The 1905 case Jacobson v. Massachusetts supreme court ruled that communities have the right to protect themselves against an epidemic of disease that poses a great danger to their members. The disease of that time was smallpox. Small pox has nearly a 30% fatality rate and often leaves people who recover from it with permanent damage, including scaring and blindness. It is a "great danger" to the public.
Covid-19 by contrast, poses nearly no risk of death to healthy people and even the risk of death to people with underlying medical conditions is relatively low (6.5%). I've written an article called the Covid-19 media project that uses CDC data and a basic but medically consistent understanding of immunology to that the virus poses no risk of death to about 98% of the population. The article should be legally considered evidence that Covid-19 cannot be considered a great danger to the public and therefore there is no basis for states to impose restrictions to protect people from it.
In addition to establishing risk, the article also examines media articles to show why the misconceptions exist that Covid-19 is randomly deadly. The business model of the media is pretty simple, attract attention and sell advertising. The media made ever effort to exagerate the danger of the virus because in doing so, the story would attract more attention and developments on the story would continute to attract attention. Politicans responded to the public perception created by the media. Some politicians as the interests they represented were being harmed by the lock downs and public opinion began to shift as the public's interests were being harmed, change their positions. Other politicans who saw the exaggerated danger as being poliltically advantageous have maintained the virus is a great threat and randomly deadly.
One issue we have even after the lockdowns is public perception. As it stands now, probably 60% of the country is still under the impression that the virus is very dangerous. After the lockdowns many jobs lost are not going to come back in addition to small business who will not recover. Many sectors of the economy that provide goods and services that require people to be in close proximity to one another will continue to suffer and downsize. Once we win the legal battles to resume our lives, we still need to change public opinion to save our economy. orioncs.net