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Nice try, Andrea Seastrand 

In your opinion piece ("Newsom is destroying our economy," May 14), you try to blame Gov. Gavin Newsom for our current economic crisis. Come on now! Obviously, you are missing some links in your chain of logic.

Yes, the shelter-in-place orders are devastating to our economy. But in case you haven't heard, the U.S. has more COVID-19 cases and deaths than any other country. We are No. 1! We are on top because of the Trump administration's unbelievable mishandling of this pandemic. There is definitely not enough space to write every example, but let's start with the beginning: disbanding the National Security Council's Pandemic Response Unit, ignoring President Barack Obama's comprehensive pandemic response plan, and failing to help to coordinate states' efforts to obtain personal protective equipment.

Andrea, if you are going to assign blame to anyone, what you really need to do is to take your finger, turn it around, and point it right back at yourself for voting for a person who is absolutely unfit to be president, Donald Trump. This current Republican narrative isn't going to fly. Blaming any Democratic governor for the economic fallout of our COVID-19 crisis is like blaming firefighters for getting your furniture wet while they are attempting to save your house. So, for heaven's sake, stop fanning the fire with the hot air of misconstrued logic.

Also, by now, I would have thought anyone can see through Trump's game: Take credit for anything that goes well when he is not responsible, and blame others for anything that goes bad, when he is responsible. Please, stop playing it.

One would hope that we can all at least comprehend one common truth: COVID-19 is highly contagious and causes a high degree of suffering and a large amount of deaths. Newsom's rapid and very difficult response saved lives in our state. He was willing to take responsibility when Trump wasn't.

I truly understand that the current shelter-in-place orders are causing severe anxiety and terrible hardships to some people. I feel devastated, right along with everyone else. We need people to continue to participate in our democracy, but do we really need people wrapping themselves in the flag, bullying others with their weapon displays, touting "fake news" and various conspiracies, and screaming for their "freedoms?" Do we really want a president who encourages this behavior?

What we do need is true patriotism and true humanity. We need to band together, with patience and with cooperation, to find thoughtful and creative solutions to help individuals and our economy, but to also help prevent further spread of this disease and further suffering and deaths. It's not a choice between our economy or a continued cautious COVID-19 response, we need solutions for both. We need leaders who are willing to make difficult (and simple) decisions to facilitate this, even at the risk of "looking bad." We need leaders and citizens who are willing to listen to the scientific community.

I understand the need to try to keep partisanship to a minimum in times like these, but sometimes (or should I say frequently) the record needs to be set straight. Δ

Kathy Riedmann writes to New Times from Los Osos, where even the bears wear face masks. Send comments through the editor at, or write a letter for publication and email it to

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