Tony Katz: Ignoring Science, Ignoring Liberty: Governors and Coronavirus

Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via AP
AP featured image
In this Friday, March 27, 2020 photo provided by Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Gov. Andrew Cuomo, briefs the media inside a nearly completed makeshift hospital at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York. Cuomo said the state wants to build four more temporary hospitals in New York City within weeks, before coronavirus cases are projected to peak. (Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via AP)


In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the beaches closed in Orange County, while allowing sex offenders out of jail. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo forced nursing homes to comply with unsound directives, resulting in potentially avoidable deaths. In Michigan and Ohio, stay-at-home directives have been extended to the end of May by both Democratic and Republican governors. In Oregon, it extends to July. In Indiana, it’s a phased-in approach that pretends to adhere to science and liberty.

This is where America is in the age of Coronavirus: Ignoring science, but pretending to follow it. Ignoring Liberty, but pretending to believe in it.

Gov. Newsom is a foul half-wit who deserves nothing less than forced removal from office. The sex offenders he let out of jail? Horrific people whose only defenders would be Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and La Raza. Their joint histories include assault with a deadly weapon, resisting a police officer, lewd conduct in a public place, child molestation, parole violations, inflicting injury on an elder adult and a host of other charges.

No one favors this move. District Attorney Todd Spitzer:

“These kinds of high-risk sex offenders are the most dangerous kind of criminal and the most likely to re-offend,” District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement. “They are doing everything they can to avoid detection by the parole officers assigned to monitor them so they can potentially commit additional sex offenses. These are not the kind of people who should be getting a break.

As Gov. Newsom does this, he has stopped people from going to the beach. Not in all of California, just Orange County. Why? Because some people went to the beach when it was open. So, in an act of punishment masquerading as science, Gov. Newsom closed their beaches.

Yes, of course, it’s easy to see that Newsom frees criminals and criminalizes free people. But that’s to miss the larger point: Science is not Newsom’s driving factor. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles County has over 25,000 cases and over 1,200 deaths. Orange County? 2,700 cases and 52 deaths. Newsom has no interest in science; his interest is revenge, funneled through ideological power, concentrated in an imbecilic runt.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had no regard for science when he told nursing homes they must comply with mandates, and allow admittance of residents who have/may have coronavirus:

They don’t have a right to object. That is the rule and that is the regulation and they have to comply with that.

This absurd power play may have led to the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of New Yorkers. When nursing homes begged to have their positive residents sent to the field hospital and the Jacob Javits Center, they were told no. When they pleaded to send the residents to the USNS Comfort, which only had treated 179 patients, they were again told no. Yet, Cuomo continues to push the idea that we need to follow the science in re-opening the state.

The science, in this area, is clear: older Americans are more susceptible to coronavirus than younger Americans. Gov. Cuomo didn’t care. What mattered here was that his orders be followed; ignoring science if need be, dismissing the ability of citizens to pursue life, liberty and happiness.

In Ohio and Michigan, Republican Mike DeWine and Democrat Gretchen Whitmer punted, pushing their stay at home orders to May 26th. In Oregon, Democratic Governor Kate Brown didn’t just punt, she quit; deciding, obviously, that authoritarianism is much easier than democracy (Duh! We could have told you that!! – China.) Oregon’s new stay-at-home order was extended to July 6th.

I remind the people of Oregon, as I have the people of New York, that some remedies are as old as the nation’s founding itself:

There is no science that says lockdowns work. Social distancing can work, but does that require government authoritarianism? No. And it shouldn’t. And it should be fought, properly. Citizens from sea to sea and border to border should examine the emergency powers of their state executives, and question intently their elected representatives about whether such broad powers should exist.

Perhaps this is why protesters are looked at with such disdain. Author Neal Shusterman said protesters were opposed to social distancing, and are complicit in murder. That’s simply gross, and untrue. Magazines proffered that protesters were, “….mocking the dead.” (Well, if you’re gonna hyperbole, hyperbole hard!)

Protesters oppose stay-at-home orders. They oppose being unable to live their lives in a responsible way. They oppose government overreach. They oppose limitations on liberty of any kind, and certainly under the guise of non-scientific fear mongering.

(It should be noted that not all protesters handled their protests well. The purpose is to put an end to lockdowns. I support the Second Amendment in every way, and have no issue with someone carrying an AR-15, even though I’m not a fan of open carry. But if you show up in full camouflage with an AR-15 strapped to your chest, that becomes the story….not the unnecessary and constitutionally questionable lock downs. Focus your message, people!)

Trying to have it all was Indiana Republican Governor Eric Holcomb. His phased-in approach happens over the two months, offering a full opening of the state on Independence Day. How cute. Unfortunately for Hoosiers, myself being one of them, there is nothing liberty-loving about this plan.

In Indiana, libraries could open on May 4th, but restaurants and salons can’t open until May 11th, and then only at 50% capacity. Gatherings are now allowed, but limited to 25 people, unless you have a restaurant that only seats 25 people, in which case you can only have 12 people at any one time. Hair salons can open on May 11th, by appointment only. Gyms open on May 24th, which means you can sweat all over equipment with a bunch of other people, but you can’t sit elbow to elbow at an air conditioned bar anywhere in the state until June 14th, and then, only at 50% occupancy.

The playgrounds? Not until May 24th. Movie theaters? May 24th. Amusement parks, like the water park at Holiday World, they can open on June 14th, but only at 50% occupancy. The bar and the water park both are told they can operate at 50%, but clearly those are two very different numbers of people.

Visiting your mother in a nursing home? You can’t do that until July 4th.

Of his plan, Gov. Holcomb declared:

Your well-being affects not just your health but also your ability to provide for yourself,” Holcomb said. “It’s finding that sweet spot. It’s a little bit of science and it’s a little bit of art.

This is science, if you were taught by Bill Nye. And this is art, if you’re doing a poor man’s replication of Jackson Pollack. I doubt Gov. Holcomb will be winning the Nobel Prize, nor will he find his plan hanging in the Museum of Modern Art.

Holcomb’s plan is government picking winners and losers. It is as equally authoritarian as Govs. Newsome, Cuomo, Whitmer, DeWine and Brown, and equally as anti-science. Gov. Holcomb’s plan keeps no one safer, and there is no data point that he can point to in order to prove otherwise.

Easy for you to say, Tony!, the governors will bellow from their respective mansions. “You talk into a microphone while we have to make life and death decisions!”

No, governors. What’s easy is giving up on liberty, distorting science to play on fears, and expanding authoritarian powers. (Duh! We could have told you that!! – China) Liberty is hard. And too many governors have given up on it. The citizens must recognize their responsibility to keep themselves and the ones they love safe, from the virus and from those who gave up on liberty so easily.


Tony Katz is a radio host at WIBC in Indianapolis and the host of the Eat, Drink, Smoke podcast. Find more from Tony at




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