PANDEMIC mandate response:
Frustrations & Inconsistencies
Senator Mike Morrell 2020
in the medical field and those in positions to make decisions over our lives
frequently use the word science in reference to the pandemic. Sometimes,
though, scientific facts intersect with politics, leading to arbitrary and
detrimental sets of restrictive government guidelines.
certainly have taken COVID-19 seriously, exercising the necessary precautions,
as all of us should. However, I am concerned more damage may be done long term
if the approach we adopt does not weigh all the factors. Accomplishing
the task ahead requires clarity of resolve. Abraham Lincoln and Winston
Churchill were great communicators in times of crisis. You always knew where
though, many Americans and Californians – in general, a responsible people –
are frustrated. We regularly hear conflicting information and see government
mandates changing weekly. Consider just a few.
30, 2020 the Imperial College of London model said the U.S. could reach 2.2
million deaths by September 1, 2020, which it since walked back. In a March 19
letter to the president, Governor Newsom estimated over 25 million Californians
could contract the virus by May.
further skepticism, the media reports that labs in Florida have stated test
results are 100 percent positive and that they did not account for negative
tests. Having done so, it throws the numbers into doubt.
on face coverings has been mixed too. In a March 8, 2020, 60 Minutes interview,
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
Diseases, advised, “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.” Now we
recognize wearing them as important measures for slowing the spread.
physical distancing, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends maintaining
space of at least three feet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
says it should be six.
day, an expert at WHO suggests asymptomatic spread is ‘very rare,’ making
headlines. The next day, WHO appears to bow to pressure and rolls back the
seeming randomness of shutdown guidance also raises questions. In early April,
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer attracted national attention for banning big
box stores from selling plants.
now wants to bar singing at church. Backyard barbecues and family gatherings
are blamed for the rise in COVID cases, but the activities of thousands of
protesters in the streets are not.
this backdrop, you cannot fault individuals for taking pause with the
uncertainties caused by back-and-forth shutdowns and re-openings.
the virus must be the top priority, but the reality we confront is that
isolation, combined with jobs and livelihoods lost in such an unprecedented
way, can very well lead to other negative health consequences. Reports indicate
that domestic violence, suicide rates, and deaths from drug overdoses have risen
since the onset, postponed “elective” surgeries and treatment have become more
urgent. Dr. Scott Atlas, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover
Institution, wrote in The Hill that
cancer patients deferred chemotherapy. Approximately 80 percent of brain
surgeries were skipped. Now the system is dealing with a backlog. July 6, 2020,
Atlas observed that 80-85 percent of hospitalizations in Texas were non-COVID
the median age of death caused by the pandemic is over 70. An estimated 40
percent of fatalities in California are traceable to nursing homes. Other
factors like obesity and diabetes also play a role in susceptibility.
these statistics, it is clear we can identify the most vulnerable populations,
protecting them while at the same time empowering Californians to provide for
themselves and preserve public health.
businesses by and large are doing their part to combat the pandemic. They have
gone extra lengths to comply with current guidance, churches have adopted
strict safety protocols, and outdoor venues have welcomed visitors back with
safeguards in place.
hope of economic resilience or normalcy, however, is repeatedly dashed by
unpredictable government orders. I have personally spoken to over 300 business
owners and heard their anxiety and stress, as well as that of constituents. The
situation feels endless with little optimism a finish line is in sight.
by nature are fiercely independent with a keen eye toward overreaching
government. What we want is consistency, direct communication, and not a
constantly moving one-size-fits-all approach to this challenge.
the most part, Americans will do the right thing and act in good faith, but
government bureaucrats must remember they are public servants and not our
is time to stop politicizing the virus at the expense of lives and our overall
State Senator Mike Morrell represents the 23rd Senate District in
the California State Legislature, which includes the communities of the San