Saturday, May 30, 2020

Gavin Newsom Closed Too Slowly And Is Opening Too Fast-- History Will Not Be Kind To California's Weak, Narcissistic Governor


I don't understand exactly why, but there was a time when I was looking at the daily COVID statistics and watching Califiornia with so much lower numbers than New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and other early states, and I felt some kind of primitive, tribal pride in my state (although I was born and raised in New York and lived for a time in New Jersey and in Massachusetts). Anyway, that's been over for a while. Lately, California has the most new cases of COVID of any state. From Wednesday to Thursday California confirmed 2,242 new cases-- with Texas second at 1,669 new cases. California was #1 again yesterday with 2,947 confirmed new cases.

Yesterday, 2,290 of those new California cases were in Los Angeles County and most of the rest of the one-day increases were also in Southern California:
Orange- 145
San Bernardino- 199
San Diego- 307
Riverside- 331
Imperial- 26
The 6 San Francisco Bay Area counties that ignored Governor Newsom's go-slow approach to shutting down and took aggressive action immediately and against his wishes, continue to far far better than anyone would have imagined. San Francisco had 41 new cases and Santa Clara (basically San Jose, the 3rd biggest city in the state) just 141 new cases. Compared to Trump, Newsom looks mighty good. Compared to what someone might expect from a Golden State governor, Newsom continues to look... a lot less than what his p.r. team makes him out to be.

Yesterday, California had 106,744 confirmed cases and 4,137 confirmed deaths, including 2,947 new cases and 98 new deaths. The state has 2,702 cases per million, a figure that has been ticking up alarmingly everyday. (Thursday it was 2,627 per million people.) In fact, that metric is especially alarming as our made-for-TV governor bends to pressure from his corporate allies-- and from the loud lunatic fringe-- and recklessly opens up the state way too early, while eschewing any kind of enforcement in the regulations he put in place to protect the state. (Exhibit 1: his billionaire buddy Elon Musk, not to mention the increasing number of morons parading around without masks.)

Newsom is a brainy, wonky guy-- but a weak governor obsessed with how every move will effect a future run for president. He makes me sick-- and, in fact, he will be making hundreds of thousands of Californians sick with COVID. "The California health official who issued the country's first shelter-in-place order has expressed concern over a possible surge in coronavirus cases there and says the state may be reopening too quickly. Speaking to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Dr. Sara Cody, health officer for Santa Clara County, said she was troubled by the state now allowing gatherings of 100 people for various purposes and noted that the pace at which the state is reopening at large is 'concerning... This announcement to authorize county health officers to allow religious, cultural, and political gatherings of 100 people poses a very serious risk of the spread of COVID-19,' Cody told the board on Tuesday."
Her remarks came after the California Department of Public Health earlier this week announced the statewide reopening of places of worship for religious services as well as in-store retail shopping-- albeit under certain guidelines.

On Tuesday, state health officials also announced that counties “that have attested to meeting the criteria for accelerated reopening” can begin to reopen hair salons and barbershops under certain restrictions as well, including the mandatory use of face masks.

But the broader easing of restrictions raises a red flag for Cody, who has been credited with creating the nation’s first shelter-in-place order. San Francisco Bay Area’s regional shelter-in-place order affected nearly 7 million people across six counties, according to the newspaper. The broader state of California quickly followed the model, as did other hard-hit states like New York.

“The state has shifted away from the stay-at-home model and has made significant modifications with increasing frequency,” since the beginning of May, Cody said.

“The pace at which the state has made these modifications is concerning to me,” she added, noting California could possibly see a surge in cases linked to the fast-paced reopenings. (Experts speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle, for instance, said a recent spike in cases in the Bay Area may be linked to the loosening of restrictions there.)

Speaking to the various counties across the state entering Phase 2 of reopening, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, whose reopening strategy has also faced criticism from some lawmakers, said the state is "not looking back."

"We’re making progress, we’re moving forward. We’re not looking back, but we are walking into the unknown, the untested... and we have to be guided by the data that brought us back to this place," Newsom said during a Tuesday briefing.

  The news comes as California this week became the fourth state to surpass 100,000 coronavirus cases, with the Golden State reporting 2,908 cases on Tuesday-- reportedly it’s highest daily total to date.
Making matters worse, is that neither Newsom nor Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti want to do any serious enforcement, so that all their precautions are disregarded and flouted by an idiot minority-- increasingly emboldened by weak state and city leadership-- putting the rest of the state at risk. This is going to end very badly.

Tony Bizjak and Phillip Reese, reporting this week for the Sacramento Bee wrote that "Just days after the governor green-lit most of the state’s counties for yet another round of business reopenings, remote Lassen County announced it was closing businesses back up after four residents tested positive for COVID-19. Until the announcement, Lassen was the only county in California without a single reported case of the new coronavirus. Is Lassen an anomaly or an omen? The question is a frightening one. Faced with historic unemployment and mounting pressure, Newsom has moved in the past week to allow counties to reopen their economies even further. Forty-eight of the state’s 58 counties are reopening hair salons, barbers, restaurants, stores, and churches, all with some restrictions."

Restrictions than are increasingly ignored by people who know there is no price to pay.
Some infectious disease experts and epidemiologists say that’s too much too soon, and could trigger a resurgence of infections worse than the first round, which has now taken 3,900 lives in California.

A McClatchy data review of the first 22 counties that were allowed to reopen restaurants and stores on May 12, 13 or 14 show worrisome early signs. The number of new cases and deaths in those counties grew faster in the two weeks after businesses were cleared to reopening than they had in the preceding two weeks.
In the two weeks before the reopenings, there were 82 new cases and no new deaths.
In the two weeks after the reopenings, there were 147 new cases and four new deaths.
Another potentially worrisome data point: Hospitalizations, considered a more-useful measuring stick than infections, grew by more than 60 percent in those counties. The beginning and ending numbers, though, were small: 13 hospitalizations at the start, 21 hospitalizations two weeks later.

...[T]he counties in question are all largely rural and lightly population, and were among the least affected by the virus from the start. Bigger, denser areas such as hard-hit Los Angeles County have not yet reopened many businesses.

That uncertainty has some critics, including Santa Clara Public Health Officer Sara Cody, sounding the alarm after Newsom’s announcement that in-person church services can resume, and that barbershops and hair salons can open.

“The pace at which the state has made these modifications is concerning to me,” she told her county’s leaders. Santa Clara is one of 11 California counties that have refrained from reopening businesses.

Cody is among those who advise allowing more time-- up to 21 days-- to see how each new reopening phase settles in before moving forward. “The state modifications are being made without a real understanding of the consequences of what the last move has been.”

The McClatchy data review suggests, if anything, that a spike can occur any place and at any time.

Del Norte County went from 3 cases to 20, and county health officials said their health tracing team had found a few case clusters.

Cases in Glenn County rose from 6 to 12. Mendocino suffered a spike related to a small church gathering. Butte County saw cases grow from 19 to 37.
Yesterday, several of the red California counties that re-opened without Newsom's approval or, later, with his hapless "approval," reported more confirmed new cases:
Kern- 69
Tulare- 9
Yolo- 3
Placer- 3
Madera- 6
El Dorado- 6
Del Norte- 1
Shasta- 1
Yuba- 1
Glenn- 1
Once an area opens up, it isn't easy to close down again and that's exactly what Newsom is stumbling into. Thursday, as you saw, tiny, rural Lassen County announced it was re-closing after re-opening, while Republican politicians screamed like stuck pigs... causing the county to backpedal and re-open again. Get used to it. This is part of the pandemic blueprint for a Trump America and a Newsom California-- mangers who should have never benign leadership positions to begin with. California doesn't meet any of the benchmarks required to reopen. I sure hope someone is preparing a primary challenge to Newsom. If not, this very blue state could wind up with another damn Republican governor in 2022 (which is going to be a miserable year for Dems anyway).

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At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a resident of CA, Newsom was not my choice in our ridiculous jungle primary (ridiculous because there is no provision for write-in voting -as was used by Joe LIEberman and Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski to remain in office- when the "wrong" choices won the party nominations for office). As Trump and Rick Snyder of Michigan have proven, putting a "businessman" into the executive seat is a terrible decision, so I had no incentive to vote for Newsom's opponent John Cox. I voted Newsom and expected worse than what we got.

That said, . . .

Having no spine, Newsom submitted to the Orange County spoiled rich kids who hated that they couldn't go surfing, and to the gathering of what constitutes a large portion of what remains of the rural vote in CA -a group Newsom caters to far too much in my opinion- and gave in to their demands to reopen. His lack of spine will come back to haunt him in 2022 - especially as the COVID-10 death toll begins its now-inevitable increase.

As bad as that certainly is, I am also not going to forget about how Newsom slid dozens of fracking permits to the fossil fuel industry under cover of COVID. I'm almost surprised that Trump hasn't pushed him to revoke the coastal protections which keep the surfing beaches safe for the chuds whining that they can't go hang ten. Newsom would be an easy mark if Trump got serious about applying the pressure.

Just another example of why the "Democratic" Party needs to be replaced with a real party which represents us. That blue tint you see on my skin is me holding my breath waiting for that to happen - as I'm certain you are as well.

So I will be voting for third parties as much as possible from now on. I see no hope with the corporatists of either hue.

At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

COVID-10: typo for COVID-19

At 8:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Newsom is shit, this is true.

But if history hasn't declared slick willie, W, cheney, Pelosi, harriet reid, scummer, eric holder and obamanation to be oceans of shit, it won't bother trashing newsom.


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