It appears enough voters have signed the recall petition against Gov. Gavin Newsom to allow the initiative to proceed to a special election. Now the real work begins of convincing the residents of California that this governor deserves to be fired.
For instance, did you know that Gov. Newsom signed the same order as did New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo, mandating that nursing homes take in patients who had COVID? Untold numbers of elderly people died as a result.
Moreover, California’s economy continues to suffer the most stringent lockdown in the country while other states have safely reopened.
Gov. Newsom initially stated we would never be allowed to go back to normal until we had a vaccine on hand. Yet, now that we have not one, but three vaccines available, he has not changed his four-tier colored-coded lockdown criteria accordingly. That is, Mr. Newsom will not promulgate an “all-clear” target with respect to the progress of administering vaccines and the decline in infection rates among the populace that will allow the state to exit the lockdown as have other states.
Take Disneyland for an example.
Whereas, Walt Disney World in Florida opened back up last summer, Mr. Newsom will only allow Disneyland to open up on April 1 with a capacity limit of 15% of its normal customers. And, even if California gets to the yellow tier, which is the least stringent of Gov. Newsom’s four tiers, Disneyland will only be able to open up to 35% of its normal customer capacity, which Walt Disney World reached months ago. Meanwhile, Disneyland expects to continue to lose billions of dollars.
Outdoor sports and live performance venues in California have a slightly different set of reopening criteria, but they have similar limits on capacity.
Speaking of limited reopenings, while some states allowed students to go back to school last September, Gov. Newsom has resorted to bribery, rather than a mandate, to encourage schools to reopen, with limited success. He is waving billions in cash to school districts that will open. Even then, some schools may only open a couple of days a week.
Yet, most private schools, including the one that the Newsom kids attend, fully reopened completely, a long time ago.
Our children cannot afford to wait any longer. They have lost a year of learning and other opportunities such as the ability to compete for scholarships, despite the fact that K-12 kids have the lowest vulnerability to COVID.
Finally, California has had a tough time distributing vaccines throughout the state. It has now resorted to a very ineffective and controversial third-party administrator along with a vaccine equity distribution plan to ensure that underserved population groups have equal opportunity to get vaccinated by way of designating 40% of the vaccine supply to these communities.
Unfortunately, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is falling behind the effort to get vaccines distributed to our local farm workers who are deemed both essential and underserved. This has to do with the historic refusal of the department to immediately prioritize working directly with ag employers and ag associations to effectively reach this community that consists of some 30,000 workers.
The bulk of the ag workers in our county reside in the Santa Maria Valley. They would appreciate a more open process with options to work directly with several different healthcare providers rather than being relegated to being served by the county health department, as it has only scheduled to administer a little over 1,000 vaccines a week to this population.
Ultimately, the problem we face in this state is that we elect and hire people who have no real-world management experience in much of anything — activists and academics. And the results are in.
Andy Caldwell is the executive director of COLAB and host of “The Andy Caldwell Radio Show,” weekdays from 3-5 p.m., on News-Press Radio AM 1290.