By Senator Brian Dahle
August 13, 2020
Californians are suffering under the confusing and ever-changing messages from the top-down rather than being guided by their local circumstances.
There have been too many conflicting messages to the public surrounding the COVID Pandemic. There has been a loss of focus on the people of California's overall health and well-being, and the guiding values of this Administration have been misplaced. …
Since a public health emergency was declared in March, my office has received thousands of calls from people and local governments confused by conflicting guidance. …
… Things have become so bad on the local level that county health officers and other officials are caught between an irate citizenry, including death threats, and a State bureaucracy drunk with power. … And, now the State Health Officer has resigned after reports of major inconsistencies in the testing data.
… Perhaps most discouraging has been the abdication of the Legislature's role. Legislative leaders closed the Capitol, returning to their districts. Leaders are supposed to face fear head-on and continue to represent the people they were elected to protect.
… … When protesters demonstrated and rioted across California, the governor’s response was, “God bless you. Keep doing it.” Why is it that the Constitution gives us the freedom to protest, and the same amendment gives us the freedom of religion, yet we can’t go to church? The governor obviously deemed church non-essential even though it’s protected by the Constitution.
The executive branch has taken the emergency declaration as a license to unilaterally govern, spend money, make policy and enforce laws without including other branches of government. …
... At this time of year, parents are preparing their children to return to the classroom. Instead, counties that are on the state watchlist are required to distance-learn for now, and local school districts not on the watchlist are grappling with fears and liability that can be solved by legislative action and bold leadership. Both in short supply right now.
… It’s time we look at individual areas of the state and implement sensible, safe policies that make sense based on the situation as they see fit by the local county health officers.
Click here to read Senator Dahle’s commentary published in CALmatters.