Rhode Islanders Are Adults and Have a Right to Explanations

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Here’s a clip from WPRI’s coverage of Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo’s latest daily COVID-19 statement that shows an absolutely unacceptable attitude from the governor:

Asked about the latest projections from the University of Washington — which now predict nearly 1,000 Rhode Islanders will die due to COVID-19 and the outbreak will peak in the state later this month — Raimondo said the school’s model has been updated after conferring with Rhode Island officials. She again declined to share the state’s own predictive modeling, but indicated she thinks the peak could be as late as mid-May.

“If anyone tells you they know exactly when Rhode Island’s peak is, and what the number of hospitalizations will be at that peak, they’re not being honest with you,” she said.

The governor is making decisions that have profound effects on our lives, including the exercise of direct executive authority to do things that would not normally be permitted in a representative democracy.  She has an obligation to explain herself to the public.  “Take my word for it; I’m the boss, and I have the best of intentions” is not good enough.  (That’s a characterization, not a quotation, if you weren’t sure.)

How many deaths does the governor project Rhode Island will experience, and how many does she expect to avert by taking this or that action?  These aren’t idle questions from a Don’t Tread on Me enthusiast.  Every new restriction on our activity comes with a price-tag in health and lives.  In rough numbers, Rhode Island experiences just under 400 suicides and drug overdoses each year; how much is poverty, isolation, and idleness going to drive up those numbers?  Does the governor have a model for that? 

Tough-gal talk about driving around the state and “you’re not going to want to be in that group” if she has to “break up any crowds” is (maybe) how you manipulate teenagers, not how you communicate with adults.  Today, she went farther and asked Rhode Islanders to begin ratting each other out and social-media shaming people in large groups or long lines.

Declaring a slow-rolling state of emergency for months on end does not make us subjects, and the governor’s legitimacy requires complete transparency so we can evaluate for ourselves whether her actions are justified.

Of course, it doesn’t help that our legislators are proving that they lack the courage to fulfill their role in our government during this tricky time.