In an early morning Christmas Day interview, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said that governors should never have been allowed to accumulate so much power that they can lock down the economy.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has had pandemic restrictions in place, some of which include a mask mandate, limiting private gathering sizes to small groups, minimal capacity for indoor small businesses like gyms, carry-out dining only, and no onsite schools.
New York state in mid-December ordered restaurant owners to stop indoor dining again. The governor’s order came despite opposition from the beleaguered restaurant industry, which warned of holiday-season layoffs at a time when the federal government has yet to pass an additional CCP virus relief package.
Many people are leaving states like New York and California, citing pandemic restrictions. More than 126,000 people moved out of New York state between July 2019 and July 2020, according to preliminary Census Bureau data. That’s the biggest population drop of any state this year.
The Kentucky senator criticized governors locking down their economies because they have been receiving money from the federal government’s various stimulus packages, including the last CARES Act.
“The only thing that will get de Blasio and Cuomo to finally open up is when they run out of other people’s money,” Paul said.
“So I think that we shouldn’t be passing out any money to the states, we shouldn’t be rewarding their bad behavior,“ he continued. ”And really, this has probably been the worst time in the history of our country for power being accumulated into the hands of very few people.”
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been criticized for placing too many restrictions on her constituents. Citing a surge in CCP virus infections in her state, Whitmer ordered on Nov. 15 that dine-in restaurants and bars, in-person learning at high schools and colleges, and many other businesses and activities close during the three weeks between Nov. 18 and Dec. 8.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Dec. 21 that the regional stay-at-home order imposed by the state for the entirety of Southern California will almost assuredly be extended beyond next week’s expiration date.
New government data shows that the pandemic has had a moderate-to-large negative impact on over three-quarters of the nation’s small businesses, with the hardest-hit being those in accommodation and food services.
In addition to the small-business impact of the restrictions, houses of worship have been impacted by governors’ trying to restrict the number of people who can gather at places of worship or if they can be open at all.
In California, parishes, as well as Protestant, Jewish, and other religious groups were barred from holding indoor gatherings of any kind.
Paul said leaders should give good advice, not curb First Amendment rights.
“I lost two good friends this week to the virus. I’m not saying it’s not deadly,” Paul said.
“I’m not saying there’s not good advice. If you’re 85 years old and you ask me, should you go to church and sit there for two hours, I'd say my best advice is don’t. But I would never mandate that you can’t go to church. I would never mandate that you close the church. I would never mandate that you close religious school,” Paul said.