Letter to the Editor: Matter of life and death

I’m going to be blunt:  the current recall effort in California is a matter of life and death.  That is not hyperbole.  It is a matter of fact.

I read the following in a recent Letter to the Editor, by a writer who was arguing for a “Yes” vote on the recall:  “You suggest that states with Republican governments are killing people.  California leads the nation in the number of total cases and deaths, followed by New York.  Of the top ten states with the highest number of cases, seven are governed by Democrats.  Of the top ten states with the highest number of deaths, six are governed by Democrats.  These are not facts I’m pulling out of thin air, they are available for verification at usafacts.org.”

This is a perfect example of how those who have sponsored and those who support the recall effort use actual data to mislead voters.  What he reports may, indeed, be true.  But, what it fails to take into account is that California is the most populous state in the nation, more than 36% larger than the next populous state.  Therefore, California would be expected to have the most number of cases and deaths.  But, a more accurate comparison between states is not the totals of cases and deaths, but the rate at which those happen.

Using data collected by Worldometer (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus), a comparison can be made based on total cases and total deaths per million population.  When such a comparison is made, it occurs that California is only 35th in the nation in cases and 32nd in the nation in deaths.  It also becomes possible to determine that, if Governor Newsom had followed the lead of Republican governors in states like Arizona, Florida, George, South Dakota, and Texas (all of which rank much “higher” in both categories than does California), the cases and deaths in California would be considerably greater than they are.  So, for instance, based on the rates of cases and deaths in those Republican governor-led states, instead of 4,234,113 cases in California (as of August 23), there could be as many as 5,730,142 cases — a 135% increase.  And, instead of 65,140 deaths, there could be as many as 100,954 — a 155% increase.


In those other states, Republican governors have done everything possible to facilitate the spread of the pandemic, regardless of the cost to human lives.  (And, we can expect that the Republicans on the ballot wanting to replace Governor Newsom would follow the fatal lead of those Republican governors.)  In California, our governor has prioritized lives over money — which is what this recall effort is really all about.  It is thanks to Governor Newsom that California is not in the same deadly league with those Republican-governed states.
So, we have a chance before us to take a stand against COVID-19, if we do three very important things:  get vaccinated; mask up; and, vote “No” on the recall.

Paul Guffin