Gov. Newsom lifts Calif. lockdown orders amid mounting backlash
UPDATED 11:19 AM PT – Monday, January 25, 2020
As the Golden State’s economy suffers under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s unpredictable lockdown mandates, many business owners have challenged him and are fighting to regain economic freedom.
On Sunday, Jim Desmond, the supervisor of San Diego’s Fifth District, took aim at the lack of clarity on Newsom’s restrictions, which has prevented residents from planning ahead and left businesses scrambling to rehire.
Desmond has previously criticized the Democrat governor’s response to the pandemic as the state has enacted some of the toughest mandates in the nation, yet reports some of the highest numbers of outbreaks and overall cases.
“I don’t think lockdowns have been working. Ever since the lockdown went in place, in mid-November, our numbers have been escalating exponentially,” he stated. “You know, maybe they’ve got a magic lamp or something, I don’t know.”
The arbitrary closure of outdoor dining, despite the lack of data saying that these businesses were contributing to the coronavirus spread, never made any sense.
— Supervisor Jim Desmond (@jim_desmond) January 25, 2021
Desmond also warned state officials are now going on the offensive and are actively seeking out businesses that remain open to levy fines rather than responding to complaints.
This came after Newsom’s Health and Human Services secretary, Mark Ghali, admitted Los Angeles’ previous outdoor dining ban had nothing to do with an immediate public health threat posed by restaurants, but rather was a means to force people into staying home.
“So the decision to include, among other sectors, outdoor dining…in limiting that…turning to restaurants to deliver and provide takeout options instead, really has to do with the goal of trying to keep people at home,” Ghali expalined. “…Not a comment on the relative safety of outdoor dining.”
The unpredictability of pandemic mandates has also faced push-back from numerous restaurant owners who argue the state’s public Health Department has failed to show scientific proof that outdoor dining is more dangerous than shopping at an indoor mall or working on a film set.
In a recent interview, a restaurant owner in Southern California described the first shut down as “really bad” and the second shutdown as “devastating.”
In the midst of this, the campaign to recall Newsom has continued to gain steam. Over the weekend, Rescue California campaign manager Anne Dunsmore said Californians are growing increasingly tired of living under Newsom’s seemingly arbitrary COVID-19 restrictions.
“They’re out of business, they’re homeschooling their kids, they can’t go to work because they’re taking care of their kids at school,” she stated. “He’s in a much worse situation than Gray Davis was when he was recalled from office in 2003.”
Dunsmore added, nearly 1.25 million signatures have already been collected from concerned California residents. Meanwhile, the deadline for the campaign to collect 1.5 million signatures has been extended to March 17, 2021.