Mayor Adler knows no shame. Yesterday, September 14th 2020, Adler shared an article from the Washington Post titled, “Trump’s hostility to cities threatens to worsen the recession.” As you can expect from a Washington Post article, it’s full of fun arm chair psychologizing.
So there you have it - its all Trump’s fault for not dolling out more money for Adler’s, and the city councils, poor city management. Orange Man Bad, of course, who can argue with that?
Don’t look at the locally imposed lockdowns, declaring many workers non essential, fear mongering a virus, years and years of increased taxes, and most recently, moving the goal posts for reopening the economy.
A great article on texasscorecard.com by Jacob Asmussen (apologies if that’s mispronounced), shows just how the rules for re opening are being toyed with as things improve. It’s as if they’ve dug themselves in a whole of fear, and they can’t bring themselves to climb out - the jury is still out on whether they believe their own nonsense.
It’s a common meme now that two weeks to flatten the curve has turned into months of lockdowns. In June, Adler extended his original orders until mid August, stating that the city could reopen once hospitalizations were lower. We achieved that in August, so then they pivoted from hospitalizations to the dubious positivity rate. Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott put our goal positivity rate at 5% before we could reopen. At that time, Adler extended his shut down orders until mid December.
Well, Austin City Councilman Listeners, we hit that mark last week. We were at 4.6%. Escott, however, now thinks that 3% is a better target.
As a quick aside, the positivity rate is just the percent of positive cases of all the tests done. So if 100 people get tested, and 5 are positive, we have a 5% positivity rate. In Travis County, we sit at 1.2 million residents, and a fraction of them are getting tested. So a fraction of people get tested, a certain percentage of that fraction are positive, and everyone else has to stay under these shut down orders. What happens when that fraction of a fraction falls below 3%? Well, I don’t actually know, and here is one reason why:
The city of Austin publishes a handy dandy color coded chart which can be found on their website. The chart no longer has any identifying information as to the targets that we are striving for. It used to have hospitalizations rates for reference, but no longer. It just tells you the stages and what you can and cannot do. I guess when you are playing god with peoples’ livelihoods, its important not to give them too much information, as they may climb out of their fear spiral and start to wake up.
So in Austin, we are currently under order until Dec. 15th to “stay home, mask, and otherwise be safe,” and we are at stage 3 according to the city’s chart. It’s all arbitrary, as we can see, so who knows where we will be in the coming weeks and months, or how we will measure it.
But the economic downturn is because Trump isn’t giving Adler more money to play with. Orange Man Bad is all you need to know, forget that your struggling business should have been fully reopened by now, contributing to the economy as you designed it to do.