mortality, they may have caused other health problems.

“States with severe government interventions did not significantly improve health outcomes (age-adjusted and pre-existing-condition adjusted COVID mortality and all-cause excess mortality) compared to states with more restrained approaches,” the report states.  “This may be partly because government interventions appear to have increased excess mortality from non-COVID health conditions.”

The full article can be found in the California Globe.

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