Commentary

NYC's Planned Reopening Concert Features Arguably the Dumbest COVID Policy We've Seen Yet

Ignoring science has been a consistent strategy employed by Democrats in New York City as they respond to COVID-19. Even with their plans for a reopening celebration, they are set to continue this trend.

The New York Times reported Monday that Mayor Bill de Blasio is planning a massive concert to celebrate the great resurgence of the city.

No artists have been confirmed for the show, which is tentatively set for Aug. 21, but de Blasio has tapped music mogul Clive Davis to pull it together, and “he is aiming for eight ‘iconic’ stars to perform a three-hour show for 60,000 attendees and a worldwide television audience,” according to The Times.

There are multiple aspects of de Blasio’s plan that should be called into question, but the most glaring one is the strategy for separating the crowd.

“The mayor’s office said there would be vaccinated and unvaccinated sections at the concert, and that about 70 percent of tickets would go to people who are vaccinated,” The Times reported.

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This plan is incredibly anti-scientific in more ways than one.

For starters, it undermines messaging about the effectiveness of the vaccine itself.

By all available data, the coronavirus vaccine is extremely effective. News Medical reported Sunday that a new study from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researcher Mark Thompson and others found the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to be 91 percent effective in preventing infection.

For the small percentage of vaccinated people in the study who did develop COVID-19, their research found the vaccines to be “highly effective at reducing viral load, febrile symptoms, and the duration of illness.”

Do you think it's a good idea to separate vaccinated and unvaccinated people at a concert?

In other words, the likelihood of developing the disease after being vaccinated is very low, and the likelihood of developing a serious case is even lower.

This means that vaccinated people are safe to be in a crowd with both other vaccinated people and nonvaccinated people. There is little scientific reason for them to be concerned about anyone else once they have been vaccinated.

In addition, if de Blasio believes unvaccinated people are still at high risk for COVID-19, how would it make sense to shove all of those people into a confined space?

The entire theory of herd immunity rests on the idea that a certain number of people in the community at large will become immune. If you remove all those people from the herd, all you are doing is increasing the likelihood that the virus will spread among those who are not immune.

Aside from the scientific questions, discriminating against people based on their medical decisions raises concerns about personal freedoms. Many Americans do not agree with the idea that vaccine status should determine where they can go or what they can do.

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The upcoming concert will not be the first event to apply this anti-scientific, discriminatory plan. For example, WLNY-TV reported that Yankee Stadium began employing “vaccinated” and “unvaccinated” sections in May.

The fact that other establishments have employed this strategy does not make it any more sensible.

Even without the segregated sections, the plans for the concert itself suggest more of a political stunt than a celebration. It seems inappropriate that a man who has advocated for the destruction of New York’s economy now will get some sort of credit for ending his tyrannical reign.

That has not stopped de Blasio, who has charged Davis with creating a star-studded lineup for the event. While no specific names have been discussed, The Times noted that Davis has worked with talents ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Whitney Houston.

Not one to avoid the limelight, de Blasio has already begun his initiative to effectively take credit for the resurgence of the economy via this massive concert.

“This concert is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he said. “It’s going to be an amazing lineup. The whole week is going to be like nothing you’ve ever seen before in New York City.”

The Times tried to spin the event positively for its Democratic friend, saying it has the potential to be a “political triumph” for a relatively unpopular mayor.

This entire line of thinking is misguided. America is emerging on the other side of this pandemic largely in spite of the actions taken by Democrats like de Blasio, not because of them.

It was former President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed that largely contributed to this vaccine development and helped put a plan in place to distribute it. His administration saved New York from the disastrous response of de Blasio and embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

When things were going wrong, leftist politicians in New York did not hesitate to try to shift the blame onto Trump. Now that the people have something to celebrate, de Blasio suddenly wants to take back the responsibility.

No leader can enjoy all the credit without shouldering any of the blame. For de Blasio to do so is dishonest, but not surprising.

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Grant is a senior at Virginia Tech who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.
Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.




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