Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Leadership By Governor Buckwheat "Do As I Say Do" Northam



politico |  Tension that began with governors versus the federal government has now trickled down, pitting officials within their own states against each other in ways that have direct implications for the fight against the virus and have already landed in the courts. Future disputes could complicate plans to respond to a resurgence, tie up urgent policy issues in legal wrangling and even risk lives. 

With cases increasing in some places and falling in others — and with a second wave predicted in the fall — the new pandemic battlegrounds will be increasingly localized. 

“Cities can't wait for the federal and state government for guidance,” said Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin, who has continued to clash with West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, including last week over his decision to add tanning beds to the list of essential businesses. “There is not one single mayor that doesn't want all the lights back on and all the doors back open, but we need to be really careful about doing that.”

Experts say a one-size-fits-all approach for reopening is not an option — not when the number of new daily cases is changing at vastly different rates from city to city and state to state. Across many states that have started to reopen, governors have indeed prescribed economic restart plans based on regional metrics, not statewide figures. As that continues — and if the virus resurges — there could be even more openings for such disagreements. 

“We have to be making decisions that are hyper local. This is not one big epidemic, it’s multiple, small epidemics,“ said Caroline Buckee, an epidemiologist at Harvard University, during a Brookings Institution discussion on reopening plans. “And the decisions we make have to reflect the inequalities in the location in question and how reopening is going to impact the relationships between different neighborhoods.”

In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has faced backlash from coastal mayors over cracking down on beach use, and the Democratic governor has allowed more than 20 of the state's 58 counties to move faster than his original plan in the face of increasing pressure — and lawsuits — from those anxious to reopen.

Things escalated in Texas last week after Attorney General Ken Paxton sent letters to counties that include metropolitan hubs Dallas, Austin and San Antonio, chastising them for stricter local requirements on masks and mass gatherings that conflict with state efforts to loosen restrictions.
“Insofar as your order conflicts with the governor’s order, it is unenforceable,”