Written by Gordon Webster, Jr.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has been many things during this pandemic — bold, cautious, decisive, foolish — but one thing he hasn’t been is transparent.
His decision to lift the stay-at-home order in California this week once again raised the question of just how Newsom and his team are making these decisions. Obviously there is data behind it since members of his administration mention it in media interviews. But good luck seeing it — it’s top secret.
As Assemblymember Jim Patterson put it in a news release: “We need to know just what is in the secret sauce the Governor is using to cook up this catastrophe. He needs to come clean to the people, the business owners, the media and our health care partners. Tell us how we got here Governor, because we don’t trust you anymore.”
As soon as two weeks ago, the four locked down regions covering 98% of the state’s population had ICU capacity well below the heralded 15% threshold. That is still the case today. But then the 13-county Greater Sacramento area reopened. The rest of the state followed this week.
The move caught many local officials in California off guard.
Now as we move yet again into the most restrictive purple tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, the data behind that decision is elusive. Business owners — restaurateurs, salon owners, etc. — have been wanting to understand the scientific rationale behind the ever-changing restrictions. They have not been given the chance. Now that outdoor dining is allowed once again, they question why indoor dining remains barred.
Administration officials think the data would be too “confusing” for the general public, reported the Associated Press. All we can say is “try us.” Many livelihoods continue to get crushed as the pandemic rolls on. They deserve to know why.