With COVID-related hospitalizations on the rise, but with little to no data demonstrating that shutdowns actually help slow the spread of the virus, Austin Mayor Steve Adler (D) has ordered a partial restaurant and bar shutdown across the New Year’s holiday in the city.
Restaurants don’t appear to be major COVID spread vectors, yet they’re being shuttered (again).
If shutdowns worked, California would be in the COVID catbird seat. It’s one of the nation’s most shut down states, with 47 counties on stay-at-home shutdown. But the San Francisco Chronicle says California has the worst COVID surge in the nation, by far. It’s considering rationing healthcare because its COVID surge is so strong.
Florida, meanwhile, is far more open, and is suffering much less of a COVID surge.
The wisdom of shutdowns is scientifically questionable, and economically ruinous.
“This shutdown order by Austin isn’t allowed. Period. My executive order stops cities like Austin from arbitrarily shutting down businesses. The city has a responsibility to enforce existing orders, not make new ones.”
Cities exist because states allow them to.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) weighed in.
Then, on Wednesday evening, the AG’s Office announced he filed a petition for temporary injunction and temporary restraining order in Travis County to stop the order’s enforcement. In the statement, Paxton said:
“The fact that these two local leaders released their orders at night and on the eve of a major holiday shows how much contempt they have for Texans and local businesses. They think breaking the law is a game of running the clock before anyone can do anything about it.
Texas is a law-and-order state, and these are lives and livelihoods that are at stake.
I’ll continue to defend them against the arbitrariness of the mayor and county judge.”
Making violations a “criminal offense” is an ironic touch. Adler led the defunding of Austin’s police back in August. That led to a demoralization of the police force and a very high rate of attrition from it. More are expected to leave once Adler’s cuts take force in January.
In an interview with KXAN on Wednesday night, Adler responded to Paxton’s filed petition, and he says he’s prepared to defend the city and Travis County in court.
“We’re going to defend it in court. We hope that we win… if we don’t win I want to remind the community that just because the government says you can do things that make the community less safe doesn’t mean you have to do them.”
Adler said he has no plans to rescind the order.
Also, recall that around Thanksgiving, Adler encouraged Austin to just stay home — while he was lounging in luxury in Cabo. Whatever was left of his credibility stayed in Cabo.
Austin, TX Mayor Steve Adler issues instructions to stay home while he vacations in Mexico. Image from social media.
The whole thing is mad. If Adler’s order accomplishes anything, it will have helped created an untold number of New Year’s house parties all over the city, since people can’t go out to bars and restaurants, and Austin remains a college town with a state government jammed into it.
Local radio host Todd Jeffries wondered how Adler even intends to enforce his order.
The Texas Legislature convenes in its 87th session in January. There’s a bill in the works to take the Austin Police Department away from Adler and the city council, and transfer it to the state.
There’s rumbling all over Austin that Adler and the left-wing city council had ruined the city even before the pandemic. Republican Mackenzie Kelly just defeated Democrat and anti-police incumbent Jimmy Flannigan in a city council runoff, indicating danger in the air for other Democrats in the deep blue city. Nationally, after Dr. Fauci has been caught in yet another sleight-of-hand, atop months of extremely arbitrary shutdowns and clampdowns on churches (!) but not riots (!), the shutdown regime has no credibility left whatsoever.