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Gavin Newsom ends experiment in DeSantisism

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Obviously, it’s good that he’s admitted he was wrong, but this was incredibly irresponsible decision-making in the first instance that was always going to end up like this:

With cases surging in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced one of the most sweeping rollbacks of any state’s reopening plans, saying Mondaythat he would move to close indoor operations statewide for restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, zoos and card rooms, and bars would be forced to close all operations.

And the governor said that in at least 30 of the hardest hit counties, businesses would be forced to close indoor operations for fitness centers, places of worship, non-critical offices, hair salons and barbershops and malls. Roughly 80 percent of the state’s population lives in the affected counties, Mr. Newsom said.

California was averaging more than 8,000 new cases a day as of Sunday, more than double what it was a month ago. The state has seen 331,626 cases, the second highest tally in the nation, and more than 7,000 deaths, according to a New York Times database.

Cases were actually rising significantly when LA County re-opened. There was absolutely no way that this was going to work on any level, including rescuing the economy or staving off fiscal ruin. And now LA schools have to be closed for the fall as a result of these terrible decisions.

From the other end of the telescope, it continues to drive me crazy that experts like Fauci continue to frame fairly sensible policy proposals as a “total shutdown.” This is incredibly counterproductive rhetoric. We don’t need a total shutdown — most outdoor activities and many indoor activities that allow for masking and social distancing can be done safely. We just need to shut down bars and indoor dining and gyms and large gatherings, not present people with the apparent choice of opening everything or never leaving their homes. Telling people what they can do safely and how is critically important to sustaining support for closures that are actually necessary. It’s like Michael Kinsley arguing that we have to cut Social Security because his moral conviction that austerity is good must be sound economics.

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