The summer surge, driven by the Delta variant, is now underway in America, including reopened states like Florida, Texas, Mississippi and Georgia.
It is very welcome, therefore, to see Florida Governor Ron DeSantis standing firm against those calling on him to impose restrictions. He said:
If anyone is calling for lockdowns, you’re not getting that done in Florida. I’m going to protect people’s livelihoods. I’m going to protect kids’ rights to go to school. I’m going to protect people’s right to run their small businesses. …
We’re going to lift people up, We’re not locking people down.
Contrary to all the models and warnings, there was no exit wave in Texas, Georgia or Florida as they lifted restrictions. However, that there is a new surge now as the Delta variant arrives (just as there was in the U.K., not as restrictions were lifted during the spring but as the Delta variant arrived) seems to me pretty conclusive evidence that surges are caused primarily by new variants, not by the lifting of restrictions.
Not that that means new variants are anything to be afraid of. Their ripples (which seem to get smaller each time) come and go relatively quickly as they exhaust the pool of susceptible people and herd immunity is restored (see here for a fuller explanation of this).
All credit to DeSantis for continuing to stand against the lockdown hysteria despite the new surge, and we look forward to seeing him vindicated and confounding his critics once again.