Gavin Newsom: We Should Curtail Large Gatherings — Except for Disneyland, Theaters, and Casinos [UPDATE – Sanders Gets in on the Act]
[guest post by JVW]
In our daily Coronavirus round-up:
Gov. Gavin Newsom Wednesday evening announced that California public health officials have determined that gatherings of more than 250 people should be postponed or canceled across the state until at least the end of March.
“Changing our actions for a short period of time will save the life of one or more people you know,” Newsom said in a statement. “That’s the choice before us. Each of us has extraordinary power to slow the spread of this disease. Not holding that concert or community event can have cascading effects — saving dozens of lives and preserving critical healthcare resources that your family may need a month from now. The people in our lives who are most at risk — seniors and those with underlying health conditions — are depending on all of us to make the right choice.”
Smaller events must be limited to no more than 250 people and can only take place if organizers can implement social distancing of six feet per person and gatherings of people who are at higher risk for severe illness from coronavirus should be limited to no more than 10 people and also follow the social-distancing guidelines, the statement said.
According to the state’s updated policy, a gathering is now defined as “any event or convening that brings together people in a single room or single space at the same time, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, cafeteria or any other indoor or outdoor space” and applies to “all nonessential professional, social and community gatherings regardless of their sponsor.”
Pretty ordinary in comparison with what other affected areas are doing, right? But then the kicker which arrived in the last hour or so:
Disneyland and other large theme parks will not required to comply with California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order against large gatherings to counter the spread of COVID-19.
Newsom said California public health officials issued an updated policy saying “non-essential” gatherings such as sporting events, concerts and conferences should be postponed or canceled until at least the end of March.
At a news conference Thursday, Gavin said Disneyland and other large theme parks, theaters and casinos are exempted from his order against gatherings of 250 people or more due to coronavirus due to the “complexity of their unique circumstances”, but discussions remain ongoing.
I gave President Trump a hard time last night for his awful and misleading speech to the American people, so it’s only fair that I also point out how mealy-mouthed and mercenary the exemption for major entertainment industries sounds. Looks like it’s a race to the bottom in terms of effective messaging during this crisis.
UPDATE: Senator Bernard Sanders decided to climb fully aboard the Beclownment Train by suggesting that we need to prepare for World War II levels of deaths here in the U.S. Just a reminder that we lost over 400,000 men in that war and had another two-thirds of a million wounded. Naturally he proposed single-payer health care as the answer for keeping us safe. He is just a nasty old Marxist and a wretched human being.
UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I certainly don’t favor single-payer health care, but I have to say that Bernard Sanders is probably right about World War II levels of death. I heard one Johns Hopkins expert yesterday posit the possibility of 800,000 deaths over the next year as not being unrealistic, and another today say that 480,000 deaths in the next three to seven months is a conservative estimate, with 96 million cases and 48 million hospitalizations. This includes people in their 40s and 50s and not “just” older people.