California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday lifted regional stay-at-home orders across the state citing improving coronavirus conditions, but his critics maintain that the move is to counter the threat of a rapidly growing recall campaign.
Republicans said Newsom was easing the rules as the recall campaign nears the required threshold to qualify for a statewide ballot. Organizers have until mid-March to gather 1.5 million signatures to force a recall against Newsom, who is halfway through his first term.
“This Governor’s decisions have never been based on science. Him re-opening our state is not an attempt to help working Californians, but rather an attempt to counter the Recall Movement. It’s sad and pathetic,” California Republican Party Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson tweeted.
State officials said the decision to lift the stay-at-home order came amid improving trends in California’s rate of infections, hospitalizations, and intensive care unit capacity as well as vaccinations. But Newsom’s administration has not made the data public. Health officials have said making it public would confuse and potentially mislead the public.
Harmeet Dhillon, CEO and founder of the Center for American Liberty, told Fox Business her legal team has made multiple attempts to request the data through Public Records Act requests but Newsom’s administration has refused “to reveal the data upon which they’re basing these draconian restrictions.”
“I am, frankly, at a loss to logically explain any of the changes in these shutdown orders, ratcheting it up, ratcheting it down,” Dhillon said. “We know from scientific data that despite the wide differences between the nature of shutdowns in Florida and California, for example, there are virtually no differences in infection rates and mortality rates. So, it seems all to have been for naught.”
Dhillon said Newsom’s critics are not only conservatives, pointing out that “even some of his most liberal defenders are puzzled by some of his moves.”
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