Gavin Newsom's Disastrous Handling of COVID Grinds Shipping to a Crawl, Could Have Costly Impact Across America


California residents have been dealing with the consequences of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ineptitude since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of this month, the effects of Newsom’s failures are threatening to reach many other states.

According to Greg Miller of Freight Waves on Thursday, rising numbers of COVID-19 cases among dockworkers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are causing massive delays and congestion among container ships.

Miller warned in a separate article published the same day that ports may be forced to close if infection rates continue to rise in the area.

While nothing that drastic has happened yet, a video filmed by the U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday showed just how serious the situation has become.

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“As of Thursday, there were 25 container ships at berth in Los Angeles and Long Beach,” Miller said.

“Thirty-two container ships were at anchorage. That’s roughly the same level that has been at anchor since the beginning of this year. (The record of 40 container ships at anchor was hit on Feb. 1).”

He added that “some vessels are spending almost as much time at anchor as it takes to traverse the Pacific Ocean,” with certain ships reported to be at anchor for 11 or 12 days.

The reason for this backup is partly due to rising coronavirus cases among dock workers.

“The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) reported 694 of its members had tested positive as of Jan. 17,” Miller said. “By Jan. 25, the number had jumped to 803.”

While the articles have not been updated with more recent data since publication, the video evidence appears to show that the ports are still heavily understaffed.

This has caused multiple companies to cancel cargo sailings in the month of February because their ships are not returning in a timely manner. The cancellations came despite the demand for supplies remaining high.

That is where everyday Americans come in. If supplies are stuck in ports or, worse yet, not able to be shipped out at all, consumers will start seeing the effects.

“Lauren Brand, president of the National Association of Waterfront Employers, testified at a House subcommittee hearing on Tuesday that ships currently offshore hold around 190,000 truckloads of goods,” Miller reported.

What does this mean for everyday consumers? Brand made that clear to the House.

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“We’re seeing a decline in the fashion market,” Brand said, according to Freight Waves. “Maybe some Valentine’s Day goods are stuck. We’ll see Easter goods getting stuck.”

“And we’ll see things that are actually arriving too late to go to market. So there will be an economic impact, from consumer goods to manufacturing.”

As the American economy tries to recover from the devastating economic impact of lockdowns, the last thing we need is another setback.

In California, lockdowns have been a mainstay. According to the Foundation for Economic Education, the drastic measures have not been particularly effective.

“California is the most populous state in the US, but the 1.4 million active cases is more than double the next closest state, Florida, which has roughly 609,000 active cases,” the foundation reported on Jan. 6.

In the month-plus since then, the situation has improved, but only slightly. KABC-TV reported on Feb. 9 that while a stay-at-home order had been lifted, all but five counties in the state remained in the most restrictive tier of a four-tier reopening plan.

By all available evidence, lockdowns are not very effective in California. That has not stopped Newsom from crippling local businesses while allowing his friends in the entertainment industry to remain open and active.

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On top of that, Newsom now has a new problem to deal with. As the coronavirus runs rampant in his state, businesses are unable to get necessary supplies, providing yet another hardship to the companies that Newsom has abandoned.

In addition, Newsom’s hypocritical and ineffective management of the coronavirus is beginning to affect other states. Now it is not just California businesses, but rather nationwide companies, that are feeling the effects of Newsom’s mismanagement.

At some point, Newsom must be held accountable for the damage his policies have caused.

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Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.
Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.