Claim: The crime spike was caused by COVID
It was President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday night. President Obama said that the president was among the “scars” The pandemic left a lasting impact on the country. “the spike in violent crime in 2020, the first year of the pandemic.”
Why it matters: Since the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, violent crime has exploded. Democrats have tried to put the blame on the pandemic and not their policies.
Context: America is currently experiencing a major crime surge. Homicides surged by 30 percent between 2019 and 2020–the The largest single-year gain on record—and violent crime remains well above its pre-pandemic levels.
These trends are part of a broader trend set. Revitalization Prisonbreak Liberalism Soros-backed prosecutors have let violent criminals off easy in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and countless other cities. The Democrat-dominated D.C Council voted in January to reduce sentences for car-jacking, robberies, and gun-related felonies. Obama era civil rights policies have made schools reluctant to discipline and flag potentially dangerous students, which may be why a Virginia elementary school ignored warnings that a six-year-old was brandishing a gun.
Cops are also quitting in droves amid an unprecedented moral crisis—one many observers blame on the leftwing vilification of the police—driving up 911 response times as active shooter incidents reach a 20-year high.
The murder rate did decline slightly in 2022, but other forms of crime increased. All this has increased voters’ anxiety about crime—61 percent told Pew it was a “very important” issue when deciding how to vote in the midterms—and supercharged surveillance efforts: New York City announced in September that it would install two security cameras on every Subway car to reassure riders of their safety.
Analysis: There is no evidence that COVID contributed significantly to the crime spike. For one thing, most countries around the world saw a marked decrease in crime during their stay-at-home orders; the United States was an exception, suggesting that the crime spike was due to other factors.
It is also difficult to attribute the surge to the economic hardship caused by COVID. Recessions are not correlated with homicide rates, and—as many progressives have noted in their attempt to downplay the crime spike—property offenses declined during the pandemic, when the economy was weakest. Thefts and robberies only began climbing again in 2022 after Biden’s much-vaunted economic recovery. These are not the
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