We must demand more from Governor McKee as he grabs power.
If this is all it takes for the governor to declare “a new state of emergency,” we’re in deep, deep trouble. We may never, ever be in a state of non-emergency ever again.
Enough is enough.
No real argument is made. No sources are cited (only vaguely referenced). No legal authority is defended. Any deliberation happened behind a closed bureaucratic door. In short, we no longer have a representative democracy.
Three parts are worth teasing out from the executive order. First:
WHEREAS, the Delta Variant is more than twice as contagious as recent variants, and 3-4 times more contagious than the original strain, leading to a significant increase in transmission among those who are not vaccinated and breakthrough infection in some people who are fully vaccinated;
To slow the original strain, we did massive harm to our economy, the psychological well-being of our people, and the development of our children. Despite lockdowns, mask mandates, social distancing, forced business closures, and all the rest, the state still tallies 159,355 known infections, 10,861 hospitalizations, and 2,752 COVID deaths. If the Delta Variant is so much more infectious and has “a viral load 1,000 times greater than the original strain,” going down the same road would be a disastrous waste of time.
That’s a major tell that this order is political bull manufactured by throwing any scary-sounding number they could find into a document.
WHEREAS, though it is summer – a traditionally slower time for hospital admission -Emergency Department admissions in all hospitals in Rhode Island are exceeding capacity and hospitals are on rolling diversion of patients due to increased patient volumes;
WHEREAS, there has been a consistent increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths since July 4, 2021 and RIDOH modeling data project, by the first few weeks of September, that the number of people in Rhode Island hospitals may exceed hospital capacity;
The latest data from the state says there are 95 people currently in RI hospitals testing positive for COVID. The peak so far was 505 in December 2020. Yet, the governor is giving the impression that hospitals are turning people away and fearing the worst. We’ve heard all this before. Enough.
WHEREAS, since vaccines are only authorized for people 12 and older, people less than 12 years old are particularly susceptible to infection from the Delta Variant, which is more likely to affect children than the original strain;
Where is the evidence for this? Unless I’ve missed something, if you read all the information out there deeply and broadly, you’ll see this is mere promotion of an unproven fear. As I’ve recently argued in this space, Rhode Island’s experience does not justify the claim that Delta is worse for kids, and some of the more concerning claims being made are based on misrepresentations of the studies they cite.
But even if the point is arguable, is this really grounds for the governor to throw our rights out the window in the name of an emergency?
Folks, it’s a simple fact of life that people get sick and people die. Our forefathers secured our liberty at a time when life was immensely more difficult and risky than it is now. Don’t sell them out.
Featured image by Daniel Adesina on Unsplash.