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Our opinion: Choose vaccination to end pandemic

There’s an old saying about lies and statistics. But the truth is, measuring by number can be an effective way to determine things. All kinds of things.

Say, for example, the logic behind government mandates and restrictions regarding COVID-19.

And when you run the numbers, you find two common threads — most of the actions being taken by government cannot be supported as far as saving lives. One thing does work — getting vaccinated.

We’ll deal with the second one in a moment. As for the first one, look at these numbers:

As of Sept. 1, New Jersey and New York are first and third nationally in per capita death rates due to COVID. Mississippi and Louisiana are second and fourth, all according to Statista, a worldwide provider of market and consumer data. Pennsylvania, in case you’re wondering, ranks 12th.

In simpler terms, it’s not about a state being politically left or right, located in the north or south. Two of these states are polar opposites to the others in both of those regards.

What about the growing COVID rate among children — most of whom are still not eligible for the vaccine? According to Centers for Disease Control data, as of Aug. 21, those below age 15 still represent only a tiny fraction of deaths nationwide since Jan. 1, 2020, compared to other age groups.

Which brings us to Florida — 20th in per capita death rate — where the virus’ Delta variant has been rampant compared to other states. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis famously banned school mask mandates to the horror of lefties everywhere.

Neighboring Louisiana, which also has seen a wave of new cases, has an indoor mask mandate. School children are required to wear masks. And yet, it still has a substantially higher COVID death rate.

In those two states, the difference is vaccination. Although Florida’s infection and hospitalization rates are spiking, its death rate is well below other states. But its vaccination rate is high — Florida, according to a recent New York Times report, ranks 21st among states in that department.

Fifty-two percent of Sunshine State residents are fully vaccinated; 63% have at least one dose. In Louisiana, fewer than 50% of residents have one dose; barely more than 40% are fully vaccinated. So why do we believe that masks are better than shots?

We don’t. We know that the best way to end the pandemic is at the end of a needle. Let’s focus on that — a real solution.

Let’s fight harder to get full approval for effective vaccines, get approval for all ages and educate those who mistakenly believe vaccines are political, not medical.

Let’s put an end to prophylactic measures that at best slow the spread of disease, and choose the one that we know will put an end to it.

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