Two Democratic governors are under scrutiny after their policies to address the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) showed serious errors that caused irreparable damage. On one side is Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, who lied to the world about the true numbers of elderly people killed by the coronavirus. On the other side is Gavin Newsom of California, who is on the verge of a recall.
Cuomo is under federal investigation and Democratic lawmakers are raising the possibility of stripping him of special powers to manage the pandemic and Newsom is on the verge of being ousted. However, both are still eyeing re-election.
Newsom was elected with 62% of the vote two years ago and has seen his approval ratings plummet for causing business shutdowns, keeping schools closed and poorly undertaking the rollout of vaccines.
As of last week, 1.2 million signatures had been collected to recall the governor. Newsom, 53, would then become the second California governor to face a recall.
To qualify for the ballot, 1,495,709 valid signatures must be gathered. So far about 1.2 million have been collected, which has set off alarms among California Democrats. The deadline to collect them is March 17th, and counties have until April 29th to verify them. If the number of signatures is confirmed, the recall election would be this year, between November and December at the latest.
The questions on the ballot would be: “Do you want to recall Newsom, Yes or No?” If more than 50 percent mark “Yes,” the next question is who should replace him.
“People want recovery and they want it now,” said John Kabateck, California director for the National Federation of Independent Business. “Small business owners are confused, scared and overwhelmed by what the government is asking them to do,” he says.
Newsom has been embroiled in scandals that could take a toll on him at the time of his ouster. Late last year, photographs were made public in which Newsom was shown mingling, maskless, among guests at a dinner at the exclusive French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley. Newsom apologized for attending the dinner and has called it a “blunder.”
Added to this is the fact that California has now been one of the slowest states to distribute the vaccine to the population.
“Governor Newsom should leave office because he has mishandled the COVID pandemic so badly, but we also have a significant number of jobs leaving the state, and the number of homeless people has grown much more during his tenure,” said Joe Collins, a former Republican congressional candidate.
Authoriatarian approaches to the pandemic
A Fox News report revealed that, despite addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in very different ways, California and Florida have experienced similar trends with the number of coronavirus cases.
While California is closing businesses, schools and restaurants, Florida is staying open without affecting the number of jobs. Despite this, the pandemic trends are going similarly.
The latest data from Johns Hopkins University show that California has reported nearly 3.5 million total COVID-19 cases, while Florida has more than 1.82 million.
Florida’s population is just over half that of California. But even with that difference, both states have reported similar percentages of cases and deaths compared to the general population.
California’s total number of COVID-19 cases as a percentage of the population is approximately 8.8%, while Florida’s is approximately 8.3%. Of all the people in California who have contracted COVID-19, approximately 1.35% have died, while in Florida the figure is approximately 1.57%, according to Johns Hopkins University.
A report by the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) reports that “lockdowns do not control coronavirus”. In its report the organization states that several studies indicate that “there is no relationship between lockdowns and the control of the virus”.
“The virus is going to do what viruses do, as has always been in the history of infectious diseases. We have an extremely limited control over them, and the one we have is linked to time and place. Fear, panic and coercion are not ideal strategies to control the virus. Intelligence and medical therapeutics work much better” the report concludes.