Andy Caldwell: The Keystone Cops vs. the coronavirus
Guest Commentary

Andy Caldwell: The Keystone Cops vs. the coronavirus

030320 Caldwell party.jpg

Republican Andy Caldwell, who is running for the 24th Congressional District seat against incumbent Democrat Salud Carbajal, speaks to supporters at the Historic Santa Maria Inn on Tuesday night as election returns come in. 

We succeeded in satisfying Gov. Newsom’s original directive that included criteria to flatten the curve, create surge capacity in our hospitals, and gather enough personal protective equipment for care providers. Though the virus is still among us, the actual emergency situation is over. We have ample capacity and capability to handle this situation. Hence, we are no longer in a bonafide emergency, meaning the governor no longer has legitimate authority to invoke police powers to commandeer control of local jurisdictions and our lives.

Accordingly, for months, I have repeatedly urged county supervisors, based on the sound advice of experts in the field of Constitutional law, to challenge the governor’s authority and wrest back local control. But no, the only thing these puppy dogs did was ask the Governor for money as it related to costs and losses from the virus and the shutdown.

Since his original directive, Newsom added additional criteria (test, trace and isolate) that gave the county hope and confidence they could reopen, at least a little bit, on May 8. But, at the last minute, he added further criteria having to do with the allowable number of positive cases and deaths in the county - an impossible standard to meet anytime soon.

Will it dawn upon our local elected leaders that Newsom is playing the game of Lucy and the football? The governor has no intention to restore our freedoms and local control. Rather, he is stalling until either a vaccine or a cure is developed for the virus, even though either of these products may never be created.

Inherent in Newsom’s new criteria is something very ominous. Whereas, we were told to isolate at home to curb the spread of the virus, the virus is now primarily spreading among those who are isolated at home, along with nursing homes and prisons. So now the Governor has us playing a game of whack-a-mole with the virus. That is, the new orders involve taking some people who have tested positive out of their homes! Yet, at the same time, the Governor previously ordered nursing homes, the most vulnerable population among us, to take in positive cases of the virus! Talk about setting a match to gasoline!

Nevertheless, Newsom wants to test, trace and isolate cases of the virus - with particular emphasis on the word “isolate”. This plan to take people out of their home and isolate them from their family has been confirmed by multiple sources, on video, including the public health director of Ventura County and the World Health Organization.

None of this makes any sense. People who get really sick from the virus will end up being treated, and isolated, at a hospital, no less. And, that brings up the bigger problem that has the keystone cops fumbling about. First, why bother to count against us the vast number of people who have no symptoms as if that too constitutes an emergency? And, why is Newsom using against us the cases emanating from the Lompoc federal penitentiary?

Now that their back is against the wall, our county supervisors sent another letter advising the Governor that they themselves have no control over the prison outbreak, and finally, they admitted that the real threats associated with the virus have much to do with preexisting comorbidities, something else they can’t control.

The point lost on the supervisors in their letter? The Governor has no authority over the federal prison to force upon it the imposition of his criteria. Therefore, neither has he any legitimate basis to count these numbers against us.

As for the rest of us, the governor should leave “well enough” alone and at home, and let the rest of us get back to the marketplace and work.

Andy Caldwell is a conservative Santa Maria radio host, founder of COLAB of Santa Barbara County and a candidate for the 24th Congressional District seat. He is writing as a private citizen.

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