More word vomit, more racism, more pork
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced his new SMARTER plan yesterday. It purportedly moves our state forward to a COVID policy that acknowledges that the CCP virus is endemic rather than pandemic. I'm betting that George Orwell is looking down from heaven and laughing loudly. He should be congratulating himself for his prescient depiction of the human condition in 2022.
SMARTER stands for Shots, as in making more available; Masks, by promising to procure enough N95s for all; Awareness, in terms of having more-state infrastructure (my husband pointed out today that infrastructure replaces pork quite handily); Readiness, which again means throwing lots of money ($1.7 billion) at recruiting, training, hiring, and advancing "an ethnically and culturally inclusive HHS workforce." Then there's Testing, ramped up even more (why?); Education, AKA keeping kids in school (and vaccinated and masked), but also noting that $4.5 billion has been "devoted to improving mental and behavioral health for California's children and youth"; and Rx (treatment), which is again all about equity (distributing treatment resources and the non-specific "continuing evolution" of treatment).
Newsom just axed the mask mandate for the state, although individual counties can keep theirs as long as they want. But he doesn't guarantee that draconian measures are gone for good. Far from it. The document says, "Properly worn masks with good filtration help slow the spread[.]" I will note that, since the mandate ended a few days ago, Californians appear averse to showing their faces, even though they can unmask. Most are still walking the street wearing one. That demonstrates how successful the fear porn propaganda has been.
The document doesn't address vaccination mandates. The individual counties and cities (and schools) that require proof of vaccination still get to keep their autonomy on that draconian and illogical measure, with no input from the state.
The SMARTER document, in its "What's Next?" section, emphasizes that everyone should stay "up to date" on vaccines and that we must "prepare for" vaccinating the under-five-year-old kids. On a more positive note, it states that we will
[c]ontinue assessing the growing evidence and data on the strength of hybrid immunity — immunity both from vaccine and prior infection — and consider this information as we look at vaccine requirements in California.
After that, we descend precipitously into equity language, which claims to address the disparity in vaccination rates among the races. In other words, we must re-educate the justifiably wary.
No scintilla of control is ceded in this new plan. Newsom wants to vaccinate relentlessly, including expanding school-based vaccination sites by 25%. It's an alarming concept. If the kids can get the jab at school, what say will parents have? He wants to partner with the federal government on treatment options. He wants to perform "at least" 500 thousand tests a day, to no specified end. This will, of course, keep the pandemic-level fear ratcheted up. Most importantly, he wants to maintain and expand our "focus on equity."
Image: Gavin Newsom (edited). YouTube screen grab.
Newsom links his plan to a lengthy COVID-19 Health Equity Playbook for Communities, 73 pages of detailed planning that cut a broad swath through every state policy without any congressional voting on the changes, to address "structural racism." It assures that every ethnic and orientation group gets its maximum "rights."
Some of the strategies include insuring "housing security," a broadly defined term that appears to open the door to using "vacant land and properties" and "alternative housing." In the section called Cross Cutting Strategies, the first one is to "[i]mprove collection of race and ethnicity data and sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data."
You could click link after link in this public policy maze, which details things such as making sure that we "establish a language access policy, plan or procedure to ensure that limited English proficient (LEP) persons ... will be able to access information related to COVID-19." As if we didn't have any way for the state's very diverse population to get information already. It even goes into detail on providing a "free" bike and a scooter share program.
The "playbook" includes links to such gems as county-by-county "targeted investment plans," so you know that the pork is only shallowly buried in our infrastructure. Everything is based on race — the statistics underpinning the "equity" rationale include the fact that Blacks constitute only 4% of cases but account for 13.5% of deaths, and so on for every minority group. Raw statistics can be meaningless, and these certainly are. Every single aspect of this plan is race-based and meant to divide us.
This lengthy document does not include any acknowledgment of the public's rights to individual freedom to make our own medical decisions. There is no discussion of pivoting away from draconian hospital treatments, toward effective, inexpensive alternatives. There is no loosening of COVID policy whatsoever, beyond the mask relief for "vaccinated adults." These documents simply codify the loss of freedoms we once enjoyed, which can be taken away at the whim of the government.