For the third time, California Governor Gavin Newsom has extended his State of Emergency order related to COVID. Newsom issued the original order in March 2020. The new order relates specifically to provisions in two follow-up orders issued in August and October of this year, lengthening their duration through March of 2022.
The wording justifying the order is chilling, albeit not for the reasons Newsom most likely believes.
WHEREAS California has stopped recording week-over-week declines in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, which demonstrates a plateau and the potential beginning of a new surge in COVID-19 cases; and WHEREAS as flu season approaches, it is critical that California’s health care facilities, already short-staffed and backlogged from the Delta variant and with high-levels of non-COVID-19 admissions, have the flexibilities that they need for additional capacity and to prevent staffing shortages; and WHEREAS California continues to prioritize efforts to vaccinate a ll eligible individuals against COVID-19, including ensuring access to boosters and vaccines for newly eligible populations; and WHEREAS supporting robust COVID-19 testing capacity remains critical in the efforts to protect public health and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic; and WHEREAS continued flexibility in non-hospital settings remains necessary to support these ongoing testing and vaccination efforts and to minimize the threat of COVID-19 to vulnerable Californians; and WHEREAS under the provisions of Government Code section 8571, I find that strict compliance with various statutes, regulations, and certain local ordinances specified or referenced herein would prevent, hinder, or delay appropriate actions to prevent and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Translation: You’re all gonna die without me!
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The continued emergency is puzzling, given national trends. The number of new cases is tracking strongly downward and has been since the beginning of September. Florida has gone from a seven-day moving average of over 21,000 new cases daily in August to under 1,500. Even California’s seven-day moving average has gone from nearly 15,000 at the beginning of September to under 6,300. And this is cause for panic how? Other than the panic Newsom and other state officials might feel when they consider how Florida is open for business and California … well, isn’t.
California has a 72.6% vaccination rate. That’s almost three out of four. Which, by my estimation, is a lot. Certainly enough to start talking up that herd protection mantra oft bandied about by our benevolent overlord wannabes. Every day we are assured each and every vaccine out there is totally safe and absolutely positively guaranteed to protect us from COVID except when they don’t, which is probably Aaron Rodgers’ fault.
Is it possible (here, I’ll answer that before asking: no) to believe this is anything other than Newsom on a power trip? Sure, there might be an upswing in COVID. There might be a flu epidemic. An asteroid might be hitting the planet next month, but it’s a safe bet even an executive order wouldn’t change its course. Rather than do something about supply chain issues (which his state’s policies are almost exclusively responsible for) or insane gas prices or rampant inflation, or rampaging crime (all of which are far worse in California than the rest of the nation), Gavin Newsom has chosen to do what he does best outside of keeping Brylcreem profitable. Namely, flail away at a strawman while ignoring the multiple dire wolves gathering at California’s door.
Oh, and let’s not forget that a certain part of this is likely to be retribution. In Newsom’s mind the state’s residents, and especially its journalists, really shouldn’t have questioned where Newsom was between October 27 and November 8. And they really shouldn’t have forced him to reveal that he’d attended the Hunger Games-inspired wedding of a Big Oil heiress, officiated by our country’s version of Effie Trinket, Nancy Pelosi.