California, NY Failed in Handling COVID-19, Florida Among the Best: Report

California, NY Failed in Handling COVID-19, Florida Among the Best: Report
Gov. California Gavin Newsom and former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images); (Mary Altaffer-Pool/Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

California and New York handled COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions the worst, according to a new report.

Other than New York and California, New Jersey and Illinois—all Democrat-led states—were among the worst in dealing with COVID-19, said a study from the conservative Committee To Unleash Prosperity, a conservative-leaning group.

“Shutting down their economies and schools was by far the biggest mistake governors and state officials made during COVID, particularly in blue states,” Stephen Moore, a co-founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, told Fox News on Monday, adding that the bottom states in the report had the most severe pandemic restrictions. “We hope the results of this study will persuade governors not to close schools and businesses the next time we have a new virus variant.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, and former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, all Democrats, directed states that “had high age-adjusted death rates; they had high unemployment and significant GDP losses, and they kept their schools shut down much longer than almost all other states,” the report found. Cuomo resigned last August and was replaced by Democrat Kathy Hochul.

“The study verifies other studies which have found that locking down businesses, stores, churches, schools, and restaurants had almost no impact on health outcomes across states,” the report found. “States with strict lockdowns had virtually no better performance in COVID death rates than states that remained mostly open for business.”

According to the report, cited by Fox, 13 of the 15 top-performing states were governed by Republicans. Montana, which was counted among those states, had a Democrat governor until after the 2020 election.

Utah, Nebraska, Vermont, and Florida, which are all governed by Republicans, performed the best in different metrics, according to the report. Vermont has a Democrat-dominated state Assembly and Senate, and its voters overwhelmingly favored President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

In terms of education disruptions caused by COVID-19 policies, the report found that California came in 50th place, while New York came in 33rd.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the governors of California and New York—namely—were widely applauded in the mainstream media and prominent public experts for their COVID-19 response, whereas Republican executives were often criticized. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, faced a torrent of criticism starting in 2020 after he did away with many of his state’s COVID-19 restrictions.

The report was authored by University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan, Stephen Moore of The Heritage Foundation, and Phil Kerpen from the Committee to Unleash Prosperity.

The Epoch Times has contacted the Committee To Unleash Prosperity, Newsom’s office, and Hochul’s office for comment.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
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