Saturday, June 22, 2024

Why the U.S. Should Follow Denmark’s Lead

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Although represents Bernie Sanders' model for democratic socialism, the United States could learn something from the tiny Nordic country.

In one way, at least.

Large swaths of the U.S. remain beholden to COVID-19 restrictions. In liberal enclaves from coast to coast, American citizens have to comply with various decrees.

The San Francisco Bay Area just reinstated a mask mandate, despite the inability of one leading Democrat to follow it. In Los Angeles, millions of residents have to show proof of vaccination to enjoy indoor gatherings. Meanwhile, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) requires residents to mask up in most outdoor settings.

In contrast, Denmark lifted all of its pandemic restrictions last month. In fairness, the country's vaccination rates are considerably higher than the United States. According to the latest statistics, 86% of eligible citizens over the age of 12 have gotten their shots.

Big Lessons From a Small Country

In some part, our government's failure to articulate the severity and uncertainties with the pandemic early on probably exacerbated vaccine hesitancy (remember “15 days to slow the spread”). Instead of overpromising and underdelivering, Denmark's government treated its citizens like adults.

When studies confirmed that the AstraZeneca vaccine causes blood clots in rare cases, the country's authorities decided that vaccine represented a greater threat to healthy Danes than the virus and suspended it immediately.

Such action increased trust in healthcare authorities. It also increased the willingness of hesitant citizens to get vaccinated.

Regardless, Danish authorities understand that the coronavirus is here to stay. No one expects to eliminate the highly contagious pathogen no matter the number of vaccines administered. But that doesn't mean we have to let it rule our lives.

Stop Living in Fear

Reason.com's John Stossel has more:

“Go Denmark!” cheers George Mason University economist Don Boudreaux in my latest video. “We in the United States should do the same.”

“We reduced COVID, through vaccination, to a fairly mild ailment for the vast majority of people,” says Boudreaux. “You don't have to worry if the bartender at your favorite bar is vaccinated or not. You are protected against suffering severe consequences. Get vaccinated, and then go about your life normally!”

“We live with countless hazards, each of which we could but sensibly