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CDC Data Suggests Stricter Lockdowns Didn’t Reduce COVID Deaths

Michigan had substantially more deaths than its neighbors despite more significant restrictions

The state of Michigan will eliminate capacity limits on indoor and outdoor restaurants and other facilities as of June 22. The state government will also lift all the face mask mandates it has imposed in response to COVID-19.

Throughout the 15-month pandemic, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has repeatedly said the goal of this mandate and other restrictions was to save lives.

April 2, 2020: “Now I know this is hard. I know this is going to be disruptive and it’s certainly going to be hard on our economy as well. But our action will save lives.”

April 24, 2020: “I know there’s been a lot of discussion about these restrictions. I know they haven’t been easy and they’ve seemed inconsistent or confusing. But, the data shows that what we have done is working. We’ve saved lives in this process. The thing about public health is, when you do it well, you never know how many lives you’ve saved.”

But statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest little relationship between the rigor of state lockdown policies and their COVID death rates. The data show that Michigan experienced a higher COVID mortality rate than any other Midwestern state.

COVID deaths per 100,000 residents:

Michigan: 209

Indiana: 204

Illinois: 202

Ohio: 172

Wisconsin: 138

Minnesota: 135

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.