Sacramento, CA – California Governor Gavin Newsom has threatened to punish counties who don’t follow his latest pandemic lockdown decrees by withholding funding, the same strategy he objected to when the White House threatened to defund “sanctuary” counties.
Newsom’s latest edict for another lockdown will go into effect on a regional basis as the intensive care unit (ICU) capacity in those areas falls below 15 percent, KABC reported.
The governor has “temporarily restricted statewide” all non-essential travel and restricted hotels and motels to only taking guests who are doing “essential” travel.
“This is the most challenging moment since the beginning of this pandemic,” Newsom said on Thursday. “If there was ever any time to put aside your doubt, to put aside your skepticism, to put aside your cynicism to put aside your ideology, to put aside any consideration except this: Lives are in the balance. Lives will be lost unless we do more than we’ve ever done.”
The state has been divided into five regions: Northern California, Greater Sacramento, Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California, KABC reported.
The Bay Area is expected to fall below the 15 percent threshold in the next few days.
Under the governor’s latest order, any region hitting that threshold will trigger a “stay at home” order for at least three weeks.
When the “stay at home” order goes into effect, all private gatherings will be banned, KABC reported.
Additionally, the new “stay at home” order will once again shut down businesses that haven’t been open and operating for very long since the last lockdown.
Newsom said that bars, wineries, nail salons, hair salons and barbershops, and other personal care services will need to close when the region hits the trigger threshold, KABC reported.
Schools that have gotten a waiver may stay open.
The governor said that once again, restaurants will have to shut down all indoor and outdoor dining, KABC reported.
Newsom said retailers would be allowed to stay open at 20 percent capacity and acknowledged his earlier shutdown orders gave an unfair advantage to big-box stores.
He said it was doing all he could to support small businesses in the state this time around, KABC reported.
The governor said that enforcement of the latest pandemic lockdown would be handled by local authorities but that uncooperative counties would be penalized financially.
“If you’re unwilling to adopt the protocols to support the mitigation and the reduction of the spread of this disease, we’re happy to redirect those dollars to counties that feel differently,” the governor said.
California has broken its own record for most hospitalizations every day for the last five days, KABC reported.
“The bottom line is if we don’t act now, our hospital system will be overwhelmed. If we don’t act now, we’ll continue to see the death rate climb, more lives lost,” Newsom said.
His predictions for the immediate future were entirely gloom and doom, KABC reported.
“The effects of Thanksgiving have not yet been felt,” Newsom warned. “Dr. Fauci I think said it best. He says we should anticipate ‘a surge on top of a surge.'”
The California governor’s threat to defund counties that don’t comply with his “stay at home” orders appeared hypocritical given his response to a similar threat from President Trump earlier this year.
But despite having strenuously objected to the President’s plan of a similar nature, Newsom cracked down on two municipalities in his own state in July after their city councils voted to allow businesses to remain open, the Associated Press reported.
Newsom took nearly $65,000 away from Atwater in Merced County and withheld more than $35,000 from Coalinga in Fresno County after their local lawmakers voted to defy his shutdown orders.
Cities across the state received a letter from the state’s Office of Emergency Services warning they risked losing more money if they didn’t withdraw their resolutions that violated the pandemic lockdown orders, KABC reported.
Despite the threats, both Atwater and Coalinga’s city councils met after they were warned and punished, and voted to stick to their resolutions.