California Gov. Gavin Newsom eased his stay-at-home order to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus statewide Monday, surprising many and hailed by beleaguered businesses, but drawing accusations of political desperation who say it is due to a recall effort nearing its goal.
The state’s seven-day moving average of new daily cases has dropped from more than 44,000 new daily infections Jan. 13 to slightly more than 25,000, its fewest since Dec. 9, according to worldometers.info.
But many official state statistics have not been released by officials, who claim it might be confusing and misleading to the public, Fox Business reported.
With Southern California’s intensive care unit capacity still at 0%, many believe the order has more to do with the fact Newsom’s opponents are within 300,000 signatures of the 1.5 million needed to force a recall vote. The deadline to get the remaining signatures is more than six weeks away.
“This governor’s decisions have never been based on science,” California Republican Party Chairwoman Jessica Millan Paterson wrote in a Twitter post Monday. “Him re-opening our state is not an attempt to help working Californians, but rather an attempt to counter the Recall Movement. It’s sad and pathetic.”
While criticism would be expected from Republicans, fellow Democrats also were shaking their heads at Newsom’s latest directives.
“If you think state legislators were blindsided by, and confused about, the shifting & confusing public health directives, you’d be correct,” Democratic Assemblywoman Laura Friedman posted to Twitter. “If you think we have been quiet about it in Sacramento, you’d be wrong.”
Harmeet Dhillon, CEO and founder of the Center for American Liberty, has made multiple requests to obtain state data for the shutdowns through Public Records Act requests, but has been repeatedly denied.
“I am, frankly, at a loss to logically explain any of the changes in these shutdown orders, ratcheting it up, ratcheting it down,” Dhillon said. “We know from scientific data that despite the wide differences between the nature of shutdowns in Florida and California, for example, there are virtually no differences in infection rates and mortality rates. So, it seems all to have been for naught.”
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