The troubling dictates of Gov. Gavin Newsom

December 6, 2020
T. Keith Gurnee

T. Keith Gurnee

OPINION by T. KEITH GURNEE

What’s Gov. Gavin Newsom been thinking? He’s been doing some strange things lately, but his latest executive action calling for a coronavirus stay-at-home and lockdown order based on a hastily conceived and unvetted map of newly formed “regions” in California takes the cake.

Coming off the heels of his attendance at a controversial dinner party at the French Laundry, one of the swankiest restaurants in California that caters primarily to plutocrats, does he really expect Californians to follow his “do as I say and not as I do” edicts?

After previously ordering Californians (1) not to gather in groups, (2) not to dine indoors, (3) to wear a mask, and (4) to practice social distancing, Newsom violated all four of his admonitions. With 22 guests dining indoors, none with masks, and no one practicing social distancing, Gavin and his wife whooped it up with their friends over a $15,000 wine tab, enough to draw complaints from other diners. If that isn’t the essence of hypocrisy, what is?

Now he expects us to obey his top-down, stay-at-home orders based on a nonsensical map of five regions. If the reason for these sanctions was Newsom’s concern about overwhelming the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) in each region’s hospitals, why not do it on a county-by-county basis? Instead, he cooks up a map that throws San Luis Obispo County into a Los Angeles centric “Southern California” region that bears no resemblance to the ICU capacities of individual counties. His “Southern California” map also includes Inyo County east of the Sierra Nevada range that’s at the same latitude as the northern California city of San Francisco.

How does this make sense?

The answer: it doesn’t. San Luis Obispo County presently has only one ICU patient and has plenty of ICU capacity. If Newsom’s new orders were done on a county-by-county basis, our county would be exempted from his draconian measures.

Yet, by placing our county in a region with Los Angeles where only 13.1% of its ICU beds remain available, we get punished for it. By closing down outside dining and severely restricting retail businesses right at Christmas time, Gov. Newsom has given our county a lump of coal for Christmas.

Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham was right in calling Newsom’s edict “a joke,” and a bad one at that! Newsom should either pull his latest dictate and deal with his coronavirus measures on a county-by-county basis or create a “Central Coast” region that isn’t attached to Los Angeles.

Our county and its cities should work with Cunningham and other aggrieved jurisdictions in an effort to make this happen. It’s the right thing to do and as 2020 approaches its troubled end, it can’t come soon enough.


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Ricky2

333 new SLO cases over weekend. This thing’s on a tear. So we’re supposed to be mad at the gov for trying to keep us alive? Weird thinking.


As for the alleged one ICU bed in use, that’s a misunderstanding thanks to Tribune’s poor reporting and smart-ass editorializing, and Penny Borenstein’s failure to give us the full story. ICU beds are also needed by people who’ve had heart attacks, lung diseases, infections, serious surgery, and accidents, not just Covid patients. The “one” was Covid, not a total ICU use count. Also remember a “bed count” is just that. Are there enough skilled people to provide good ICU care for those beds? We don’t actually know. But it’s fair to guess the answer is NO.


Finally, the “regions” thing. We don’t live in a sealed unit with a Berlin Wall at the county border. We definitely are part of SoCal, and patients who can’t be cared for where they live, because hospitals are full, get moved elsewhere in the region. This mutual aid is part of the reason for “regions” rather than counties being the unit of measurement.


Adam Trask

A rare voice of reason on this board. I wonder why you bother. The readers here are mostly in denial that the coronavirus even exists. You’ll have 20-30 down votes within 24 hours.


NickG

They’ve been talking about a second wave for 6 months and did they take anytime to develop a backup plan for increased ICU and hospital bed capacity, nope, they just ignored their own predictions.


So yes we are upset with them. They are responsible for having a solution, which lockdowns are not it.


I’ll respect them more when they take a pay cut, or better yet reduce their income by the same percent that the businesses have to in order to stay open. Transparency and leadership is needed and these clowns don’t show it.


slo-to-load

I am quite displeased with SLO county being placed in the same region as counties doing far worse. I think the only benefit I can see is that all the infected unwashed masses from the central valley and so cal won’t tromp up here and spread the virus because we are still open while they are closed.


shelworth

Currently our (SLO) ICU is 98.1% empty, so no, we don’t need to be lumped in with Los Angeles.


kettle

Lets put this into perspective: More Americans died yesterday from covid/covid complications then were killed on 9/11.


What is the GOP appointed president doing, tweeting and complaining? Pence and Kushner were on the pandemic team, what are they doing, squat.


This is on all of the gop snowflakes who wont wear masks/ wont behave. If everyone was masked our #’s would be down and we would be back to work like Germany, not prefect but working for them.


This lockdown is happening because the lack of national leadership, it has failed again (but they got millions in PPP loans.)


But no muh freedoms to get other people sick and let them die. Good job gop.


Myself

So what would you like the Pres, Pence, and Kushner and the rest do, big pharma is making a vaccine for this, so just what do you want, marshall law.


kettle

“So what would you like the Pres, Pence, and Kushner and the rest do” Too late for them, they could have done so much with all of the time they had, instead lies and tweets. Taxpayers paid for a perfectly good pandemic plan, they (trump, pence, and kushner) could not even follow a playbook for this literal scenario. As for vaccine we wont see any (regular people) until june or so.


Trump administration officials passed when Pfizer offered months ago to sell the U.S. more vaccine doses. Before Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine was proved highly successful in clinical trials last month, the company offered the Trump administration the chance to lock in supplies beyond the 100 million doses the pharmaceutical maker agreed to sell the government as part of a $1.95 billion deal months ago.


As for “marshall law” no that’s all you.


cfk420

I’m gonna look at the upside here. I get more time to spend with my family even if it means that I will be struggling financially cuz hey, if I end up dying from covid(I have a lung disorder so its very likely should I contract it), at least I got to spend my final days with those I love the most in this world


slo-to-load

Unfortunately the tragedy is that if you got Covid, you would spend your final days isolated and alone in the hospital with your loved ones unable to visit you per protocol. I know several people who suffered this very sad fate.


cfk420

I don’t go to hospitals. I’d just stay home and die in the comfort of my own home. Plus I’d have a higher chance of survival being in my own home with my family boosting my morale and lifting my spirits. But yes, I would surely die if I went to the hospital where I had to go through it alone and that’s why I’d never go to such a place