California Governor Gavin Newsom is doubling-down on his stance that the state will adhere to the new theme park guidelines issued last week, regardless of the fact that other Disney parks and theme parks are open elsewhere in the country and elsewhere in the world.

What’s Happening:

  • During California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Wildfire and COVID-19 update today, it was pointed out that there is growing frustration and anger with residents, especially in the home of the Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, that the park has yet to open when elsewhere in the country and the world other Disney parks have been allowed to reopen with safety measures in place.
  • Newsom was asked what he would say to those people who not only work at the park, but the folks who have businesses nearby that are shutting down, and the city officials that are losing tax revenue, why they can’t open the parks here.
  • Newsom cited large amounts of data regarding the increasing transmission rates of COVID-19 across the country and also in the state, saying everyone should be alarmed by that information, adding that theme parks, by their very nature see “people mix from every conceivable walk of life and put themselves and others at increased risk.”
  • Newsom also pointed out that he respectfully understands because he, “as someone with four young kids,” the desire for those that want to be entertained and get back to some sense of normalcy.
  • In the end, Newsom said what we’ve already heard from him, that the state is going to be driven by data and science and to be driven by public health first.

What They’re Saying:

  • California Governor Gavin Newsom: “The bottom line is we are seeing an increase in the transmission rates of COVID-19 in the vast majority of states in this nation, that’s self evident, that should be alarming to all Americans.

Self-evidently we should be concerned about opening up a large theme park where by definition people mix from every conceivable walk of life and put themselves and others at increased risk of seeing transmission rates rise.

Now, you bring up one theme park. California has dozens and dozens of theme parks. You bring up one particular operator of a theme park that does things very very differently than other operators of other theme parks. You have theme parks that are large, theme parks that are smaller. You have theme parks that are really cities that operate convention facilities, and hotels, and restaurants, and are organized not just around carousels and other amenities. You see others that are out on beaches and boardwalks that are very very different. So you have to design and distinguish and you have to organize not only your response, but your guidelines in a way that addresses those unique dynamics, unique background rates, county by county, all experiencing different background rates, but all of that with their eyes wide open on where we are as it relates to this pandemic.

The hospitalization numbers here in the state of California, the ICU numbers here in the state of California, now beginning to trend back up, and the holidays in front of us and the concerns that have been expressed by experts worldwide, and not just expressed by experts nationwide.

Respectfully, deep respect, I understand that again, as someone with four young kids, the reverential identity they have with one particular brand that you are identifying, and their desire to be entertained and the desire of those that rightfully want to get their jobs back and to get back to some sense of normalcy, forgive me, but we as a state are going to be driven by data and science and we’re going to be driven by public health first.”