On the 197th day of “15 days to slow the spread,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom (Democrat, of course) has moved the reopening goalposts yet again. Originally counties had to meet metrics aimed at ensuring adequate rates of testing and the availability of hospital/ICU beds/ventilators. (Contact tracing was supposed to be a part of that, but that effort’s been a big fat joke). Once hospitalization rates, ventilator usage, and death rates plummeted over the summer Newsom changed his strategy and enacted by gubernatorial fiat a tiered system that completely ignored those metrics and instead focused on daily new cases and positivity rate.
Now that more counties are set to move out of the most restrictive tier, Newsom’s changed the game again and has added an “equity requirement” counties must also meet before they can move down a tier.
From the California Department of Public Health website:
For a county with a population of greater than 106,000, the county must:
- Equity Metric. Ensure that the test positivity rates in its most disadvantaged neighborhoods, as defined as being in the lowest quartile of the Healthy Places Index census tracts, do not significantly lag behind its overall county test positivity rate, as described in detail below.
- Targeted Investments. Submit a plan that (1) defines its disproportionately impacted populations, (2) specifies the percent of its COVID-19 cases in these populations, and (3) shows that it plans to invest Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases (Strategy 5: Use Laboratory Data to Enhance Investigation, Response, and Prevention) grant funds at least at that percentage to interrupt disease transmission in these populations. The targeted investments can include spending on augmenting testing, disease investigation, contact tracing, isolation/quarantine support, and education and outreach efforts for workers. Effective for the October 13th tier assignment, this plan must be submitted before a county may progress to a less restrictive tier. Due to data limitations in small populations, the equity metric described above cannot be reliably applied to smaller counties, as described below.
Is this what Newsom’s reopening task force has been working on? Critical Race Theory disguised as pandemic response? No wonder Disney’s Bob Iger suddenly resigned from it today.
Where are counties to get the money and personnel to meet these requirements? Doesn’t Newsom know that the economy in California is on the verge of collapse? The only thing propping it up is unemployment benefits and PUA, and that won’t last forever. As soon as those benefits are gone, if nothing else changes, there will be an economic implosion. It might actually be too late now to blunt a lot of the damage that’s lurking.
And, where does Newsom claim to have the authority to take these actions? Only a few legislators, led by Asm. Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin), are fighting Newsom. Kiley attempted to pressure legislators to return to Sacramento for a special session to keep Newsom’s dictatorial urges in check, noting that the Gov has signed more than 100 executive orders during the pandemic and spent billions of dollars without specific authorization.
Kiley and Asm. Jim Gallagher (R-Chico) sued Newsom over the legality of his one-man rule; a hearing is set for October 7.
After hundreds of pages of briefing, the parties will face off in court on Oct. 7 in the case of Gallagher and Kiley v. Newsom. At issue: the legality of the Governor's one-man rule.
— Kevin Kiley (@KevinKileyCA) October 1, 2020
Republican elected officials in Orange County have also fought back against Newsom, who retaliated by closing beaches in the home of Surf City. But other Republican legislators have apparently been Stockholm-Syndromed into silence by the Democrat supermajority, judging by their lack of resistance.
Normal Californians better rise up and say “hell no” to this complete usurpation of power, and local elected officials should be on notice that their constituents are going to hold them accountable if they don’t stand up to Newsom. Local officials are supposed to serve their people, not just lick Newsom’s boots and act like their hands are tied. They’re not. Start acting like it.
Author: Jennifer Van Laar