In announcing the lifting of Covid restrictions by May 19, Gov. Ned Lamont brazenly proclaimed, “I think these are ways we have earned the right to get back to our new normal.”
With all due respect, Mr. Lamont, the rights to which you allude are not earned. They are unalienable. They cannot be taken away by any authority – even a governor.
For thirteen months, we the citizens of Connecticut have complied with Mr. Lamont’s ever-expanding list of restrictions that have divided us into classes of “essential” and “nonessential,” prescribed the size and setting of private family gatherings, shuttered churches and synagogues, doomed businesses and destroyed livelihoods, and so compromised our schools that thousands of children have been lost in the miasma of “distance learning.”
In spite of it all, Connecticut stubbornly clings to its seventh-place ranking in Covid deaths, with 224 deaths per 100,000 citizens. Compare that to Florida, Mr. Lamont’s arch-nemesis which he regularly holds up as an example of a cauldron of disease and despair. The Sunshine State ranks 28th in deaths, with 160 deaths per 100,000.
Was it worth it, Connecticut?
Implicit in the governor’s words is his threat to hold back or reimpose restrictions should numbers spike. Furthermore, Mr. Lamont will keep in place “a minimum set of requirements” to “keep the state safe.” In short, our governor will continue to mete out our rights in pursuit of an elusive, subjective standard that has thus far eluded him.
With this most recent unartful statement, Mr. Lamont has demonstrated either gross ignorance of, or worse, complete disregard for the one foundational principle that has guided this country and state for centuries and set us apart from every other nation. In so doing, he has stripped himself of the moral authority to lead Connecticut.