OPEN LETTER: It's time for the Orange County Supervisors to lead the County and State in economic recovery.
An Open Letter to the Orange County Board of Supervisors
We write today as entrepreneurs, small business owners, restaurateurs, and residents of Orange County to express our grave concern for the County's economic predicament as a result of the 'shelter in' and 'non essential' business shutdown orders from the State and County.
The predicate for the initial 'shelter in' and businesses shutdowns was the need to 'flatten the curve' of infections in order to assure that our healthcare system would not be overwhelmed. However, with each passing day it becomes more evident that the original statistical models driving these drastic measures were flawed and dramatically overstated the risks.
Hoag Hospital was the first hospital to treat a COVID-19 patient. During an April 15 video update, Dr. Brant-Zawadzki, Senior Physician Executive at Hoag Hospital, explained, "the numbers are now stabilizing and going down [in fact,] it's not that the curve has flattened- we're on the other side of the curve and heading down." Dr. Martin Fee, Chief Clinical Officer and Head of Infection Control at Hoag Hospital, also added, "definitely in Orange County it has [flattened]." Orange County's daily COVID-19 infections peaked on April 1 at 104 and has averaged 55 per day since April 22. This successful slowing of the spread of COVID-19 can be largely attributed to the actions of the State and Orange County Board of Supervisors. We thank the OC Board of Supervisors for its hard work and leadership to protect our community during this crisis.
But it has become clear that the status quo is not economically or socially sustainable, even in the short term. The stress of economic devastation and curtailed civil liberties could one day soon become untenable.
State unemployment claims exceed 2.7 million while Orange County claims are in the tens of thousands. As long as we remain in lockdown, these numbers are projected to climb to catastrophic levels.
It is time for the Orange County Supervisors to lead the County and State in economic recovery.
We understand that the Board of Supervisors is forming a task force to formulate a safe and responsible plan for reopening the Orange County economy and urge the Board to move with the greatest urgency and develop this plan in no more than 10 days. We expect the Board will work with the State where possible, but where necessary we urge you to move faster and more broadly as our County statistics dictate. We understand these decisions are not without health and political risks, but believe the business community and the citizens of the County will offer broad and sustained support.
We believe it is possible to protect the health and safety of our communities without bankrupting them as well. If we act now and put together an aggressive plan to restart the OC economy as well as minimize health risks, then businesses can begin the process of contacting vendors, employees, customers and preparing to smoothly transition and reopen.
We are facing an economic meltdown due to the shutdown. The citizens of Orange County are prepared to continue practicing social distancing and rigorous hygiene protocols. Our residents are smart, industrious, and responsible.
We urge you to act now for the thousands in Orange County and millions across our state who've lost their jobs.
Orange County must get back to work. And the Orange County Supervisors can and must lead the way. You have our unqualified support.
Jeffrey Barke, M.D.
Co-Founder PersonalCare Physicians
CEO, Raj Manufacturing Inc.
John & Carolyn Ben
Owners, Aqua Ben Corp.
President, Aristotle Capital Management
2 Guard Inc.
CEO, Employers Resource
Franchise Owner, Nekter Juice Bar
CEO, Burnham USA/Burnham-Ward
Partner, Callahan & Blaine
Michael D. Capaldi
Partner, Spach, Capaldi & Waggaman, LLP
CEO, Tim Carr Group
David Close Homes, Inc.
Craig Realty Group
CEO, LCP Tracker
Pyramid Fence Company
CEO, Ganahl Lumber
CEO, Glidewell Laboratories
Owner, Gonzos Tacos
CEO, Caribou Industries
CEO, Henley Properties
Vice President, Mariachi Heritage Society
Robert O Hill
O Hill Capital
President, Horowitz Group
CEO, Bridgecreek Development
President, Inland Energy Inc
CEO, Argonaut Consulting
Owner, Newport Beach Tennis Club
CEO, Laird Coatings Corp.
President, Lindholm Management
President Mortgage Vintage, Inc.
Owner, Malarky’s Irish Pub
Matthew D. Morsey
President, Coast Acceptance Corporation
President, Pinpoint Media, LLC
CEO, Nexus Development Corporation
Robert D. Olson
RD Olson Companies
Sr. Vice President, SilverWood Landscape
Dr. Kerry Reynolds
Certified therapist & Former business owner
Rinker Development Co.
Partner, Callahan & Blaine
Founder, Bellwether Financial Group
President, Lincoln Club
Honorable Fred Whitaker
Managing Partner, Cummins & White, LLP
Chairman, Republican Party of Orange County
CEO, Talon Companies
President, eDOT Water