by Paul Moomjean

Sept. 14 is the recall election date, and current California Governor Gavin Newsom has to be holding his breath, hoping that nothing truly awful happens between now and then. And by awful, I mean have a bunch of counties lock down people and put masks on vaccinated people who were told they were in the clear. In a state where “the science” flip flops more than a public official in an election year, the one thing Newsom had going for him was an open and free state. Despite your personal opinions on vaccines, masks and lockdowns, Newsom stays in office as long as people feel free. Which might explain why he’s been so quiet as at least 10 counties in California reinforce indoor mask rules. With his political future flapping like a mask in the wind, Newsom has to be experiencing déjà vu all over again.    

Recently numerous news outlets have been reporting, “California Department of Public Health statistics show between Jan. 1 and June 30, the state identified 8,699 breakthrough [COVID] cases out of more than 20 million who were vaccinated.”

Despite those alarming numbers, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, keeps telling us that fully vaccinated people are safer and do not have to wear masks. 

“One can make a reasonable assumption, based on the level of virus in the nasal pharynx, that it would be less likely that that vaccinated breakthrough person would transmit compared to an unvaccinated person,” Fauci said.

ABC News reports that more than half the state’s population isn’t taking any risks, and the mask mandates are coming back. 

“San Francisco, Sacramento, Yolo, Fresno, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties, as well as the city of Berkeley, have all issued recommendations for indoor masking regardless of vaccination status. Those counties along with Sacramento make up more than half of the state’s population,” ABC Channel 7 News reported. 

That doesn’t mean every public official plans to enforce their local mandates.  

“Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the order is ‘not backed by science,’ and said he wouldn’t use his department’s limited resources to enforce the order. He instead is asking for voluntary compliance,” ABC Channel 7 News continued reporting. Villanueva went on to add that you can’t ask a “defunded” police state to make this a priority. 

And there’s the rub. In the past year, Los Angeles County saw its budget get reshaped, and now the chickens are coming home to roost. While liberal good intentions were meant to protect those mistreated by police, when called upon to look over general safety, the desire and funding just aren’t there. This of course will create multiple “speakeasy” places like Cronies of Agoura Hills and Tinhorn Flats of Burbank, now facing court fines, fees and evictions. 

Even the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors sees the flaws.     

“I’m not pleased that we have to go back to using the masks in this matter. But, nonetheless, it’s going to save lives,” Hilda Solis, the chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, said Sunday on ABC’s <em>This Week.</em>

All of this chaos is building up to a recall election that looked completely dead in the water until popular radio talk show personality and TV talking head Larry Elder threw his hat into the race. The very well-known media darling is no Arnold Schwarzenegger, but he has just enough firepower and debate abilities to make Newsom sweat. 

As the Los Angeles Times reports, “[Larry] Elder is well-known among conservatives because his nationally syndicated, three-hour talk show is broadcast daily in L.A., San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento and several smaller California cities. He’s heard in all 50 states in 200 markets, with a national audience of 1.5 million. He also has 2.5 million followers on social media.”

Somewhere Newsom has to be seeing the ghost of recalled governor Gray Davis wandering the state capitol, thinking that if he loses this, his complete future in national politics is done. Newsom must be upset with local authorities overriding his loosening of the restrictions, if only because it makes him look less authoritative. 

And with only a few months before people are asked to recast a vote in favor of him again, they have to ask if they want to go down these roads again and again too.