By Jesus Hernandez
The State of Emergency should not be lifted here in California just yet. Right versus left showdown in Sacramento. Leaders in California’s capital, specifically. Republican state lawmakers tried to end Governor Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 state of emergency on Tuesday.
The move was blocked by the democratic controlled California legislature. If the division across the country wasn’t already enough in the political world, here, we the people and our political leaders are divided again on an important factor in the California response to Covid.
The State of Emergency bill Newsom signed in March of 2020 helped the state further prepare communities and health care systems in case Covid spread more broadly—which it did. The bill also helped to protect consumers from price gouging on supplies that were selling out when panic buying increased.
The bill allowed out-of-state health care workers to come assist at health care facilities, and approved testing centers for Covid to test anyone and everyone that needed to be tested.
What the state of emergency order allows Newsom to do now in March 2022 is to continue to help with the state pandemic response by ensuring that California has enough capacity in hospitals that can handle case load surges. Testing and vaccination centers are also included.
The GOP has accused the governor of abusing his executive powers and argued on Tuesday that the order was not necessary anymore. They also try arguing by using examples of schools being shut down and businesses and all these testing requirements in the state.
The GOP is saying California had all this for two years and it’s not necessary anymore because the state is in a better place than it was two years ago.
The democrats were told by the hospital association if the state of emergency order ends, medical facilities would lose thousands of healthcare workers who were allowed to come in outside of California.
Ann Patterson, the governor’s affairs secretary, said in February that rescinding the state of emergency would “cripple” California’s response to the pandemic.
With the emergency order and with most of the executive orders that were under the state of emergency order, Newsom terminated 17 of them in February and another 18 will be terminated at the end of March. The pandemic is not over.
The state is in a better position now but in the near future it can get back to being bad again with a caseload of surges. I believe Newsom knows this.
Now is it a bad look that we were still under a state of emergency and other states have completely lifted their executive orders? Sure, it looks bad but from the beginning of the pandemic California was first to shut down and put out a stay at home order.
I believe we will probably be last to lift the state of the emergency order. For me personally it has felt for a while that “pre covid vibes” is back.
What I mean by that is that people are out, people are having a good time, people are traveling and enjoying everything California has to offer. I understand it’s deeper than that as politics are a whole other level and things go on behind the door.
Maybe this state of emergency could be hurting some businesses and the right sees that and that’s where the division comes in. But right now we all need to understand that Covid is not over and we will see what happens here in California going forward with the state of emergency order.