With the Wuhan virus, Gavin Newsom discovers the perils of crying ‘Wolf’

California Governor Gavin Newsom (Dem.) has been playing politics with the Wuhan virus. When he first ordered a short lockdown to “flatten the curve,” Californians played along despite the economic destruction because the virus was new, and the predictions were scary. They played along when the lockdown didn’t stop. They played along when Newsom locked the elderly up in nursing homes to die. They played along when Newsom boldly quashed constitutional rights.

And then, suddenly, Newsom announced that mass riots were okay – and, by the way, if you’re not rioting, you’re still locked up. Having been lied to and manipulated, Californians are turning to civil disobedience.

Over 2,500 years ago, Aesop told a story about a young shepherd who was bored and cried out “Wolf!” The villagers ran to help, only to learn they’d been tricked. The next day, the boy again cried “Wolf,” and the villagers again were fooled. The day after that, a wolf attacked the boy’s flock. “Wolf! Wolf!” cried the boy. But the villagers, having been fooled twice, ignored the boy’s pleas, allowing the wolf to eat the flock. The moral: “A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth.”

In March, California Governor Gavin Newsom put California in lockdown to flatten the Wuhan virus curve. Newsom, like Gov. Cuomo, placed virus patients in nursing homes, which may have contributed to the 2,531 resident and 93 care worker deaths in those homes. The government also had a hand in the virus’s rampage through San Quentin prison, which killed three death row inmates. In other words, Democrat policies in California managed to produce 42% of the state’s 6,263 virus fatalities.

With its lockdown, which initially was to last for two weeks and that instead continued for months, Newsom weakened the California economy, drove its citizens to despair, prevented people from getting healthcare for other potentially deadly conditions, and deprived citizens of their constitutional rights.

Concerning those constitutional rights, in May, the state banned those protesting the lockdown, violating their First Amendment right “peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Most recently, Newsom banned singing in houses of worship, violating the First Amendment’s mandate that the government cannot prohibit the “free exercise” of religion.

The lockdown prohibitions vanished, however, when the Black Lives Matter protests started. Suddenly, it was okay for people to gather, sometimes in the tens of thousands, burning and looting as they went (with a particular focus on anti-Semitic destruction). Governor Newsom approved, saying, “Your rage is real. Express it so that we can hear it.”

Eventually, Newsom began to reopen California. And as was to be expected, the number of Wuhan virus cases increased. However, as the number of diagnoses increased, the mortality rate has declined. This is partly due to positive tests on asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic people and partially due to better treatment approaches (including hydroxychloroquine because Trump was right all along).

Nevertheless, because leftists across America have given up all pretense of flattening the curve, and instead are using the virus as a cudgel against Trump’s reelection, various California officials from Newsom on down are trying to reinstate limitations on people’s activities:

Gov. Gavin Newsom this week ordered the closure of indoor restaurants, bars, wineries, movie theaters, zoos and museums in 19 counties, affecting more than 28 million Californians, or 72% of the state’s population. Beaches were ordered shut down by local government officials in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties.

To politicians’ and bureaucrats’ chagrin, Californians – usually a people amenable to government control -- are rebelling. They’ve seen their government convert the promised “curve flattening” from days to months, withdraw constitutional rights, and grant a special dispensation for mass rallies -- all while mortality has decreased. They can’t be fooled anymore when their government claims to act in their interests:

As California began to rapidly reopen the economy, officials in Santa Cruz County decided the safe thing to do was keep its landmark beaches largely closed in the afternoons to prevent crowds that could spread the coronavirus.

But the public increasingly ignored the rules and demanded their summer on the sand, swimming, sunbathing and just hanging out. Unable to stop the crowds, county officials simply gave up.

“People are not willing to be governed anymore in that regard,” health officer Dr. Gail Newel said as the county rescinded its beach closure order last week.


Many residents are torn — they understand the growing dangers of the coronavirus but also say the months in virtual lockdown took an emotional toll. Casey Parlette, a Laguna Beach resident, said she is still wondering whether her city was right to close its beaches during the holiday weekend.

“I hear both sides of the argument … but it’s a tough thing when everything is closed. When the beaches, trail heads, parks were closed, the only thing that was open was maybe your backyard, if you have one, and the middle of the street and that was pretty much it,” Parlette said.

It turns out that, even in a smugly leftist state, the government can only cry “wolf” so often.

Image: YouTube screengrab

If you experience technical problems, please write to helpdesk@americanthinker.com