The California “Department of Political Health” Mandates Covid Infection with Its New “One Day” Order (and How to Stop Them)

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

This headline from CalMatters sums up where we are with so-called “public health” these days: “California ends COVID isolation rule for asymptomatic cases as winter infections climb.” They summarize the “rule” (really an “order”):

Californians infected with COVID-19 may go about their lives without isolating or testing negative as long as their symptoms are improving, according to new and significantly loosened guidelines from the California Department of Public Health [CDPH].

California’s top public health official, Dr. Tomás Aragón, last week quietly rescinded the state’s previous order, which encouraged people infected with COVID-19 to isolate for five days.

The new health order allows Californians with COVID-19 to return to work or school as long as their symptoms are improving and they are fever-free for 24 hours without medication. Asymptomatic individuals who test positive are not considered infectious and do not need to isolate, according to the order.

(This order is even laxer than CDC’s guidance.) No doubt NC readers are already shaking their heads, appalled, and I’ll go into some detail when I look at the wording of the Order proper.

Here are the problems I see with the CDPH order:

1) The Order guarantees infection with SARS-CoV-2, a Level Three Biohazard. This is a strange policy for a public health agency to adopt;

2) The Order, an “underground regulation,” violates California’s Administrative Procedures Act (APA);

3) The Order espouses a regulatory philosophy not justified in law.

Points (2) and (3) may justify a petition to California’s Office of Adminstrative Law (OAL). If the OAL decides in favor of the petitioner, then the Order would be unenforceable under the APA.

Here I must issue the following MR SUBLIMINAL Whinging caveat: IANAL (“I am not a lawyer”). What follows is my own best interpretation of the statutory and regulatory landscape, but I’m a layperson, California public health law is complex, and California adminstrative law is even more complex (which is why they have a whole office for it). For example: Is an order a regulation? Is a regulation a rule? Do Public Health Orders have a different legal regimen from other orders? Is a “State Public Health Officer Order” in the same bucket as a “Public Health Order”? Can these orders be derived from or over-ridden by a Governor’s executive order? I feel as if some sort of Shephardizing for administrative law is required here, and I don’t have the capacity.

Therefore, readers, please regard what follows as commonsensical, inspirational, and not definitive. Remember, though, what CalMatters said: The existing, more stringent order, was “quietly rescinded.” One can only wonder why! In what follows, we’ll unpack what “quiet” means.

The CDPH Order

Here is the the order: “State Public Health Officer Order for COVID-19 Disease Control & Prevention” (the “CDPH Order” or “Order”) issued January 9, 2027 by Dr. Tomás Aragón, and containing these stirring words:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, as State Public Health Officer of the State of California, order

I’ll go into more detail in the next section, but for now check this out from the preamble (preceding “NOW….”):

Covid is not “endemic” like “other” “respiratory viral infections.” Neither the flu nor RSV produce the vascular and neurological damage that Covid does. Covid is far more lethal than either. We have Long Covid, but not Long Flu or Long RSV. In fact, there’s dispute as to whether SARS-CoV-2 should even be classified as a “respiratory virus”; its point of entry is the respiratory tract, but after that, it infects the entire body (creating, as we learned today, reservoirs of infection in bone marrow). I understand that public health has institutional imperatives (“efficiency”) that drive them to throw the Flu, RSV, and Covid into the “miscellaneous respiratory virus” bucket, but those imperatives are not health-related. Finally, according to Biobot wastewater data reinforced today, we’re in the second highest Covid transmission spike after Omicron. It’s absolutely disingenuous and tendentious to call Covid endemic. Now let’s turn to the Order.

The CDPH Order Guarantees Infection

Interestingly, the Order is sound on aerosol transmission, at least in theory; but in practice, it is not so sound. There are two sections to examine: “Close Contact” and “Infectious Period.” Both guarantee infection. Let us take each in turn.

First, “close contact.” From the Order:

All this sounds great until you come to the definition of “distinct” “indoor spaces” at the end. In practice, what this means is that an asymptomatic doctor could be in close contact with a patient in their room, and then when they go out into the hall, they can unmask — if they masked at all — and the 15-minute clock resets! (This despite the fact that Covid can infect within seconds.) Or an infected doctor…. The same with patients; the clock resets when they leave their room, and go down the hall, say to the bathroom or for treatment in another room, when the clock resets again. In other words, the Order has no notion that SARS-CoV-2 can build up over time in the entire facility (which, since Covid spreads like smoke, is a given). That guarantees infection in the institutional population, including visitors and patients.

Second, “infectious period.” From the Order:

It’s well-known in the literature — and therefore to Aragón — that Covid transmits asymptomatically (Public Health: “Overall, asymptomatic transmission was 24.51%.” Studies differ, but in no case is asymptomatic transmission negligible). Aragón must also know that even the CDC admits that Covid’s infectious period lasts at least five days. Again, from the Biobot data, we’re in the second highest spike since Omicron.

The bottom line: By forcing infected children back to schools or infected workers back to work after one (1) day, and forcing the uninfected to share air with the infected, CPDH is guaranteeing infection[1]. (Perhaps the number of those infected could be reduced with a mask mandate, but CPDH says masking is only something to “consider.”) Herding people toward spaces where infection concentrates, like schools and the workplace, seems a strange goal for a public health agency. (CPDH seems to think they can eliminate asymptomatic infection with the stroke of a pen: “For asymptomatic confirmed cases, there is no infectious period… ” (!). And what’s with that asterisk? Apparently, the “potential infectious period” is two days before symptoms through ten days after, but that’s not the real infectious period? What does that even mean? “I’m infected, but with an asterisk“?) And with that, let’s turn to the legalities.

The CDPH Order Is An “Underground Regulation”, Hence Unenforceable

What is the status of the CDPH Order? It looks to me very much like an “Underground Regulation” — remember “quietly rescinded?” Most things done underground are quiet — defined by the OAL as follows:

State agencies, with few exceptions, are required to adopt regulations following the procedures established in the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). A regulation is defined in Government Code section 11342.600:

“Regulation means every rule, regulation, order, or standard of general application[A] or the amendment, supplement, or revision[B] of any rule, regulation, order, or standard adopted by any state agency[C] to implement, interpret, or make specific the law enforced or administered by it[D], or to govern its procedure[E].”

So, “orders” fall into the “Regulation Bucket.”[2] Importantly:

If a state agency issues, utilizes, enforces, or attempts to enforce a rule without following the APA when it is required to, the rule is called an “underground regulation.” State agencies are prohibited from enforcing underground regulations.

The CPDH, as best I can determine, has violated at least three APA requirements in publishing the Order, making the Order an “Underground Regulation.” As you can see by reading the Order on the CPDH site, the Order (1) is missing a unique identification number; (2) the CDPH web site is out of compliance; further, (3) there was no hearing under the Bagley-Keene Act before the Order was promulgated. (Yves used Bagley-Keene to great effect while skewering those corrupt dolts at CalPERS). Taking these in order:

(1) Here is the relevant text from the APA on a unique identification number:

The Order has no such ID. An activist called the OAL, and was told that that “CDPH didn’t register [the Order] with a regulation number.”

(2) Here is the relevant text from the APA on the web site;

The web page does not contain the date the “rule-making action” (“regulation”) was filed with the Secretary of State (#7), although it does contain an effective date (#8).

(3) Finally, no there was no public meeting held before the Order was putatively put into effect. If a public meeting was required, it would have been required by the Bagley-Keene Act. Before digging in, let me quote the glorious opening section, 11120:

It is the public policy of this state that public agencies exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business and the proceedings of public agencies be conducted openly so that the public may remain informed.

In enacting this article the Legislature finds and declares that it is the intent of the law that actions of state agencies be taken openly and that their deliberation be conducted openly.

The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.

Hopefully, the people have retained control over decision-making by a public health body during a pandemic. Moving into the detail — that is, for a non-lawyer, beginning to juggle the snarling chain-saws — the key section seems to be 11122.5:

11122.5. (a) As used in this article, “meeting” includes any congregation of a majority of the members of a state body at the same time and place to hear, discuss, or deliberate upon any item that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the state body to which it pertains.

(b) (1) A majority of the members of a state body shall not, outside of a meeting authorized by this chapter, use a series of communications of any kind, directly or through intermediaries, to discuss, deliberate, or take action on any item of business that is within the subject matter of the state body.

In other words, as CDPH deliberated on revising the Order, they would have had to do so in a public meeting, and not privately. The only reason that would not be so is if CDPH were not a “state body,” which seems absurd. However, there is, in fact, a potential exemption to that effect at 11121.1:

As used in this article, “state body” does not include any of the following:…

(e) State agencies provided for in Section 109260 of the Health and Safety Code [HSC], except as provided in Section 109390 of the Health and Safety Code.

I believe that in fact the CDPH is governed by the HSC, or its ability to regulate is; but when I looked at the exemptions in sections 109260 and 109390 they didn’t seem relevant.

So, at least as far as I can tell, the Order was governed by Bagley-Keene. There should have been a meeting, and it should have been public. But there was no meeting. (I am told by a reliable authority that claims of Bagley-Keene violations must be filed within 90 days of the violation.)

(Yes, this is only one month, but I looked back to September.) So that’s what “quiet” means. No public meetings!

Hence, there are three reasons why the Order is an “Underground Regulation,” and OAL should stop it from being enforced, which they can do, if some kind soul files a petition to that effect.

CDPH Regulatory Philosophy is not Justified in Law

The order ends with the following intriguing sentence:

I went through all these sections of the HSC. Here they are. I have helpfully underlined the problematic sections:

120125: “The department shall examine into the causes of communicable disease in man and domestic animals occurring or likely to occur in this state.”

120140: “Upon being informed by a health officer of any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease the department may take measures as are necessary to ascertain the nature of the disease and prevent its spread. To that end, the department may, if it considers it proper, take possession or control of the body of any living person, or the corpse of any deceased person.”

120175: “Each health officer knowing or having reason to believe that any case of the diseases made reportable by regulation of the department, or any other contagious, infectious or communicable disease exists, or has recently existed, within the territory under his or her jurisdiction, shall take measures as may be necessary to prevent the spread of the disease or occurrence of additional cases.”

120195: “Each health officer shall enforce all orders, rules, and regulations concerning quarantine or isolation prescribed or directed by the department.”

131080: “The department may advise all local health authorities, and, when in its judgment the public health is menaced, it shall control and regulate their action.”

But here is what the Order is designed to do:

The statutes justifying the Order say “prevent the spread.” That is their plain meaning. The statutes do not say “prevent the spread while reducing social disruption.”[3] The nature and level of “social disruption” is, I would argue, a political question — hence the title of this post — and the statutes do not justify political engagement by the CDPH.

Conclusion

I apologize for the extremely dry nature of this post, whose juicy subject is, after all, how many members of the unwitting public the public health establishment will be able to force under the bus. I hope some of the ideas expressed here will inspire activists with more legal acumen than I possess to continue their good work, and file a petition against the Order with the OAL. I hope they have success similar to those activists who forced CDC to rethink HICPAC’s attempt to make patient protections in hospitals worse then they were before the pandemic began.[4]

NOTES

[1] DCPH even knows this. KQED:

[CDPH] in an email to KQED, elaborated that “a significant proportion of COVID-19 infections are asymptomatic or include minimal symptoms, and many people may be infected with COVID-19 or other respiratory infections and do not test or know what infection they may have.”

[2] An anonymous source — anonymous because of my caveats; I don’t want to embarass them! — threw the following over the transom, keying the wording of the Order (marked by square brackets, thus: [A], and italicized) to a showing that Government Code section 11342.600 applies:

[A] Rule, Regulation, Order, or Standard of General Application:

The COVID-19 Isolation Guidance issued by the CDPH on January 9, 2024, is a rule, regulation, order, or standard that applies to the general population of California. It provides specific guidelines and requirements for individuals who need to isolate due to COVID-19 infection or exposure.

[B] Amendment, Supplement, or Revision

By issuing the update on January 9, 2024, the CDPH is amending, supplementing, or revising the existing COVID-19 Isolation Guidance that was previously in effect. The update is intended to provide further clarification, modifications, or additions to the previous guidance, thereby altering the previous requirements and obligations imposed upon individuals subject to isolation measures.

[C] Adopted by a State Agency:

The COVID-19 Isolation Guidance update was issued by the California Department of Public Health, which is a state agency responsible for enforcing and administering public health laws within the state. As such, the update is adopted by a state agency and falls within the jurisdiction and authority of the CDPH.

The California Department of Public Health guideline was further incorporated into a regulation of Cal/OSHA, a division of the State of California Department of Public Relations, which is a state agency, on the same date of January 9, 2023, and is explicitly stated on the regulation that “These regulations apply to most workers in California who are not covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard.”

[D] Implements, Interprets, or Makes Specific the Law Enforced or Administered by the CDPH and Cal/OSHA:

The COVID-19 Isolation Guidance update is issued by the CDPH to implement and provide specific guidelines for the enforcement and administration of public health laws related to COVID-19. It clarifies the requirements for individuals who must isolate due to infection or exposure, thereby making specific the obligations imposed by the public health laws enforced by the CDPH.

[E] Governs Procedure:

The January 9, 2024, update on COVID-19 Isolation Guidance includes procedural instructions and protocols that individuals must follow when isolating. It outlines the steps to be taken, such as testing, duration of isolation, monitoring symptoms, and when it is safe to discontinue isolation. Therefore, the guidance governs the procedure that individuals must adhere to when undergoing isolation, making it a regulation within the defined scope.

An exception might be claimed if the CDPH was issued during the period of time during California’s COVID-19 State of Emergency. Due to special conditions under that Emergency Order. However, the emergency order has ended as of Feb 28, 2023 and does not provide a basis for exemption.

[3] The ideological position that public health is a matter of striking a balance between mordidity and mortality in the population and social disruption is pervasive in the public health establishment, no doubt because of the political and institutional power it brings. This version of Rule #2 was expressed in particularly vicious and reprehensible form, as we would expect, by Tufts University Infection Control [sic] officer Shira Doron (co-author of this infamous paper with HICPAC member Erica Shenoy):

“The question is, is the juice worth the squeeze?” said Dr. Shira Doron, chief infection control officer for the Tufts Medicine health system in Massachusetts. “We’re not achieving containment of the virus. So what are we getting from this policy?”

Of course, it’s not Doron’s “juice” that’s being “squeezed.” And we’re not “achieving containment” due to a catastrophic failure by the public health establishment, which they, including Doron, continue with increasing desperation to reinforce. But here we are!

[4] Where the heck are the unions on this?

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

34 comments

  1. JBird4049

    Lambert, thanks to you and your assistants for writing all this up. On the lack of prevention being used to stop efforts on prevention, it is like the link yesterday on AT&T using the declined in landline users to justify their dropping service to the entire state without mentioning the rapid and excessive increase in the cost of that service by AT&T. Cost greater than that of internet or cellphone service.

    The state seems increasingly buried in regulations that most Californians have to follow or be penalized, with increasing privatization and reduction of services, that does not affect the top ten percent of the population. This is either because they have the resources needed to not need these services or they just ignored the rules without consequences. Yet, taxes and fees always increases.

    Whenever I go to the store, almost everyone is not wearing a mask, and I wonder just how many of them are going to get Covid again and again. Ultra Blue follow-the-science crowd being led to a real and early grave because reasons by the very people that they should be able to trust and in crises like AIDS in the 1980s could do so.

    Reply
    1. Graton

      Just more of Newsom’s “Freedoms”.

      He is the dictator in waiting who will be switched out for Biden and certainly for Biden’s Number 2, the absolutely useless floating turd in the political punchbowl, Kamala Harris.

      “Eminance Grease” as he’s known, is not the only corrupt one:

      Gavin Newsom’s Wife Rakes in Cash [$800,000 from Pacific Gas & Electric] Charging California Public Schools To Screen Her Woke Movies.
      Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s nonprofit shares a number of donors with her husband

      https://apnews.com/article/philanthropy-business-government-and-politics-31a641939b215c6e7062dfa9b9956431

      Reply
      1. Yves Smith

        No, that is not correct. I have heard the results of straw polls at fundraisers heavy with West Coast billionaires (tech or tech adjacent) and Hollywood heavyweights. Newsom got 2%. And it wasn’t as if Biden did well. RFJ, Jr. was first by a lot, and with this crowd, Trump was #2! This from people in largely in Newsom’s state. The Dem establishment knows he would crash and burn in a general election.

        Reply
        1. JBird4049

          I am happy that Governor Goodhair is no longer in the running. He is one corrupt lizard but he would still be a better choice than Harris.

          My guess is that whatever group is running the White House trying to drag Biden across the finishing line, while hoping to stop Trump with increasingly desperate lawfare; the Democratic Convention will be where they will switch in or at least find a replacement for Harris.

          The establishment as a whole does not want Dean Phillips, Marianne Williamson, JFK jr., Cornel West, or Donald Trump, which are all the candidates running who look look to be competent adults. Sort of and I am not addressing their ethics or ideology. I am just looking at very basic competence and Biden as well as Kamala Harris aren’t.

          The entire national front bench, most of whom would be somewhat acceptable to the entire country excepting Biden and Harris are unacceptable to the ruling class. I am not seeing anyone from the back bench that is acceptable to both the general population and the ruling elites, as well as competent and eligible to run for the Oval Office. Not that I will vote Democratic as it is dead to me unless it does a 180 on Palestine, specifically Gaza and the West Bank. Some things are neither excusable or forgivable.

          At least a quarter of the country is qualified on paper. That is over 75 million people, and yet, our ruling elites have made such a botch of ruling this country because they must have it all their way especially the pillaging, we don’t have any suitable candidates. Well done, America.

          Reply
          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > I am not seeing anyone from the back bench that is acceptable to both the general population and the ruling elites, as well as competent and eligible to run for the Oval Office.

            [lambert mutters “Pritzker”]

            I’ve never thought Newsom was going anywhere, and have muttered several times to that effect. Even if he is a fully paid-up member of the California oligarchy, that doesn’t mean he has the stature for the national stage. He’s already “introduced himself” to the nation in several ways on the “Would you have a beer with him?” front (so much more important than mere policy). Basically, he’s too damn Californian: (1) The French MR SUBLIMINAL [snickers] laundry incident; (2) at least one affair, even while his sexuality remains undisclosed, feeding rumors (even if he did date a 19-year-old when he was 40, not that there’s anything wrong with that)[1]; (3) the hair as a class and cultural marker; (4) the dyslexia (cue deepfake of staffer reading material aloud to him, as if he were a child); (5) every media story about San Francisco or California’s decline and fall is a Newsom story (and rightly, really).

            The oppo writes itself.

            NOTE [1] And then there’s the story of his wife’s sister and the golf cart, which reminds me of Laura Bush, not that Bush the Younger was hurt by that.

            Reply
            1. JBird4049

              >>>[lambert mutters “Pritzker”]

              The whole family is… interesting. They are California-light much there is Bud light. But (going on the interwebs quickly to check) you mean governor J. B. Pritzker? I missed him. Maybe, he has all the DNC PMC markers without Newsom’s issues, but he is really another Californian in a better disguise.

              I guess they could choose him at the convention, maybe as VP. It would give him good exposure for 2028.

              Reply
              1. lambert strether

                Interesting indeed. Pritzker is the billionaire head of a billionaire clan. He’s also, AFAIK, an effective governor (Illinois readers please comment.) I don’t think he’s after the VP slot, let alone with Harris at the top of the ticket.

                Reply
      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s nonprofit shares a number of donors with her husband

        Add entanglement with the NGO scene to all the reasons listed below. All it would take to have an enormous moral panic and dogpile would be one NGO staffer doing something stupid. That wouldn’t be hard (and the beauty part there would be that when the Newsom campaign tried to throw that staffer and the NGO under the bus, Sister Souljah-style, the pushback from the (putative non-)left would be intense and lasting. “Newsom doesn’t care about [protected identity here]!!!”).

        Again, the oppo writes itself. Newsom is, I think, a fragile flower, too highly adapted to the California environment.

        Reply
  2. Roger Blakely

    Thanks, Lambert. I am not too bothered by the CDPH’s move.

    As Maria Van Kerkhove, interim director of the WHO’s Department of Epidemic and Pandemic Preparedness and Prevention, said in an interview with Scientific American: 1) we are still in a pandemic; 2) SARS-CoV-2 is rampant; and 3) masks (actually, respirators) are a no-brainer.

    I could live with the CDPH’s change if they and everybody else in public health were screaming from the rooftops that respirators are now a permanent part of the human condition.

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > I could live with the CDPH’s change if they and everybody else in public health were screaming from the rooftops that respirators are now a permanent part of the human condition.

      Rather, if a strategy of layered protection were universally advocated (and modeled). In many way, it’s the lazy thinking that focuses on single solutions that causes our problems: Vax vs. anti-vax, mask vs. anti-mask — have a ton of layers, and the issue of mandating a single solution isn’t nearly so salient.

      Reply
  3. Thistlebreath

    Unions: endorsing Biden. All else flows from that, including “you do you” and other dismissive hand waves.

    A small hope for the future of the largest unions is that new, younger members will call out the entrenched concessionary negotiators and push for better contracts and non-delusional workplace safety standards–including aerosol borne, level 3 bio hazard, highly transmissible viruses.

    Reply
  4. ChrisRUEcon

    As always … thank you. I don’t know what to say about “these people”. Sociopaths, the entire lot of them. This is social violence on an unprecedented level.

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > This is social violence on an unprecedented level.

      It is. It is good to know that the United States is still #1, retaining leadership in this important field. The Israelis are pikers.

      (Xi and the CCP run a close second, by avoiding industrial and architectural implications of #CovidIsAirborne — build and install the damn ventilation systems! — and then kowtowing to the Shanghai bourgeiosie, and the whinging international press, by abolishing Zero Covid, so slaughtering a million or so, mainly workers, but from what little I can read, it seems that science in China is moving forward.)

      Reply
      1. ChrisRUEcon

        > Xi and the CCP run a close second …

        Yeeaaah, I’m still puzzled as to why China felt it had to capitulate to Western interests on this one … and the whole septic transfer thing is fixable if you’re the same country that was standing up 1500-room hospitals in five days (via AP).

        My most generous interpretation was that it was initially done to discredit the same Shanghai bourgeoisie – the ones organizing protests and “smile” campaigns. But your point about advancing science is important. China has had a nasal vaccine since last year.

        #Sigh … musical interlude (via YouTube)

        Reply
  5. Valerie in Australia

    Thank you, Lambert, for the excellent research that went into this article and for reporting it.

    The government of California must really WANT the pandemic to thrive in their state. I’m guessing that, then, they can convince more people to get yet another booster. After all, there won’t be extra/special sick leave for those who catch Covid so what does the government care? The Show Must Go On!

    As someone who had the misfortune to have caught a bad case of Long Covid – where I could barely get off the sofa and walk across the room for three months and had to quit my teaching job – I can assure these clowns that for some, Covid is more than a bad cold. The people who will be most vulnerable will be those stressed and exhausted, pushing themselves beyond their limits (sound familiar?).

    The nightmare of being exposed over and over until a person catches the new version of Covid has so many consequences – the burden being on the unfortunate individuals who get sick.

    Reply
  6. David in Friday Harbor

    A name like “Lambert Strether” clearly indicates a desire to identify as white, male, and cis. Hangups such as “legal” and “transparent” merely serve to further our oppression by your patriarchy.

    The unions representing the California teachers are evidently grateful to Doctor Tomàs Aragòn, who possesses fully two diacritical marks in his name and is the author of slide stacks with titles such as “Building trust requires being trustworthy and trusting wisely” and “Becoming the best at getting better,” who has pronounced that they have “broad immunity from vaccination and/or natural infection.” They welcome their certain exposure to Coronavirus. That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

    Soon Kamala Harris and Gavin Newsom will follow in the footsteps of California’s great gifts to the White House, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. In the words of the great Jello Biafra: “California! Über Alles!” Ya just gotta wish harder. The pandemic is over. You do you!

    Reply
      1. David in Friday Harbor

        Couldn’t help myself. California is a death cult and Harvard-educated Doctor Tomàs Aragòn is its Pied Piper. He cannot be serious when he states that the vaccines and/or prior infection confer immunity.

        Aside from the scientific abstracts that I read almost daily at the 2:00PM Water Cooler, to believe Aragòn’s regulatory assertion I would have to ignore my own lying eyes. I had in illness at the end of 2019 that had all the classic Covid symptoms (unconfirmed since testing was not yet available).

        Chastened by how ill I had been, I’m 6x vaxxed with Moderna. Just after this past Christmas I went to a crowded art museum full of unmasked people, many coughing and sniffing. I had forgotten my mask; 72 hours later I came down with a nasty case of Covid. My wife had worn an N-95; she didn’t.

        Could it be that the teachers are being punished because their pension fund CalSTRS only kicks-down (as a percentage of AUM) about a tenth of the unearned Private Equity, Real Estate, and Health Insurance fees that the other public employee fund, CalPERS does?

        Asking for a friend who is a professional C*nsp*r*cy Th**r*st. Sorry about the coffee coming out your nose…

        Reply
        1. JBird4049

          >>>Couldn’t help myself. California is a death cult and Harvard-educated Doctor Tomàs Aragòn is its Pied Piper. He cannot be serious when he states that the vaccines and/or prior infection confer immunity.

          Death cult? I believe nihilistic is a better description although the results are often the same.

          Reply
    1. Yves Smith

      Please do not ask unreasonable questions or make unwarranted assumptions. California regularly is first out of the box with regulatory moves, although usually of the forward-looking rather than retrograde kind.

      Reply
      1. ciroc

        I see. My apologies.
        I tend to conclude that when political actors act foolishly, it is not because they are stupid, but because they have a cold-hearted agenda.

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        1. Cassandra

          Many political actors are indeed stupid. However, even the most extreme incompetence will occasionally throw up a policy that is helpful to the general public (the appointment of Lina Khan might fall in this category). When policies are so overwhelmingly toxic, though, it is hard to avoid ascribing them to malice instead. And I imagine Ms. Khan will be out before she can inflict much lasting damage, and that mistake will not be repeated.

          Reply
  7. KLG

    Great work by you and your assistants ;-)!

    COVID-19 is ripping through my workplace right now, where several have had long Covid for two years with little sustained improvement. Nothing to see here, move along. But those who test positive still have the required 5-day hiatus, sick leave or vacation, take your pick. And no “free” testing, antibody or PCR. My free-from-Genocide Joe antibody kits expired long ago (no control signal) and have been discarded.

    Reply
  8. eg

    The direction of travel was established long ago when the airline CEO’s got the captured regulators to reduce the isolation period from 10 days to 5 — this is just the latest step towards total capitulation.

    We are all on our own: no testing, no data, no masking, no adoption of indoor air quality improvements — nothing. It’s “I’ll be gone, you’ll be gone” taken to its logical conclusion.

    Govern yourself accordingly.

    Reply
  9. Goingnowhereslowly

    IANAL either, but I spent a couple of decades working on reg development at the federal EPA and am very familiar with the procedural requirements for rules there. It sounds like the California APA tracks the federal APA closely: I’d be surprised if it didn’t. Your reasoning and conclusions seem very sound to me. There might be something hiding deep in specific public health authorization laws that makes California’s actions legal—knowing these quirks is why lawyers make the big bucks—but I’d be willing to bet you are absolutely correct here. And as you imply, nothing should surprise us anymore.

    Reply

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