Wilford Brimley lookalike Vernon H. Warnke doesn’t like what’s happening in his state, and he refuses to abide by its government’s rules any longer.
That’s a bit of an issue, because Warnke is the sheriff of Merced County, California, population 273,000. He’s supposed to uphold the law — but that’s not happening, Warnke says, when it comes to Governor Gavin Newsom‘s extended shelter-in-place directive. The cowboy-hatted cop supported it in March, but no longer.
In a letter the sheriff sent to the state, an edited version of which he shared on Facebook over the weekend, Warnke wrote that he’s simply not seeing enough COVID deaths to justify asking people to stay inside.
[In March,] I … went so far as to secure equipment to house all the bodies that were to overrun my county due to COVID based on what was being reported out of the Governor’s Office. Guess what, it still hasn’t occurred.
He gives no apparent thought to the likelihood that we’re not seeing the originally predicted numbers because Californians have been staying put, following the very state’s public-health guidelines that Warnke now says are a sign of Newsom’s desire to be an “emperor.”
Life equals risk, the sheriff argues. We don’t know what’ll happen at any point in time — he considers possible “car crashes, airplane crashes, food poisoning” — so why worry excessively about COVID-19?
I’m just spitballing here: Maybe it’s because California has already seen 3,300 COVID deaths? You know, the equivalent of one passenger-plane crash every second or third day for the last two months?
Nobody has the right to dictate what risks I’m going to take when I leave my house, and this includes an elected governor.
It’s interesting that Warnke just talked about car accidents to make a point. I wonder if he’d support everyone’s “right” to drive drunk, or to speed through residential neighborhoods at 100 miles an hour. The reason we fine or imprison criminals like that is not primarily because of what they might do to themselves, but because of the unacceptable risks they callously and selfishly pose to others. Wouldn’t that same principle apply here?
The sheriff, who’s a Christian by the way, is too busy playing the constitutional hero to think much about it.
I WILL NOT be taking any enforcement action in this county for any of the COVID-19 “violations”. … My decision is based on the Constitutional Rights afforded our citizens and I as the Constitutional Law Enforcement Authority in Merced County, I am here to uphold them. The citizens themselves can make informed decisions on how to proceed and protect their lives and livelihood and not the Governor of a state.
Right. We’ve seen where some of those “informed decisions” can lead.
Our current situation is reflective of a short statement I recently read that seems to fit here; “If the barnyard were to hold an election, the cows, chickens, pigs and horses would vote for the hand that feeds them. Even though that same hand will eventually lead them to slaughter.” … That’s what is happening here in this state.
Yeah, screw elections, and elected officials, and democracy overall. We should all just take direction from whoever we prefer.
I wonder if anyone can come up with a good anagram for WARNKE.