It turns out that extreme anti-COVID measures have a real, and deadly, cost. Such as the 17 lives lost (eight of them children) along with dozens injured in the January fire at the Twin Parks North West building in the Bronx.
The head of the fire inspectors’ union now says that building’s inspection was delayed because its inspector was reassigned to check restaurants’ COVID compliance.
That’s 17 dead, to satisfy the witless demands of the de Blasio-imposed public-health regime that did nothing for public health.
Yes, nothing: These rules had no effect on the city’s COVID outcomes during Omicron, Delta or at any other time. Cases surged, fell, and surged again at a complete disconnect from policy changes. And a glance out of state shows that Florida, with far fewer restrictions, saw a fatality rate during the Omicron peak lower than New York’s.
But all this theater had at least one measurable effect: It took 90 city fire inspectors, a fifth of the full force, away from their regular duties to make sure restaurants were checking vaccine cards and distributing masks. And so no inspector flagged the faulty fire doors at Twin Parks North West, which should have limited the deaths from flames and smoke.
COVID restrictionism has had other costs: businesses ruined, jobs destroyed; years of learning loss for our youngest students, possibly irrecoverably.
Remember that the next time an elected insists “it’s worth it if saves one life” without admitting that wasting resources on useless interventions has a terrible cost of its own.