More than a week has passed since President Joe Biden declared the COVID-19 pandemic “over,” but one of the leading Democrats vying to succeed him has not received the message. Even as his state moves on, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has yet to act on legislation that would punish medical doctors deemed guilty of spreading COVID “misinformation.”
The bill, AB 2098, is sitting on Newsom’s desk after passing out of the supermajority Democratic-controlled California legislature. If enacted, doctors who deviate from the left’s preferred party line would find their livelihood in the hands of faceless bureaucrats at the Medical Board of California. Exact punishment could include, “license suspension or revocation could be involved.”
Think about that a second: a doctor who advises a patient on a course of action different than a COVID vaccine could find themselves out of work. Meanwhile, the CEO of Pfizer, recipient of four separate vaccines and his company’s Paxlovid antiviral treatment, announced he had tested positive for the illness again — for the second time in two months.
Even deep blue California is ready to put COVID in the rear-view mirror once and for all. The New York Times acknowledged the “quiet rollout” of the latest booster shot “may be an acknowledgment of how many people have moved on from the pandemic.” State health officials lifted vaccine and testing mandates for schoolteachers, claiming, “vaccination rates are high and testing the few unvaccinated workers isn’t effectively preventing the virus’s spread.”
Not only do the mandates remain in place for medical professionals, but the stakes are poised to get even higher if this bad bill becomes law.
Good policy leads to good politics, a lesson Newsom would be wise to heed as he angles for higher office. He may deny his ambitions with his words, but his actions tell a different story. This weekend, he headlined the Texas Tribune Festival where he urged an overhaul of his party to avoid “getting crushed” by Republicans.
The governor has made headlines from going toe-to-toe with several of his red state counterparts in high profile media spats. He has even planted billboards in several of their states encouraging widespread re-location to California.
So far, few are taking Newsom up on the offer. In fact, the Golden State shed nearly 370,000 net residents from June 2021 to June 2022, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. There are a litany of factors fueling this trend, including high taxes (the personal income tax is highest in the nation) and soaring crime.
It’s hard to turn on a television or open a newspaper without stumbling over a headline of some whacky new policy. Banning gas-powered cars while approving the composting of human remains, to name a couple. It’s enough to drive any sensible person to find a new home.
When faced with uncomfortable questions about his shrinking population base, Newsom has blamed, “visa policies in the Trump administration,” which of course ignores the nearly 100,000 residents who decamped for Texas, among other places.
Before Newsom can convince voters to elect him president, he must demonstrate he can govern his own state. He must show that California is more than a breeding ground for extreme ideas. Or a place where COVID mandates apply to everyone except the governor and well-heeled donors dining at the French Laundry.
Vetoing a bill that would cost doctors their jobs for speaking truth to power would be a good place to start.
Paul E. Marik, MD, is Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of the Frontline COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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