Embattled Newsom Faces Dilemma as Prospect of New Calif. Lockdowns Looms

'Because we're starting to see these highly transmissible strains, it is only a matter of time for us to be exposed again...'

(Headline USA) California Gov. Gavin Newsom‘s overreach and hypocrisy during his Trump-era pandemic response earned him a recall election that now threatens to derail his once shining political career.

But his desire to curry favor with fed-up constituents may find itself at odds with a Biden administration that, facing a decline in coronavirus vaccination rates, seeks to punish conscientious objectors to the experimental shots.

Led by the China-corrupted World Health Organization, globalist pro-lockdown authorities including President Joe Biden and US coronavirus czar Anthony Fauci are hyping a new strain of COVID-19 from India that could “pick off” unvaccinated individuals with symptoms reportedly similar to the common cold or seasonal hay fever.

Many of those who decline to be vaccinated have done so based on an informed decision that they fall into a low-risk category for suffering adverse effects of the virus and would be better off obtaining natural immunity.

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Some also may have avoided the shot for themselves and their children out of concern that there is an elevated risk of suffering adverse effects from the untested vaccines themselves.

One common, unifying factor is that many are conservative supporters of former president Donald Trump who remain deeply skeptical of the disinformation campaign waged during the pandemic.

As a result, health autocrats like Fauci are now formulating how they can specifically target the holdouts for punishment while allowing compliant citizens to go about their daily lives.

California broadly reopened its economy barely two weeks ago.

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But the so-called delta variant has left-wing health officials on edge and already has prompted Los Angeles County to strongly recommend everyone resume wearing masks inside.

While studies of the new strain showed a minuscule mortality rate of only about 0.8%, they have returned to their gimmick of using reported cases as the primary metric for policy determinations.

While many states—including Texas—have celebrated milestones of no cases reported, the nation’s most populous state is averaging close to 1,000 additional cases reported daily, an increase of about 17% in the last 14 days.

Officials expected an increase when capacity limits were lifted for businesses and most mask restrictions and social distancing requirements were eliminated for vaccinated people.

But public health officials raised concern this week with the more transmissible delta variant supposedly spreading among the unvaccinated, who comprise the vast majority of new infections.

LA County, where a quarter of the state’s nearly 40 million people live, recommended Monday that vaccinated residents resume wearing face coverings indoors after detecting that about half of all cases were the delta variant.

“The new wrinkle in this is really this new variant. It just sort of rips very quickly through people who are susceptible to being infected, which overwhelmingly is people who are not vaccinated,” said Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, professor of epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco. “We just opened up two weeks ago, everything was hunky dory.”

As his recall election heated up, Newsom desperately lifted a series of pandemic-related restrictions on June 15 following a final push to get more people vaccinated. But with thousands of new immigrants arriving daily from Mexico, some already infected with the virus, a rate approaching 100% seems unlikely.

Everyone 12 and older is eligible for shots. Among that population 59% of Calfornians are fully vaccinated and another 10% has received a first dose.

In Contra Costa County, where 72% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated, officials recently began publishing virus case rates by vaccination status.

Since the county has a high inoculation rate, the number of new coronavirus cases is generally low but unvaccinated residents remain at risk, claimed Chris Farnitano, the county’s health officer.

For example, the seven-day average of new virus cases per 100,000 people in the county was recently 7.0 for those who are unvaccinated, and 0.4 for those who are vaccinated.

“The overall numbers don’t look that concerning, but we know that there’s this population that hasn’t been vaccinated that still is at very high risk, and those overall numbers can give a false sense of security thinking COVID is still under control where it’s still spreading quite rapidly among the unvaccinated population,” Farnitano said.

Vaccination rates vary widely across California. A San Francisco ZIP code reports more than 95% of those eligible are fully inoculated, while one in rural Modoc County has a 37% rate, according to state data.

Health officials said areas with low vaccination rates are especially at risk as the delta variant, first reported in India, spreads across the United States. The variant — which accounts for a fifth of new U.S. infections — was found in 15% of specimens sequenced in California in June, up from 5% in May.

In Orange County, the variant accounts for 45% of sequenced cases in the most recent week, claimed Regina Chinsio-Kwong, the county’s deputy health officer. Contact tracers reaching out to those infected with the virus find 95% are unvaccinated, and the few who are vaccinated report minor symptoms and aren’t hospitalized, she said.

“Because we’re starting to see these highly transmissible strains, it is only a matter of time for us to be exposed again,” she said. “So the question is how severe is the illness going to be when you actually get COVID.”

Public health officials said they hope measures like the one taken by Contra Costa County might help encourage more people to get the shots.

“It’s a demonstration in the real world, outside of the clinical trials, of the power of the vaccine,” said Andrew Noymer, a public health professor at University of California, Irvine.

“COVID is going to seek out unvaccinated populations,” he claimed, echoing recent talking points by Fauci. “The virus has a way of just sort of bouncing around until it finds a host it can infect, and those will be unvaccinated people.”

Newsom, meanwhile, has appeared increasingly desperate in his bid to save his governorship, but unforced errors are already taking their toll.

The California legislature recently passed legislation to bump up the election date, with the assumption being that less campaign time could take advantage over public goodwill regarding the lack of lockdowns.

However, that puts him in a major dilemma if he is obligated to re-institute some sort of lockdown or partial lockdown.

More than likely, he will selectively target red counties with lower vaccination rates if such a measure does occur.

Meanwhile, he was scrambling to sue his own secretary of state after forgetting to include his party affiliation on his filing paperwork. That means, barring a favorable court decision, there would be no “Democrat” next to his name on the ballot.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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