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Thomas Gallatin / May 11, 2021

Don’t Blame the Pandemic for Spiking Crime

Leftist politicians claim COVID is responsible, conveniently ignoring the anti-police narrative fomented by BLM.

With major U.S. metros like New York City experiencing spiking violent crime rates, one question naturally arises: What’s the cause? The blame, according to leftist politicians like NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), falls on the coronavirus pandemic.

“We had an incredible and total disruption in 2020,” de Blasio insisted. “Our entire lives were turned upside down, a global pandemic, a perfect storm — and we are in the process of overcoming that.”

AOC attempted to be a little more nuanced, as she pointed to the pandemic’s impact on the economy. “Do we think this has to do with the fact that there’s record unemployment in the United States right now?” she wondered. “The fact that people are at a level of economic desperation that we have not seen since the great recession? Maybe this has to do with the fact that people aren’t paying their rent and are scared to pay their rent. And so they go out and they need to feed their child and they don’t have money. So, you maybe have to — they’re put into a position where they feel like they either need to shoplift some bread or go hungry that night.”

AOC is equally confident that rising crime cannot be blamed on the anti-police narrative promoted by leftist social justice activists like Black Lives Matter, which has fomented violence across the nation following the death of George Floyd. “Keep in mind that this uptick in crime that’s happening right now is with a $6 billion New York City Police Department budget,” she argued. “We have shoved more and more and more money into the NYPD. It has not prevented this uptick in crime.” It’s telling that AOC essentially dismisses the city’s spiking crime rate, as if a 47% increase in homicides in 2020 is merely an “uptick.”

So, do the blame-the-pandemic assertions from de Blasio, AOC, other leftist politicians, and Leftmedia pundits hold water? Well, if their assertions are true, then other nations equally affected by the global pandemic should be experiencing similar rising crime rates. To put it simply, the data shows otherwise.

In a recent New York Post article, Nicole Gelinas exposes the fact that major foreign cities and other First World countries have had the opposite experience with crime during the pandemic. Gelinas notes, “In London, the global city that most closely resembles Gotham, the murder rate plummeted last year. It fell to 126 from 150, down 16 percent.” Compare that to NYC, which saw a 47% increase in homicides for a total of 468 in 2020.

Italy, a nation that was hit especially hard by the pandemic, saw its homicide rate drop 14%. France experienced a 2% drop in murders, while Gelinas says Japan’s “murder level was the lowest it has been since World War II.” Even Mexico, a nation plagued by drug cartel violence, saw the homicide rate dip half a percentage point, “the first decline in six years.”

Gelinas further debunks suggestions that these other countries had better social safety nets in place to cover the economic loss. “In America,” she writes, “the only workers to see steep drops in income with no corresponding government benefits are people who were working here illegally, and thus were ineligible for benefits. But there is no evidence that they’re behind the spike in violent crime.”

In truth, increased violent crime is directly tied to the anti-police narrative and the subsequent policy decisions by politicians to placate the activists, which only served to further the false narrative. The vilification of law enforcement unsurprisingly has resulted in less law enforcement. Gelinas observes, “Look at the details of New York’s murders, and most of the alleged criminals over the past year weren’t formerly law-abiding citizens driven to crime because of the pandemic. What is new in New York — and in the rest of the country — is that we have effectively halted all preventative policing. We have also effectively stopped all incarceration of suspects and criminals short of murder.”

All of this leftist-driven activity is a recipe for higher crime rates if there ever was one.

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