Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
Governor Newsom’s latest shutdown order closes down small businesses and warns residents to stay at home if their area’s number of available beds in intensive care units drops below 15%.
“By invoking a Stay at Home Order for regions where ICU capacity falls below 15 percent, we can flatten the curve as we’ve done before and reduce stress on our health care system,” Governor Newsom, fresh from partying at the French Laundry, declared.
Spring had given way to summer and then to autumn and winter, and California Democrats are still using the pretext of preserving “ICU capacity” and “flattening the curve”. The rationale of shutting down an entire state, not so much for the sake of stopping the virus, but for keeping enough beds open in intensive care units, never made much sense even back then.
It’s insane now.
What did Governor Newsom and California Democrats do to increase ICU capacity?
In under eight months, the wealthiest state only managed to add 536 ICU beds. Or 7%.
In April, Newsom was bragging that California was so prepared that it began donating hundreds of ventilators to other states.
“Let me just make this clear, we are preparing for a scenario where we need 50,000 beds,” he boasted.
Fast forward to December and the entire state has to be shut down (except for certain privileged industries, like Hollywood) because Newsom only managed to increase ICU capacity by 7%.
In June, the Democrat State Senate proposed a $200 billion budget. By the summer, California had received $71 billion from the federal government. So much federal money poured into the corrupt Democrat machine that the state’s auditor warned it was at high risk for fraud and waste.
In March, Newsom had announced that $500 million would be spent to do everything from increasing bed capacity to buying medical equipment to protecting nursing home residents.
And, of course, the top priority in California, care for the homeless.
Later, $600 million in federal funding would be spent on yet more housing for the homeless.
By the spring, California hospitals were claiming $14 billion in losses because they had to clear out the hospitals and postpone elective surgeries to maintain enough beds. Some of those elective surgeries were actually urgent and the death toll from postponing them is unknown.
That same policy led to Governor Newsom signing an order, which was described by nursing home advocates as a “death sentence”, forcing skilled nursing facilities to accept infected patients. So far, 6,709 coronavirus deaths have taken place at California nursing homes.
Nursing home patients have accounted for 34% of coronavirus deaths in California.
And, after all that, Governor Newsom has done next to nothing to increase ICU bed capacity while imposing another series of lockdowns, businesses going out of business, and people who can’t feed their families, while Newsom lectures them like children about washing their hands.
Democrats keep claiming that the shutdowns are happening because people don’t follow the rules. But their own metric, ICU capacity, makes it abundantly clear that they failed miserably.
Governor Newsom and the Democrats based everything around ICU capacity, and gifted with incomprehensible amounts of money and the better part of a year, they only raised it by 7%.
It’s almost as if they wanted a pretext for another shutdown. Or they’re corrupt and incompetent.
This is after all the same Democrat government that was spending $746,000 per unit on housing for the homeless after raking in billions to solve the problem of housing the homeless. It’s also the same government that does nothing to increase water capacity, but regularly declares a drought, reduces power capacity to save the planet, and then lets the blackouts roll.
But, unlike California’s refusal to do anything about the water and power situation, there’s no environmental pretext for doing so little to increase ICU capacity. Not a public one anyway.
Nor has the media found the time to actually cover that obscenely absurd 7% number.
But it has plenty of time to cover every single viral video of a person walking into a store without a mask, and every sanctimonious politician’s speech about the importance of masks.
When Governor Newsom and local Democrats claim that businesses have to shut down and children can’t play on playgrounds because of ICU capacity, no one in the media asks why, after all those billions of dollars, the state only added an average of 67 ICU beds a month.
Every California government agency tells the public to wear a mask more times a day than that.
The same Democrat politicians who kept warning that California would have to shut down if it hit ICU capacity did little to actually boost that capacity. It’s almost as if they wanted the shutdown.
California Democrats would rather pay out billions in unemployment than actually have thriving small businesses employing workers. That’s not a conspiracy theory: it’s a policy choice.
Just like letting Hollywood film crews eat outdoors while shutting down local restaurants, or keeping playgrounds closed and tennis courts open, or closing churches and synagogues while keeping pot dispensaries open, and keeping schools closed while BLM riots get a pass.
And these are policy choices that they should be held accountable for.
Once California Democrats made ICU capacity into the metric for a shutdown, they had the responsibility to increase that capacity. Instead they spent eight months shaking their fingers in the faces of the public, while partying at the French Laundry behind their backs.
Meanwhile they blew through the equivalent of Turkey’s national budget with little to show for it.
Californians, like people living under blue state rule around the country, were told that they had to flatten the curve to be free. Thousands of nursing home residents became human sacrifices to free up hospital beds for infected patients and maintain the metrics of ICU capacity.
But it wasn’t the public that failed to protect ICU capacity: it was Newsom and the Democrats.
Governor Newsom and Democrats keep trying to blame the lockdowns on the “irresponsible behavior” of the public. They were the ones who had month after month to prepare for a surge that they knew was coming, and all they have to show for it is a 7% increase in ICU beds.
Now they’re shutting down the state because it’s not meeting an artificial metric that they put into place and then did next to nothing to address while blowing through billions in cash.
It’s the old fable of the grasshopper and the ant. Except the grasshopper is bankrupting the ant.
The ICU capacity metric was built to fail. Just like California’s water and power, the ruling Democrats create disasters, and respond with rationing and misery, while blaming the public.
When there is a dry winter, as this one is likely to be, they don’t take the blame for failing to build dams, instead they blame the public for using too much water. When blackouts take down power across entire neighborhoods, they don’t take the blame for reducing reliable power sources and replacing them with worthless solar and wind boondoggles, instead they blame the public for not caring about the planet by running air conditioners in 110 degree weather.
Now, after almost a year of this circus, the same gang of corrupt clowns who did next to nothing to increase ICU capacity are blaming the shutdown on Californians not wearing enough masks.
California Democrats have stolen and squandered the natural wealth of an incredible state, and whenever a disaster happens, they scold the public for not being willing enough to live in misery.
The latest lockdowns may be flattening another curve: tolerance for these corrupt lying scolds.