Limited Choice Fallacy at USAToday

‘Draconian’? ‘House arrest’? Coronavirus lockdowns prompt raft of lawsuits against states

Apparently you can only believe ‘public health’ experts during the lockdown.  Opposing lockdowns mean you are anti-science.

“The cases test where the lines are safely drawn, as governors balance protecting public health against individual liberties. ”  Presupposes the outcome.  The plaintiffs says  that governors have not appropriately balanced the two competing goods.

To me the cases are about unfair treatments: churches closed but liquor stores open.  I expect a lot of the churches are willing to implement restrictions during services, eg, distancing and masks.  Nope.  “The eventual rulings could redefine the balance between state police powers and constitutional rights that advocates contend are too important to sacrifice even temporarily. “[my emphasis]

Failing to accept lockdown rules means you deny health science is text limited choice fallacy.  “Edward Richards, a law professor at Louisiana State University who has a master’s degree in public health for disease control, said health restrictions have been held paramount since the threat of yellow fever hung over the Constitutional Convention. But he said businesses have always been skeptical and political leaders now openly question the legitimacy of health science.”  [my emphasis].  The writer fails to acknowledge a middle ground, that lockdowns must be applied fairly.

More here: ““The legal picture doesn’t give us a real portrayal of the long-term ambivalent support toward public health,” Richards said. “We’ve never had the governmental authorities starting with the president actively undermining the public’s trust in public health, actively questioning whether the diseases are actually serious.” [my emphases].  Translation: accept lockdown, peasants!

Fortunately the writer acknowledges at least 1 constitutional right trumps lockdowns.  ““We do not uphold an injunction against state action lightly, much less during a public health crisis like the one our nation is experiencing now,” Judge Karen Nelson Moore wrote for the 6th Circuit, favoring flexibility for governors and legislatures to balance rights. “Affording flexibility, however, is not the same as abdicating responsibility, especially when well-established constitutional rights are at stake, as the right to abortion most assuredly is.”” The constitutional right referred to in this paragraph is abortion.

The writer also discusses the successful pushback from some gun shops, though only the plaintiffs, not the judges’ decisions, are quoted.

Another limited choice quote (2 paragraphs):

Dr. Irwin Redlener, co-director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University, said the country needs leadership to explain why lifting shutdown orders would be dangerous before developing tools to ensure public health.
“Opening stores before we have ability to do on-site daily testing is just playing Russian roulette with our families,” said Redlener, a clinical professor of health management. “We don’t want to take a step or many steps backwards where economic or political interests can override the public’s health.”

my emphases.  The limited choice is that public health comes first ‘economic or political interests’ cannot be allowed to override.  Such an issue may be debated.  I regret to see hardline ‘public health uber alles’ cited.

Pritzker [Gov. of Illinois] told reporters May 12 that more people would be hospitalized and would die if people don’t follow science in reopening gradually.

I would love to see the ‘science’ on the reopening schedules, ie, the regression lines, the two-way tables, etc.  Are governors making reasonable decisions?  Likely.  Is there hard science to define the Phase 1-4 unlockings?  I very much doubt it.


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