California Gov. Gavin Newsom's management of the COVID-19 pandemic in his state is proof that he "cannot be recalled fast enough," former acting Director of National Intelligence and ambassador Ric Grenell says in an opinion piece.
"(His) management through the COVID-19 crisis is nothing short of unabashed political opportunism, wrapped in pompous hypocrisy," Grenell, who lives in Southern California, writes for Fox News. "His most recent decision to arbitrarily lift his own statewide lockdown order should be a siren song to every Californian: Newsom will make decisions that benefit him politically with no regard for science or the people of California’s physical, mental or economic health."
His comments come as many of Newsom's opponents say his decision to lift lockdowns while Southern California's intensive care unit capacity remains at zero percent has more to do with the numbers growing on petitions for a recall vote for Newsom than it does for public safety. His opponents earlier this week were within 300,000 signatures out of 1.5 million needed for the vote, with a deadline for more signatures still six weeks away.
Grenell added that Newsom's order for an indefinite lockdown in early December 2020, coming at a time when the state's small businesses were regaining some footing also came when almost half the companies were at risk of closing.
"It was also after business owners reinvested thousands of dollars to meet Newsom’s new guidelines and operate in a safe and responsible way," said Grenell.
"San Mateo County Health Officer Scott Morrow may have had the most straightforward assessment of the new lockdown, 'I’m not sure we know what we’re doing,'" Grenell added. "Speaking as a health professional, his sincerity was as concerning as it was illuminating."
But the closures, like Newsom's order to open, had "everything to do with his personal politics," said Grenell.
"The selfish ambitions of a career politician are not new or unsurprising," Grenell concluded. "But what is unacceptable is what he was willing to sacrifice to create a favorable political environment for himself ... Californians from every walk of life are suffering because of the failed leadership of this governor. Our state, quite literally, cannot afford to wait another two years to replace Newsom."
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