New report from San Francisco Bay Area think tank issues 'Golden Fleece' report

Ed Walsh

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Governor Gavin Newsom speaking on the drought from Lake Mendocino Office of the California Governor

The Oakland-based Independent Instutute issued its "New California Golden Fleece Report" on Thursday blaming government regulations for healthcare shorages, as a result of what it calls the "unnessary lockdowns" during the pandemic.

“If removing harmful regulations during a crisis is the moral action to help patients and save lives, it would be immoral to reimpose the same regulations when the crisis ends,” said Lawrence McQuillan, Ph.D., Independent Institute Sr. Fellow and co-author of the report.

The Oakland-based think tank said that by "enforcing regulations that created crucial healthcare shortages and prevented a fast and efficient response by public and private entities to COVID-19, the Independent Institute awards its eleventh California Golden Fleece® Award to several federal and state officials and regulatory agencies.

"California Gov. Gavin Newsom relaxed many regulations, which helped to alleviate healthcare shortages. But he usually was reactive, rather than proactive, waiting for bottlenecks to emerge. He also loaned 550 ventilators to other states at a time when Santa Clara County officials were asking for donations. And he signed multi-billion-dollar contracts with PCR-testing companies, yet PCR tests were worthless at containing the spread of the virus because test results took too long. Newsom used the resulting outbreaks to justify endless lockdowns.

"The pandemic exposed the ways that regulations are used in California to benefit narrow interest groups at the expense of consumers at large. COVID-19 taught a crash course to Californians on the downside of excessive regulation and the benefits of liberalization."

Newsbreak reached out to the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom for comment but has received no response by press time. A new story will be publshed with the Governor's comments if he responds. Click the follow button below to be notified about that story and similar stories.

Governor Newsom is facing a recall campaign as the result of his handling of the pandemic. His oppoents have argued the lockdowns have done more harm than good. Newsom has insisted that the lockdowns have saved thousands of lives and that California is poised to bounce back stronger than ever as the pandemic subsides.

In a press conference in January, after the governor loosened the lockdowns he stated, " And I want to put this in perspective. People often ask or often overlook how we’re doing vis-a-vis other states in this respect on positivity rates. We’re faring better than more than half the states in the nation. And I compare some larger states here, Florida, Texas being notable large states, Pennsylvania from a population perspective certainly, and Arizona, just in terms of its regional proximity. And so you could see those positivity rates just as a proxy example of where we are. And this, again, data from John Hopkins, based upon data that was collected on the 25th.

"Hospitalizations are down just shy of 20% now in the state over a two-week period, down. Not a rate of increased declining as we’ve seen in the past. Now we’re seeing a decreased, consistent decrease. All part of our projections, all part of our understanding in terms of the impact that positivity rates have on case rates, percentage of people that end up in the hospitals, and then a percentage still that end up in ICUs. And you see a 9.5%, close to 10% decrease over a two-week period, 14-day period, in ICU admissions, again, statewide. I’ll remind everybody this is statewide data. Each region’s a little bit different, but we are in a position, projecting four weeks forward with a significant decline in the case rates, positivity rates, we are anticipating decline still, more decline in hospitalizations and more declines in ICU, and that’s why we’re lifting that stay-at-home order effective immediately today."

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