It is discouraging that the Laguna Beach Independent has become a mouthpiece for right-wing lack of common sense in a time that we need to rally together. At a time of crisis that could unify us, we live in a politics let by a tweeter-in-chief that spouts diatribes and divides us. In her column “Bad Facts Make Bad Law,” Republican activist Jennifer Welsh-Zeiter suggests by her very title that it is “bad law” for a judge to find that the government has the constitutional authority to order temporary beach closures in the context of a global pandemic where the virus has no vaccine and is highly contagious. The judge’s decision was good law and deciding otherwise regarding the complaint brought by a Newport Beach Republican would be dangerous. The exercise of “liberty” rights during a pandemic, if not done prudentially, can kill others.
Nowhere in her column does Ms. Welsh-Zeiter mention our responsibilities to each other, and especially those most vulnerable. We need government to organize and coordinate us so that our hospitals and caregivers do not become overrun and this pandemic is controlled. Laguna Beach is a destination and has the highest per capita rate of the virus in Orange County. How many people die depends on how our government functions. The United States has the highest number of cases and deaths from the virus in the world because of how its government has malfunctioned, although it is now being rivaled by Russia and Brazil. We need smart collective decision-making based on science, as we gradually reopen the economy, not abstract challenges to the government taking prudential action to protect us, whether involving Confederate flag-wavers in Huntington Beach or a local Republican activist in Laguna Beach provided a mouthpiece in our “free” paper.
Greg Shaffer, Laguna Beach