On July 13, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered a second shutdown of California, closing bars, indoor dining, and churches, “to combat the increasing spread of COVID-19.”
These actions, particularly the closing of places of worship, stand in defiance of our nation’s storied history and traditions, where the government is not designed to infringe on an individual’s rights, specifically religious liberty.
These mandates come directly on the heels of a report showing the CDC mixing up coronavirus testing data, where the CDC mistakenly combined viral and antibody tests, inflating the number of COVID-19 cases. Viral tests are used by health professionals to determine whether or not a patient is infected with a virus while antibody tests serve a completely different purpose. Antibody tests examine an individual’s blood to see if they have developed proteins in their immune system that help the patient’s immune system fight against the virus. Mixing these numbers together gives us an inaccurate coronavirus case count and should not be the basis for taking measures against the virus.
The CDC is not the only medical organization providing inaccurate data to the public. Dozens of Florida testing labs only report positive COVID-19 cases, leaving out the negative results. This affects the data, revealing a higher rate of positives and not accounting for negative cases. This undermines trust in the state’s total cases and could mean that the percentage of those testing positive is far lower than we are led to believe. That being the case, is it really necessary to bring back the restrictions that massively hurt the American economy?
The Los Angeles Times reported that many Californians are upset with the second wave of lockdowns. The Orange County Board of Education even voted to recommend schools reopen this fall without mandatory masks for students or increased social distancing measures.
Small business owners Bahre Freeman, a personal trainer at a gym in Manhattan Beach, had to see his gym, The Build, close this week. He told the LA Times that he and the others at his gym are upset at Governor Newsom, “because small businesses that close are never going to be able to come back, and how can this gym survive 60 days of no revenue?”
The small businesses that had to close due to the lockdowns are vital parts of the American economy, and when a state hurts its small business owners, it hurts everyone.
In a conversation with Ben Shapiro and Michael Knowles of the Daily Wire, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) argued that Democrats are weaponizing the restrictions and shutdowns to try and “maximize misery,” keeping families at home and out of work, and keeping schools closed so the children of those families also feel frustrated.
Newsom shows through the lockdown policies that he is not interested in upholding individual liberties, like freedom of assembly. Helping people return to work and allowing them to practice their faith should not be a partisan issue due to misplaced fear of a virus where around 99% of those infected survive. Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs must push back against these unconstitutional abuses of power, or other opportunistic leaders will try their best to take advantage of the American people.