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Ex-NY Times reporter rips blue state governors for lockdowns: ‘Fools’ need to read the data and reopen

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Former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson said it’s time to end the “infuriating” lockdowns and let people go back to work, charging that many blue-state governors are “fools” with “crazy” benchmarks.

Appearing on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Berenson was discussing the scandal involving U.K. government scientist Neil Ferguson resigning after violating his own social-distancing guidelines to meet his mistress.

In the process, he told host Tucker Carlson Tuesday that local and state officials need to focus more on protecting the most vulnerable instead of “destroying the economy.”

“I’m getting sick of people saying, ‘We don’t know much about this virus, we don’t know enough to know what the right steps are,'” Berenson said. “If that’s true, why have we shut down the world?”


“We do know a lot about this virus,” he continued. “We know the average age of death in the United States and worldwide is probably about 80 or 82. We know about half, if not more, of the people who die in the United States are dying in nursing homes.”

Berenson then turned his attention on community leaders.

“We know enough to know we should protect those people,” he said. “And instead, our leaders are spending time haranguing us about masks and destroying the economy with lockdowns and every day it makes less sense and every day it’s more infuriating.”

Carlson suggested that these leaders seem to know the measures they’ve put in place are unnecessary.

“If they don’t know, they are fools and haven’t read the data which is publicly available, which is available on their own government websites,” Berenson observed. “And if they do know, I just don’t know what they’re doing.”

“For a month I have been waiting for the reality and the data to start to hit people and it’s been very, very slow,” he said. “Many states have these phased-in lockdown plans that have very, very unrealistic benchmarks, Oregon’s benchmarks are crazy, New York’s benchmarks, Illinois’s benchmarks, many of the blue state lockdown states have these benchmarks that are very difficult to meet.”

The journalist pondered whether the answer is in taking to the streets to protest the restrictions put in place.

“Is it going to take people in the streets?” he wondered. “That seems to have helped a little bit in California last week. I don’t know what it’s going to take for people to start being realistic here — not people, but lawmakers.”

Carlson asked why officials aren’t going all-in on protecting people in long term care and nursing homes.

“That’s a fantastic question,” Berenson replied. “Why doesn’t every nursing home get surveyed by the state every day, why aren’t the nursing homes required to show staff plans that they are not going to let staff members infect uninfected older people. Why isn’t this the focus? There are things we could and should be doing, but when we are spending all our time trying to scare people who are low risk and very successfully — one of the incredibly sad things about this is how many people won’t go outside, they will not leave their homes. By doing that we are doing exactly the wrong things.”

Tom Tillison


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