News & Politics

California's Governor Keeps Moving the Goalposts to Reopening State. Why?

A protester holds a sign in front of the pier Sunday, May 3, 2020, in Huntington Beach, Calif. In Orange County, where beaches were singled out for closure by California Gov. Gavin Newsom during the coronavirus pandemic, crowds were sparse as lifeguards and police patrolled and issued warnings to people to stay off the sand. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

When the coronavirus came to the U.S. from Wuhan, China, the immediate objective for the entire country was to “flatten the curve” – stay home if you weren’t an essential worker, so as not to overwhelm the health care system from the scourge of what became known as COVID-19.

Then, instead of flattening the curve with social distancing, California Governor Gavin Newsom moved the goalposts, vowing that all of California will open together – holding hostage residents who may live in areas without a huge COVID death rate.

This week Newsom moved the goalposts again, announcing that in order to move forward with reopening, each of California’s 58 counties must comply with his latest edicts on coronavirus deaths, cases and testing.

The governor pronounced that counties may not have any – zero – COVID deaths and only one case in a two-week period and must have a daily testing rate of 1.5 per 1,000 residents. Here’s a bulletin: the more testing you do the more cases you’ll get. The more people you have inside a county, the larger the number of people who will die.

Gavin Newsom has changed this initially well-intentioned response into a slo-mo rope-a-dope.

The longer this horror show goes on, the more time Newsom has to figure out how to make political hay.

Take Friday, for example. Newsom announced that COVID-19 is such a scourge that he knows, after gazing into the orb, that in six months, Californians will be unable to vote in person in the November 2020 election. We must have vote-by-mail, he insisted, echoing the rallying cry of every Democrat governor in the country as well as the DNC. What a coincidence.

This week Newsom also announced he was raising up an “army” of contact-tracers, investigators, who will chase down all the people who have COVID-19 and quarantine them – “every one.” Ventura County was the pilot program, as we reported. And when we did, the outrage was heard in the halls of Sacramento because the next day, the County health director was trying to soft-soap the tyranny.

Now we find out that contact tracing is a joke at this point in the pandemic.

Hoover Institution senior fellow Dr. Scott Atlas told Tucker Carlson on Fox News that the time for contact tracing has passed in this pandemic.

Contact tracing is an important tool for public health pandemics, but not at this stage — not when millions and millions of people already have the virus. There’s no reason for contact tracing as the predicate for reopening.

He said there’s an “obsession about testing, testing, testing.” There are only three groups of people, he said, that need testing right now. “People entering nursing homes, people working in hospitals or in pandemic responding, or people with symptoms of the virus.”

He told Carlson that when the virus flares up later in the year, contact tracing would have a role, but right now, “I hate to say it’s irrational, but it’s just not appropriate.”

Newsom continues to aver that he has done everything driven by “health,” “science” and “data.”

But he obviously based his beach closures on fake news, his contact tracing on bad intelligence, and has given counties unattainable goals in order to reopen. The footprint of this virus is small because Americans, Californians, did as they were asked and sheltered in place. But now is the time to let people go and he won’t.

How much data do you need to know whether something is real or politics?