Dr. Martin Kulldorff is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He’s an epidemiologist whose research focusses on infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety.

As we enter Day 197 of 15 days to stop the spread, I thought it was important to hear from a medical expert who could shed some light on the failed policies still crushing our state’s economy.

As we know now, Florida has lifted all statewide COVID-19 restrictions regarding bars and restaurants, and people responded by spending much-needed money to help these struggling entrepreneurs get back on their feet. Must have been great to enjoy normalcy in the Sunshine State over the weekend. Meanwhile in New Jersey, we’re still dealing with the ridiculousness of 25% capacity in restaurants and the fear that has people walking their dogs alone with masks and face shields.

Nothing like some facts to overcome fear right? How about a 99.997% survival rate among kids 19 and younger? How about a 99.98% survival rate for those 49 and younger? Or a 99.5% survival rate for those aged 69 and younger? We already know that the new strains of the virus are more contagious, making the masks even less relevant than they are right now, but also way less deadly. So, again, kids are not super spreaders. Cloth masks especially are ineffective against viruses and medical masks aren’t much better. The chance of a serious illness or death from coronavirus is almost non-existent among those 19 and younger and the survival rate up to the age of 69 tops 99.5%.

So with all of this medical data and facts, why is New Jersey not 100% open? The answer is in the governor’s office. Florida’s governor gets it. New Gov. Phil Murphy is smart enough to get it, but doesn’t care. Your business and desire to live as a free American will not stand in the way of his ego and desire to look like he is a crisis management hero. Facts be damned.

Take a listen to the facts presented by Dr. Martin Kulldorff during our conversation Monday morning.

The quick recap is simple; open the schools for in-person instruction, open the restaurants and bars and get back to normal life. The reason is simple. Kids are hardly impacted. We can see that proof in the US with 53 deaths among kids aged 5 to 17 out of 53 MILLION. You could actually make a sound argument that kids may have been compromised from the lockdown. By comparison, Sweden has 1.8 million kids under the age of 15 who went to school and daycare as normal throughout the entire pandemic. NOT ONE OF THEM DIED FROM COVID.

The doc also mentioned a fact I’ve been talking about for months. Kids are not infecting adults. Actually the opposite is true. Even though kids can carry the virus, it’s the adults that are potentially making the kids sick. I referenced the WHO and he mentioned a study in Iceland showing the same thing. It’s what we call medical facts. Here’s another. Universal masking gives a false sense of security and does not provide a sufficient barrier to a virus especially if you are vulnerable. Another doc confirming what most of us already know. Is Murphy listening?

From the start of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, I’ve been consistently saying the same thing. The lockdown is worse than the virus. If we are serious about protecting vulnerable people, and we know who they are, 70 years and older, with underlying medical conditions, then you need distance. The masks are a political symbol. There is virtually no medical benefit outside of a full compliment of PPE in a medical setting.  The greater danger is the impact to our social and economic life. Many, especially small businesses and families with young kids, are suffering terribly in New Jersey. As the rest of the country and the world come out of their lockdown coma, we had better get moving or face far greater devastation than the virus could have ever delivered.

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.