Restaurants have been shut down across the nation since the beginning of the pandemic. Many reopened, only to be shut down again once COVID cases spiked. New York, California, and Michigan have reverted back to the strictest lockdowns in the country. Indoor dining is once again not allowed in those states, which will once again force many restaurants to close their doors forever. They were barely holding on following the first shutdowns in the spring, and many just can’t make ends meet anymore.

For example, in Michigan, during the forced closures in spring, 75% of restaurant and bar workers were laid off, and sales plummeted by $8 billion, according to the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association.

These closures beg the question: Does shutting down indoor dining even work?

The data is mixed at best, and isn’t clear enough to warrant a massive shutdown of just one industry.

In New York State, Governor Cuomo was pressured to release COVID transmission data from restaurants and bars, and he finally relented.

Eater New York reported that “restaurants and bars accounted for 1.43 percent of COVID-19 cases recorded between September through the end of November, according to contact tracing data… The largest contributor to COVID-19 spread in New York, by far, is private households.”

Now we know why Governor Cuomo was so reluctant to come forward with that information: the data don’t support his draconian closures of restaurants.

Despite this information, people like Bill Gates believe that restaurants should be closed for the foreseeable future. Gates also doesn’t believe we that will back to normal life until 2022, despite the fact that a vaccine has been approved.

The Blaze reported that Gates told CNN “Bars and restaurants in most of the country will be closed as we go into this wave,” Gates told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “And I think, sadly, that’s appropriate.”

USA Today reported that not enough accurate data has been studied to warrant such tyrannical shutdowns of private businesses. The paper reported that “While public health researchers are convinced indoor dining is a risky activity in areas where COVID-19 is spreading, getting solid data to justify restaurant restrictions has been difficult. It takes in-depth, resource-heavy disease investigations to determine where people were exposed to the coronavirus, and those contact-tracing efforts have never gotten off the ground in most of the country. This has made it hard to develop more specific information about risky restaurants and bars.”

And last month, Bloomberg reported that “The models produced in a study reported Tuesday [in November] also suggested that full-blown lockdowns aren’t necessary to hold the virus at bay. Masks, social distancing and reduced capacity all can play a major role in keeping things under control.

We are told by the Democrats and their media allies that we must “follow the science” when making COVID response decisions.

Well, they should practice what they preach and allow restaurants to reopen, at least at a limited capacity. Some data suggests that limiting capacity lowers the odds of getting the virus, but no data clearly demonstrates that complete lockdowns cause a drastic reduction in coronavirus cases.

Democrat leaders need to follow the science!