Open Letter to Governor Newsom to Reopen Our Schools and Businesses
August 19, 2020
This is a public plea to California Governor Gavin Newsom: Please, the time has come for every school and every business in the First District of San Bernardino County to reopen.
The First District has a population of 438,694, with 64 COVID deaths. Our confirmed County of San Bernardino hospitalization cases have been steadily dropping since July 25 from 638, down to 445 as of Aug. 15. While every death is tragic, we need to realize the tremendous damage being done to the fabric of society, from lost jobs, destroyed businesses, rising drug and alcohol abuse, increases in crime and aggression. All of this is backed up by scientific data, so let’s follow the science.
One in four Americans ages 18-24 considered suicide within the past month, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control. And 40 percent of American adults are struggling with mental health issues or substance abuse. In some parts of California, doctors report seeing more deaths by suicide than from COVID. These aren’t cold, hard statistics; they are living, breathing human beings who are suffering under the state lockdown orders.
And as every parent knows, the lockdown is profoundly harming students – both in terms of their educational progress and their mental state.
CDC Director Robert Redfield said, “having the schools actually closed is a greater public health threat to the children than having the schools reopen.” The fact is, students in California have a far greater chance of being killed on the way to school than from dying of COVID.
The closure orders are creating absolute chaos in our schools. Our school districts have been working tirelessly over these past few months to establish functioning models that protect teachers, staff and everyone involved with the educational process in preparation for the 2020-21 school year. Many districts recently made announcements on how their traditional, hybrid, or distance learning plans would be rolled out. But under the broad brush of one-size-fits-all policies, virtually all schools are shut down under the governor’s orders. Local superintendents, principals and school boards should make local decisions in the best interest of local residents.
Closure orders have crushed businesses – at least those that didn’t win the favor of a special exemption. California is lagging the U.S. recovery because of state lockdown policies.
The science shows us that 82.5 percent of COVID deaths in California are among those 60 and older. We can safely isolate those who are most vulnerable and lift the closure orders. The truth is that the state of California does not know the actual COVID fatality rate, because they do not know the actual infection rate. Yet, with inadequate information, the state, without the consent of the state Legislature, is destroying families’ incomes, crushing the economy, irreparably harming students’ education and pushing millions to the point of desperation.
So, Gov. Newsom, please, follow the data. Gov. Newsom, reopen our schools. Reopen our businesses.
I encourage every parent and every business to contact the Governor’s office and respectfully insist that he lift closure orders for San Bernardino County’s First District.
The Governor’s office may be reached at (916) 445-2841 or https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov40mail/