2021 Oct 27, 10:05pm
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But as a Californian and lifelong Democrat who voted against the recall, this celebration of Newsom glosses over a concerning pattern during the pandemic: He has consistently issued mandates (or failed to do so) that favor special interest groups who have donated large amounts of money to his campaigns. This week, Newsom appealed a judge's order to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for prison guards in California, despite the fact that in recent months, 48 outbreaks in prisons have been traced back to prison staff. There is only one possible explanation for this terrible decision to fight a vaccine mandate: The prison guards union contributed $1.5 million to help Newsom defeat the recall attempt. It’s also another example of his hypocrisy during this pandemic. Not only was he caught flouting his own restrictions (the French Laundry incident), as well as sending his kids to in-person private school while refusing to mandate public schools open last year — but he has consistently allowed major campaign donors to dictate his decisions. The California Teachers Association was the single biggest lobbyist in Sacramento in the past two years — and this is arguably why Newsom refused to fight harder for schools to open last spring. This also explains why California public school staff are still not subject to a strict vaccine mandate — they are allowed to test weekly in lieu of getting vaccinated. Notwithstanding the leniency with which Newsom has handled powerful unions, two weeks ago he announced the first statewide student vaccine mandate. Although it won't go into effect until the vaccine for each age group is officially approved by the FDA, teachers and staff won't be subject to a strict vaccine requirement until the student mandate takes effect. This decision makes little sense from a public health perspective; we have long had data that in-school transmission is low compared to the surrounding community, and that it is mostly adults responsible for spread. Moreover, kids are at an incredibly low risk of becoming seriously ill: Unvaccinated kids are still at far lower risk than vaccinated adults over the age of 60. There appears to be little question that it is adult vaccination that matters the most in terms of containing the spread of COVID-19.
It's a hopeful sign when a newspaper which consistently puts tribalism above reporting the truth publishes something like this.