By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
#1. Governor Kate Brown has been hiding. Oregon Governor Kate Brown has been hiding from the media for over 40 days (without a media session) during the summer surge. Gov. Brown has been absent from the public eye, absent from visiting rural Oregon, and is only seen when she issues new mandates.
#2. Gov. Brown acting alone. Gov. Brown is enacting mandates without the participation and voices of our elected lawmakers. If you having problems getting Oregonians to listen to your mandates, it helps by including regional representatives who can first, craft a better policy, and second, better communicate them to their local constituents. Gov. Brown does not have to do this alone, but she has since the pandemic started.
#3. Gov. should be increasing hospital capacity. Billions in Covid aid has come to Oregon and that money (instead of being used to lavish upon art museums and bailout liberal nonprofits) should have been focused on increasing hospital capacity. We have 670 Oregon Covid hospitalizations that is quickly filling up available bed spaces. We need greater capacity, not just for Covid but for all future pandemics and catastrophes as well. Are Oregon hospitals ready for an earthquake like the one that hit Haiti this weekend? Is Oregon ready for an Omega Covid variant? Last year, the Oregon National Guard set up a large field hospital but was dismantled for non-use. Hospitals and health care providers currently are forced to use as little resources as possible as health care regulations like Obamacare mandate them to pay for everything politicians deem free to patients. Hospitals need the help from government which is working against them when it comes to having overflow capacity. Roughly 20% of the 670 hospitalizations require intensive care, meaning the vast majority of Oregon’s cases will expectingly recover and just need time and basic care. Expanding capacity can do just that.
#4. Divisive school mask policy. Gov. Brown mandating masks in schools is highly controversial. Oregon is only one of four states (LA, HI, NV) to require masks for students. Since the beginning, young people have the smallest hospitalization rates (furthermore, any death from those cases have been cut nearly in half since we advanced so far in treatment methods). Nature has reported an England study where it reveals that children under 18 showed a rate of 2 children deaths per million children dying from Covid. This makes it a hard justification for parents to accept. Even more so since Oregon was among the first dozen states to both close schools and last to re-open. Oregon parents have already been asked to shoulder a greater burden than most states, and now they are asked to do this again. At some point, no matter what the good intentions your rule has, you quickly begin to break public trust and tolerance, which in turn begins to erode all the other mandates as well. Gov. Brown has far exceed this point. The end result is massive statewide protests this month and a breakdown in communication.
#5. Dropping graduation requirements. In absolute secrecy and behind closed doors, Governor Brown signed a bill lowering education graduation requirements for students. This drew sharp criticism nationwide including The Wall Street Journal which said Oregon was dumbing itself down stating “It is a terrible disservice to issue a diploma that fools them into believing they’ve mastered basic skills they haven’t. It is particularly cruel for the minority students who will pay the highest price when the real world confirms that their high schools have defrauded them of a real education.” As stated previously, Oregon students and parents already paid a higher burden than other states which makes this decision even more painful.
We want the Governor to be successful in reducing the Covid threats, but she is mishandling the crisis with mistakes that indeed can be corrected.