On Saturday, I wrote about Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo adopting a set of draconian orders in the name of countering coronavirus. In particular, I wrote about her orders targeting people who have entered Rhode Island from other states or countries. Included among these mandates was Raimondo’s direction to state police to pull over cars with New York license plates and order the people inside to quarantine for 14 days if they intend to stay in Rhode Island.
Here is an update on the order regarding cars with New York license plates. Raimondo has repealed that order. But, before you cheer a victory for liberty, consider the rest of the story. Tom Moroney reports at Bloomberg that Raimondo replaced that order with a new order that applies the same policy toward all out-of-state licensed vehicles. In other words, she massively expanded the police action.
Peculiarly, Moroney quotes New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who had threatened to sue over the old order, as saying in regard to Raimondo’s new action, “I thank her very much for reconsidering.” Oh brother. It looks like Cuomo is OK with New Yorkers being persecuted as long as plenty of other people share in the suffering.
But, before you jump to the conclusion that these sorts of orders are only loved by “liberal” Democratic governors like Raimondo and Cuomo, consider that Moroney’s article also mentions some of the harsh mandates that “conservative” Republican Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has recently imposed that target people who arrive in Texas from certain other states and cities. More information about this may be found in the March 30 Texas Division of Emergency Management State Situation Report.
Many people would assume Texas would have a strong, independent governor who would stand up for individual rights while other state governments crack down on the people in the name of countering coronavirus. Unfortunately, the reality is that Abbott is a very active participant in the coronavirus crackdown craze. Plus, he repeatedly shifts blame to the United States government for his draconian executive orders.
Consider, for example, these four executive orders Abbott issued on March 19:
Order No. 1: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, every person in Texas shall avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
Order No. 2: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of this executive order.
Order No. 3: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
Order No. 4: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, schools shall temporarily close.
Imposing new restrictions on the people’s exercise of their liberty is a bipartisan effort of American governors.
Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.