Gavin Newsom has some explaining to do.
The governor needs to tell Californians why he abandoned the scientifically based medical criteria he established for loosening the state’s lockdown orders. It damages his credibility when, like President Donald Trump, Newsom says one thing and then goes off in a different direction. It also risks the health of Californians.
Newsom said on April 14 that he would use six indicators to measure when the state lockdown would end. The first is the ability to monitor and protect communities through testing, contact tracing, and isolating and supporting people who are positive or exposed. A week later, Newsom said that to loosen the state’s lockdown orders, California would have to ramp up testing for the COVID-19 virus to 60,000 to 80,000 tests a day.
While there has been progress on testing, it’s still not enough. The governor acknowledged May 11 that the state had provided tests to an average of only 40,000 people daily during the prior three days. Meanwhile, the state is just beginning to train a staff of 20,000 workers to do the contact tracing and case investigation to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
Yet Newsom announced that he would allow curbside pickup at enclosed malls and strip malls, and the reopening of car washes, pet grooming and nonessential offices where employees cannot telework.
The governor should heed the warning of the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who bluntly warned last week of “really serious” consequences of death, suffering and deep economic damage if state and local officials lift stay-at-home orders too quickly.
FROM AN EDITORIAL IN THE SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS