The looming recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom is preventing Southern California from shutting down, according to Prof. Marcia Godwin of the University of La Verne, given a rapid rise of COVID-19 cases that is nearing surge rates.
The Orange County Register notes that if California’s old color-coded system existed, Los Angeles County would be in the most restrictive “purple” tier, with over 10 cases per 100,000 people, while nearby unties would be in the “red” tier.
That would mean restricting many businesses, virtually shutting down the local economy. But with a recall election on September 14, the state’s leaders are unlikely to want to reimpose unpopular restrictions on businesses and consumers:
Now, as the delta variant of the virus fuels the new rise in cases, health officials are seeing now-familiar surge patterns that followed past holiday periods. Los Angeles County is once again requiring people to wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status, and about one-third of California’s counties are recommending but not requiring it.
But could the state ever return to more widespread restrictions like those in place under the tier system if the situation continues to get worse?
Marcia Godwin, a professor of public administration at the University of La Verne, doesn’t believe so, especially considering Gov. Gavin Newsom’s fight to avoid recall in a Sept. 14 election in which his handling of the pandemic looms large.
“Politically, while there’s a recall on the horizon, there’s not going to be the same sentiment for statewide action,” Godwin said. “Really, now it’s about nudging, encouraging, begging people to get vaccinated as an alternative to additional mandates.”
Public health experts are more confident that the state’s hospital system can handle the surge, given that many people are vaccinated, and even they contract the virus, their symptoms tend to be less severe than for the unvaccinated population.
Newsom’s approval ratings collapsed in the winter surge, especially as he was seen dining with friends in the elite French Laundry restaurant. His approval rebounded as the state’s vaccination rollout improved, and as the economy reopened.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.