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Rodefer Criticizes Face Coverings Mandate

Governor Newsom,

I have supported (not always agreed with but supported) your actions and orders in the past with respect to our COVID-19 response. I have applauded your words “localism is determinism”. And, while I do not believe you have always lived up to the spirit of those words, I have continued to encourage compliance locally with your Health Orders. I believe your attestation allowances, although slow in coming, have been a large step in the right direction. However, you have just taken a giant step backwards for absolutely no supportable reason. Where, sir, was your concern for public health and safety during the protests and destruction that occurred across this State over the past few weeks? Where especially was your concern when you allowed out-of- jurisdiction travel to export urban-based demonstrators from COVID-19 hot zones into our rural environment for the purposes of riling up our local citizens? Now you dictate from your perch in Sacramento how all of us across this State must appear in public spaces, those same public spaces that accommodated hundreds of people, not practicing even a modicum of social distancing, not respecting one bit our rural environment and chanting forcefully, unmasked and spewing germs of all sorts everywhere. Seriously, even someone as apparently ideologically blind as yourself has to see the extreme and ridiculous humor in all of this. This is just another step in a continuing effort to polarize our society and I, for one, say no more, sir.

Let’s look at the facts. COVID-19 infection intensity and death rates across this Nation and our State (yes ours, not just yours!) are directly proportional to population density compounded in some cases by being a major transportation hub. Look at the map. There is a reason why rural counties are, by and large, only minimally impacted by this disease. We live a largely socially and physically distanced lifestyle. Our probability of coming within transmission range of this disease is drastically less than in a metropolitan or urban center. Add to that, the number of potential transmitters is much less than in those same metropolitan or urban centers and your latest order on face coverings makes little to no sense in our and similar jurisdictions. With that order, you have unnecessarily invited public outcry from people who absolutely have every right to be outraged at your unwarranted invasion of their lives. You are instigating public outrage for little gain other than to engender public resistance. I can only come to one conclusion and that conclusion is that public outrage is exactly the outcome you desire. For the leader of any organization, let alone the great State of California, that is despicable and a breach of the oath of your office. I call on you, on behalf of the people of California especially those of us in Rural California, to live your own words – “localism is determinism”. Rescind this order and return the decision-making authority on these and similar matters to where it belongs…the local jurisdictions.

With rapidly waning respect,

Karl D. Rodefer