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College football’s boom in the ratings this season was credited to the quality of the matchups and a complete ass-whooping of COVID-19 restrictions. The media watched as fanatics filled the stadium seats and ignored the heavily touted PPE or social distancing from Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Fauci and the media grew apoplectic to see the mass gatherings at college games, predicting that the “super spreader” events would bump infection rates and keep the nation under necessary lockdown.
The epidemiologist was off on his predictions … way off.
Observing the COVID hysteria, The Hill released their report on COVID infection rates — tracked between a month leading up to the season in September and continuing from the debut games for most SEC teams on Sept. 4, notably choosing the most populated conference in terms of fandom.
As data accrued and the season progressed, the start of college football eventually became the point at which COVID infections began to drop sharply.
The report stated, “The average COVID-19 infection rate peaked at 0.49 percent for the week before football games began, and then steadily decreased to 0.08 percent for the week ending Oct. 31, after which it remained low.”
“SEC football games are primarily located in states with relatively few state‑imposed COVID-19 restrictions (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas), and nine of the states have vaccination rates consistently lower than the national average,” cited the report.
The Hill calls back to an interview with MSNBC’s Joy Reid where Dr. Fauci castigates students for attending these games and tailgate events, alleging potential spikes in cases.
“As soon as I saw it [pictures of packed stadiums], I thought COVID-19 is about to have a feast. What did you think?” asked Reid.
“I thought the same thing. I think it’s really unfortunate,” responded Dr. Fauci.
Fauci has played a key role in public health policy dating back to the start of 2020, but fails to inspire confidence based on the selective application of COVID data.
One key factor in the waning transmission rates among the SEC crowds was the open-air setting of the stadiums. Despite tens to hundreds of thousands of students gathering in one place, the ventilation of an open-air venue, even without masks, continues to prove safer than cooping people up indoors.
The report also cited natural immunity as a strong factor for the long-term protection — amid a season of vaccination mandates and passport programs suggested by the White House.
Nearly all home states to SEC schools are the opposites of heavily mandated states like New York or California. By allowing natural immunity to spread, these regions saw an improved protection against breakthrough infection compared to those stringent on vaccination.
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