California's Governor Gavin Newsom, who is Nancy Pelosi's nephew, is once again moving the goalposts in order to keep his state shut down, imposing irrelevant criteria to delay recovery. He has become an economic troll. With his state accounting for almost 15% of the national GDP, hobbling his state's economy, even as counties are already starting to meet the criteria he set for relaxation of restrictions, depresses national output and employment statistics and thereby contributes to defeating President Trump.
Newsom, who is becoming known to Californians as Newssolini, is really stretching to find excuses to keep businesses closed and Californians unemployed and reverting to race-pandering. Jennifer Van Laar of RedState writes:
Now that more counties are set to move out of the most restrictive tier, Newsom's changed the game again and has added an "equity requirement" counties must also meet before they can move down a tier.
From the California Department of Public Health website:
For a county with a population of greater than 106,000, the county must:
Equity Metric. Ensure that the test positivity rates in its most disadvantaged neighborhoods, as defined as being in the lowest quartile of the Healthy Places Index census tracts, do not significantly lag behind its overall county test positivity rate, as described in detail below.
Targeted Investments. Submit a plan that (1) defines its disproportionately impacted populations, (2) specifies the percent of its COVID-19 cases in these populations, and (3) shows that it plans to invest Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases (Strategy 5: Use Laboratory Data to Enhance Investigation, Response, and Prevention) grant funds at least at that percentage to interrupt disease transmission in these populations. The targeted investments can include spending on augmenting testing, disease investigation, contact tracing, isolation/quarantine support, and education and outreach efforts for workers. Effective for the October 13th tier assignment, this plan must be submitted before a county may progress to a less restrictive tier. Due to data limitations in small populations, the equity metric described above cannot be reliably applied to smaller counties, as described below.
With Democrats enjoying absolute dominance of the state Legislature, Newsom's unilateral dictates will not be challenged by the lawmaking branch of the state government. And, with the state's media at least as dominated by leftists as the national media, few voices will be heard by the public, who have been passively accepting economic strangulation in the name of safety, and now in the name of racial grievances.
There are real victims of this high-handed maneuver: businesses like restaurants that have been barely keeping their noses above water will go bankrupt and close permanently, and their employees will be jobless. I am an investor in a restaurant that was thriving until COVID, and despite the valiant efforts of its manager to stay alive, this may be the death blow.
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Update: There are signs of revolution against Covid restrictions if you venture beyond the populous coastal enclaves. Michael Lewis writes at Bloomberg:
[Matt] Pontes is now the county executive officer of Shasta County in Northern California and goes to work in thin socks, but another crisis has found him.
“You cannot get closer to total disobedience of any kind of law,” he said, referring to the local response to Covid-19 strictures. “What’s happening up here is full-on anarchy.”
Then he listed for me a few of the things that had happened recently: The county sheriff had announced that he wouldn’t enforce the state’s pandemic restrictions on social gatherings and businesses. People who had never before attended county board meetings were accusing local officials of treason.
The county’s health officer, who had the unhappy job of imposing the state’s Covid rules on the citizens of Shasta County, was now receiving so many threats that Pontes had brought in a new threat-assessment team; he’d also ordered the bushes cut back away from her house, installed a security system and floodlights, and ordered police patrols of her neighborhood.
“She still doesn’t feel safe out there,” he said. “At all.”