I want to thank Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo), along with supervisors and mayors of SLO County, who signed his letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom advocating for a loosening of shelter-at-home restrictions in our county. Given the paucity of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, coupled with our high health care capacity, Mr. Cunningham's request for a "phased reopening of our economy" is reasonable. According to recent reports from Journal of the American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 90 percent of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 had at least one underlying health condition, while statistics from New York City demonstrate that 88 percent of hospitalizations had two or more chronic illnesses.
While the governor is resisting the call for local control, claiming accurately that the virus knows no jurisdiction, it's also true that vulnerable populations can be easily identified and protected with continuing shelter-at-home support, while the rest of us return to earning a living. Even in the best of times, many in our county are on the brink financially, and I am concerned about severe and long-lasting financial consequences to these individuals. Economic hardship comes with a well-documented array of negative health outcomes, and I support Mr. Cunningham's actions to prevent "catastrophic public health issues" that will result from a prolonged shuttering of our economy.