COVID-19 Letter to the Governor
Dear Governor Newsom,
The residents and businesses of Tuolumne County have sacrificed so much in the name of COVID-19 surge planning. The surge plan (based on a WHO model) indicated Tuolumne County would have 5K infected, about 500 hospitalized and around 100-150 dead by mid-May. To date, we have a total of 160 cases, 155 recovered, 3 currently active, 1 in the hospital and 2 deaths; one death had underlying health conditions. The shelter in place order was to give surge capacity to our hospitals so they could deal with COVID-19 patients. It was not put in place to defeat COVID-19 or to wait for a vaccine. Such an order on a free society is unrealistic.
Since April, business owners have reached out to me worried about being labeled a criminal for simply opening their business to provide for their family. Meanwhile government officials continue to receive paychecks. Who are we to continually restrict our resident’s ability to put food on their family’s table while we receive a paycheck? Recently, there have been requests from departments in our local government to utilize CARES act funding to fund “special childcare” for governmental workers. A stark reminder of how out of touch the government is with the people it is intended to serve.
There is no doubt, our residents want to keep the virus out of our community, but at what continued cost? As a county Supervisor I have been hit from every angle including people terrified of dying from COVID-19 to people terrified they will not be able to provide for their families. Compounding the problem is you have drawn a line in the sand which is pushing schools to close campuses leaving families strangled, unable to work outside the home.
We live in a time when people have access to more information than any other generation, yet much of the information has been politicized. Today, you can justify just about anything with any research (including scientific) to prove or disprove the other perspective.
Therefore, I would implore you, Governor Newsom, to start basing your decisions on the founding principles of this Nation.
Our nation was founded on the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of rights, the policy of America. A policy which was dreamed of over thousands of years and which we and our ancestors have had the great privilege to be a part of for only a few hundred years.
But now the Policy is not being followed. Churches have not been allowed to assemble, a violation of the First Amendment. Gun stores were deemed non-essential, thus not allowing people the right to purchase guns or “bear arms,” a violation of the Second Amendment.
The stay at home order is creating winners and losers by stating some people and businesses are essential while others are not. Those who were deemed non-essential are losing livelihoods. Making one “non-essential” and forcing them to stay home with no just compensation violates the Fifth Amendment.
The stay at home order was supposed to give our health care providers the ability to deal with an expected surge and “flatten the curve,” not eliminate the virus.
On April 20, 2020, I issued a newsletter to my constituents, part of the newsletter stated “Finally, the difference between essential and non-essential jobs is becoming less clear. We are an economy of working men and women. Every person is essential. It does seem that if everyone returned to work wearing a facemask and continued social distancing with enhanced hygiene practices, then we could all resume a more normal life.” I have spoken to several doctors who agree with your statement that “localism is determinism.” Local leaders and professionals should be allowed to review the statistics, analyze the data and make informed decisions including for their local communities without fear of repercussions from the Government or their employer. You have threatened to withhold CARES Act and California Budget monies to counties who do not comply with your orders.
The Declaration of Independence states, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
The only power the Government has, the only power you have as Governor is what the people are willing to give… the consent of the governed. As a County Supervisor, I can no longer consent to such orders and will begin to pursue local determinism.
It’s time to get back to the Policy of America. Tough times come and go, but the polices on which this great nation was founded will remain. Allow the professionals in each one of your counties: the doctors, educators, law enforcement, county and city elected officials to make such decisions without the fear of political repercussions. Govern, but don’t micromanage us.
For the remainder of your Governorship, each night my family and I will continue to pray for you that God would influence your heart and give you knowledge and wisdom of Him so you may Govern effectively.
Daniel Anaiah Kirk
County of Tuolumne – District 3 Supervisor