New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are striking in identifying just who has suffered the most from COVID-19 and who has suffered unnecessarily. The information clearly shows that the destruction of our economy and the lives of many Americans could have been avoided had government officials not rushed to close everything down.

According to recent CDC stats, more than 80 percent of those dying from COVID-19 were over 65 years old. Of the 68,998 total deaths recorded by the CDC as of May 16, 55,651 – or 80.6 percent – were over 65.

In Massachusetts, 21,177 (or 24 percent) of the 87,925 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were people 70 years old or older. And 5,058 (or 85 percent) of the 5,938 COVID-19 deaths in Massachusetts through May 16 were age 70 or above. Just 1.5 percent of the deaths in Massachusetts involved people between the ages of 50-59.

I suspect that most of those individuals were suffering from life-threatening, underlying issues before contracting the coronavirus. It is now clear that many nursing home patients who have died from the virus may have survived had politicians not placed COVID-infected patients at those nursing homes.

Certainly, all deaths are tragic and one life lost to this virus is one death too many. But we have destroyed our national economy that was the envy of the world by locking down our citizenry, closing our businesses, shuttering our houses of worship, boarding up our schools, and closing our parklands and beaches. All for a virus that preys on the elderly and not the young and healthy.

Restrictions remain in place on your ability to move about freely, how you can worship, where you can shop, and even which stores can or cannot open for business. These restrictions are the work of scoundrels, every last one of whom should be removed from power as quickly as possible.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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