Conservatives used widespread rage to trigger the recall vote against California Governor Gavin Newsom months earlier. To save his career, the Democrat is now relying on his own epidemic approach.
Newsom is imposing mask and vaccination requirements; he’s also adopting a tough-on-the-virus strategy in the final leg of the recall process after walking on eggshells around COVID-19 problems earlier this summer.
It All Became About COVID
The maneuvers have transformed the contest into the country’s biggest vote on how to combat the pandemic, inflaming ideological divides over population health even more.
Newsom expects that voters in deep-blue California will accept his more limited COVID-19 approach, much as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis believes that outlawing requirements is a winning signal in his red state.
If Gavin Newsom survives recall, he will aggressively double down on his policies and mandates that harm millions of Californians. If you think Gavin Newsom governs like a tyrant now, he will “punish” Californians after Sept. 14 for daring to challenge him. #RecallGavinNewsom
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) August 30, 2021
Newsom stated on Tuesday (at a vaccination conference in Oakland two weeks just before the recall vote) that there is no more important decision for the safety and health of Californians than voting no on the Republican-backed referendum.
He claimed that the strongest difference existed between him and Republican politicians who would like to follow in the footsteps of Texas and Florida; these states have laxer standards and, as a result, lower immunization rates and higher virus incidences.
In November 2020, the California governor was chastised for visiting a high-end French Laundry meal with lobbying buddies, despite encouraging locals to avoid social engagements, a blunder largely considered as a cause for the recall petition movement.
In the months that followed, things only got worse since California experienced its greatest COVID-19 fatality rates and clinics were overburdened.
IMAGINE having to choose between taking a shower or doing your laundry.
Californians don't have to much longer— it's happening.
Thanks Gavin Newsom.
— Amber Jo Cooper (@AmberJoCooper) August 31, 2021
Newsom moved his focus to the government’s reopening and his plans to invest a budgetary windfall on unemployment, recovery checks, and schooling as Californians got the vaccine and illnesses plummeted this spring.
The governor substituted a party at Universal Studios with costume trolls and a massive budget rally, hailing a California rebound for his weekly updates on COVID-19 cases and vaccine efforts.
Newsom Doubles Down on COVID Mandates
In the closing weeks before an election on Sept. 14, the governor has redoubled his efforts to combat the pandemic. Newsom ordered a universal school mask rule before the CDC’s deadline; he also enacted the country’s strongest vaccine mandates for educators and healthcare staff in the last month.
Meanwhile, if elected, all of the leading Republican recall contenders have promised to overturn the mandates.
BREAKING: Disney donates $32,400 to California Governor Gavin Newsom to help him fend off his anti-masker, pro-Trump recall opponent. RT TO THANK DISNEY FOR PUTTING THEIR MONEY WHERE THEIR MOUTH IS!👏👏👏
— Occupy Democrats (@OccupyDemocrats) September 2, 2021
As Delta variant fears grow and school reopenings become more tenuous, the governor sees a chance to create a sharp and scary line from himself and his contenders: if he is defeated, the virus will deteriorate, not improve.
Considering that the recall was made possible by public outrage over pandemic shutdowns, the election cycle rhetoric may appear paradoxical. In California, though, Democrats outweigh Republicans by a large margin, so Newsom’s only hope is to bring out his supporters.