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Dan Crenshaw introduces bill preventing future national lockdowns and tying state relief funds to reopening plans

A Republican congressman has proposed a bill to end coronavirus lockdowns nationwide and prevent the president of the United States from imposing a national lockdown or placing bans on interstate travel.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) introduced legislation Monday that would end “disastrous economic lockdowns that were imposed unilaterally largely by local Democrat leaders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

His bill, the End Lockdowns Now Act, would require state and local governments to establish plans for reopening their economies as a condition for receiving federal coronavirus relief funds.

“I’m sick of lockdowns and so are you. They don’t work, the data proves it,” Crenshaw tweeted Wednesday. “So I introduced a bill that would prevent national lockdowns and require states to provide a reopening plan before they get bailout money for state governments.”

According to a press release from Crenshaw’s office, the bill would pressure state and local governments to submit plans to the federal government outlining how they plan to reopen with input from community leaders and small businesses as a condition to receive recovery fund assistance. The plans must include details on how schools will open for in-person learning, how restrictions on business activity will be lifted, how religious services and public social gatherings will be permitted, and how families and small businesses will receive economic assistance for recovery.

The bill would also empower the Treasury Department inspector general to recover funds if the disclosure requirements are not met.

Additionally, the bill would clarify that the president, “nor any executive branch official, shall not take any action to issue a blanket ban on interstate travel or impose a national lockdown order or nationwide quarantine.”

“Unscientific, unconstitutional economic lockdowns have destroyed millions of lives and countless small businesses. They have zero benefit to public health, but massive costs to local economies and livelihoods. That’s why we need to end lockdowns for good,” Crenshaw said. “My bill requires that states and localities — with the input of small businesses and communities — submit reopening plans in order to qualify for recovery fund assistance. My bill also clarifies federal law to deny the President authority to issue a nationwide lockdown or impose blanket bans on interstate travel. The American people have suffered long enough under authoritarian lockdowns. We must end them now and work to ensure they never happen again. That’s exactly what my bill does.”

An international study published in January found that state-mandated coronavirus lockdowns were no better at stopping the spread of coronavirus than less restrictive measures like social distancing or reduced travel.

According to the study, “There is no evidence that more restrictive non-pharmaceutical interventions (‘lockdowns’) contributed substantially to bending the curve of new cases” in countries that imposed lockdowns.

Other studies that compared the recorded number of coronavirus deaths to estimated deaths based on projections from mathematical models claimed that 3.1 million deaths were averted because of lockdown policies in several countries. However, critics have accused early coronavirus models of overestimating the projected casualties from the virus, which if true would throw into question conclusions about lockdowns drawn from mathematical modeling.

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