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By Supervisor Jim Desmond
5th District 

Should we open businesses "or" stay safe?

 

Last updated 5/21/2020 at 5:36am



Should we open businesses “or” stay safe? It is not an either/or answer – we can do both. It’s about moving from essential to safe. San Diego County can stay safe and be open for business.

We proved it with the essential businesses being open, and flattening the curve and trends at the same time.

We are a government of, for and by the people.

We, the people of California, are facing the state’s new restrictions that hold our freedoms, our jobs and our economy hostage. As recently as May 7, the governor created a new unattainable goal for continuing the effort of opening businesses.

For noncompliance to an unattainable goal, he is threatening local governments that attempt to get people back to work, with the loss of state tax funds and your dollars. He is threatening small-businesses owners, who are only trying to survive, by revoking previously earned, and certified, professional licenses.

Not only did he move the goalposts – he tore them down.

For us to move beyond the current limited curbside business, the governor’s new order requires San Diego county to have no, coronavirus-related deaths for 14 consecutive days.

San Diego County, with a population of 3.3 million people, has little to no chance of achieving 14 consecutive days with zero, COVID-19-related deaths. It is an impossible, unobtainable hurdle that will stagnate any forward progress toward moving beyond, curbside retail.

Ninety-seven percent of the unfortunate deaths in San Diego County related to coronavirus had underlying health complications. Of the 175 San Diego County coronavirus-related deaths to date, six were due solely to the virus.

To open businesses, we must continue to protect our most vulnerable and abide by our public health officer’s personal protection orders of the masks, gloves, social distancing and handwashing.

We, the people, have done what is asked of us: We, not the government, flattened the curve. We, not the government, reduced the trend. We, not the governor, want to stay healthy and see our economy thrive.

We now have, over 25% unemployment, in San Diego County. The people making the decisions to keep your businesses closed are all collecting their pay, pensions and health benefits.

We, the people, can stay healthy, abide by the personal protection requirements and be open for business.

Government can’t run a business. Government can obviously ruin them but not run them. The governor has shuttered the people’s businesses, while the corporations and large big boxes thrive.

You can get baked goods at Costco but not your local bakery. You can buy clothing at Walmart but not at an independently owned clothing store.

We safely can get thousands of people a day through grocery stores but not a furniture store. Not an electronics store, nor a car dealership can be fully open for business.

We, the people, can create safe environments within all our businesses. It isn’t a choice of either/or. We can get our economy going and keep our county safe.

I believe we need to continue to follow all of San Diego County’s health officer’s personal safety protections. We need to allow more nonessential businesses to open.

Law enforcement should focus on health protection orders. Not unattainable orders. Businesses should set the gold standard of health safety. Empowering all their employees to enforce health and safety regulations.

I’m calling for the safe opening of retail stores beyond curbside pickup, the safe opening of restaurants for dining in and the safe opening of offices and large retail warehouse business.

I’m asking our sheriff and law enforcement officers to prioritize enforcement of safety guidelines at all businesses, rather than essential versus nonessential.

We can open businesses and be safe. And I’m calling on complete local control. Let Gov. Gavin Newsom know we, the people, will rise to this challenge.

We, the people, can stay healthy; we, the people, can follow personal health guidelines and we, the people, can safely be open for business.

 

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