If big city Democrats cared about stopping the coronavirus as much as they cared about blasting President Donald Trump, the businesses in their cities would be opened safely and their communities would be thriving. However, leftwing mayors like Eric Garcetti in Los Angeles have unleashed pandemic hell on their populations through their own incompetence —all while scapegoating President Trump for the problems they themselves caused.
Just as Bill de Blasio made all the wrong decisions as the coronavirus ravaged New York City, Garcetti, with nearly every move he has made, has turned the nation’s second largest metropolis into our latest deadly hotspot. Los Angeles County’s death total is nearing 4,000, well over half of California’s total. New shutdown orders are further devastating businesses and workers who often live paycheck to paycheck.
The outbreak in Los Angeles is a direct result of poor leadership at the top.
In early March, as other cities and states were responsibly calling off major mass gatherings and events because of the obvious public health concerns associated with them, Garcetti shockingly decided to move forward with the Los Angeles marathon. A decision that likely guaranteed Los Angles would begin the pandemic in a much worse position than other major cities around the country. How many people caught Coronavirus because they attended the marathon? How many people died because of it?
Sadly, we’ll never truly know.
Following the marathon debacle, Garcetti finally decided to respond to the pandemic, but unfortunately he did so with overly restrictive and ineffective lockdowns that crushed numerous businesses and killed jobs. Even worse, he eventually undermined these sacrifices by promoting Black Lives Matters protests that packed thousands into the streets. He joined the protests without a mask and then lied about it, only to finally later admit that the protests did indeed help cause the recent infection spike.
But the failures for the City of Angels’ mayor started years ago. The coronavirus has created new problems for LA, but mostly it has just exposed the many pre-existing problems.
Due to runaway illegal immigration and the cities massive unchecked homeless population, contact tracing in Los Angles is virtually useless. Combine that with Garcetti’s colossal failure to deploy widespread testing, and it’s nearly impossible to truly know how many people in the city are even infected with coronavirus. Coronavirus testing appointments in the city have filled up partly because of a paring back on testing sites and slots. Even the liberal Los Angeles Times has characterized the state and city as “unprepared, overwhelmed and constantly lagging.”
One of the big reasons President Trump has been so effective at responding to the virus is that he had all of the fundamentals of a strong country already in place: strong borders, strong economy, and strong relationships with businesses and allies. This enabled him to quickly restrict travel from China and Europe, import billions of units of PPE, and work with businesses and Congress to stave off economic disaster.
Meanwhile, years of weak leadership from Garcetti and America’s blue mayors left our cities vulnerable. Homelessness has increased by 75 percent under Garcetti. One United Nations report compared the tent city on LA’s Skid Row to a Syrian refugee camp. Garcetti has moved homeless populations indoors, leading to superspreader conditions that have only exacerbated the virus crisis. Even as he shepherds the homeless inside, he has closed scientifically proven safe venues like open air farmers markets.
After seven years of Garcetti, LA’s economy is in shambles. Businesses have fled an onerous business tax, which Garcetti promised to eliminate but hasn’t. Garcetti has also made no attempt to control the city’s pension crisis, which is now consuming 20 percent of its budget. Even while he was extremely slow to reopen the economy following the first wave, his other poor choices still led to a second wave, meaning he killed jobs and destroyed businesses for no reason. He’s now encouraging citizens to snitch on LA businesses who don’t follow his crushing lockdown orders, as if they haven’t suffered enough.
On the other hand, President Trump has brought a lifetime of business savvy into his economic response. He has used every tool at his disposal to provide relief, instructing the Small Business Administration to provide loans, the Treasury Department to defer tax payments, and Congress to pass an unprecedented relief bill.
The Administration declared a public health emergency in January, long before the so-called experts said to, which helped bolster response efforts. President Trump has also taken bold steps to incentivize the development of therapeutics and vaccines to treat and prevent the spread. And working across the public and private sectors, he continues to drastically expand testing capacity.
Despite this decisive effort, democrats and the media are attempting to blame President Trump for the failures of others.
Fortunately, many of LA’s own citizens are not fooled by the media’s propaganda. A movement is brewing to recall Eric Garcetti as mayor, but thanks to Garcetti’s extended shelter-in-place orders, citizens are not allowed to gather the necessary signatures—a suspiciously convenient outcome for the mayor, as Tucker Carlson and others have noted. Unfortunately for him, he can’t escape his failures forever. The calls for Garcetti to be recalled are getting louder.
Just as a pre-existing condition can make the coronavirus deadly for a person, so too has the pre-existing condition of failed democratic leadership made the virus deadly for our biggest cities. Let’s hope Eric Garcetti gets the recall he deserves. The sooner the better for Los Angeles.
Andy Surabian is a Republican strategist and adviser to Donald Trump Jr. Previously, he served as Special Assistant to President Trump and Deputy Strategist inside the White House.