Letters to the Editor: Gov. Gavin Newsom needs to stop calling California a ‘nation-state’

Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses the transformation of Sleep Train Arena for use as a field hospital in Sacramento on April 6.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

To the editor: Your April 9 editorial noted the Trump administration’s failure to take a leadership role during the coronavirus pandemic. Given this failure, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that California would take the initiative and leverage its massive budget to procure more protective gear.

But in making his announcement, Newsom referred to California as a “nation-state.” He has done this before.

A nation-state is a country. California, like all states, is not a nation-state. It’s understandable that Newsom might want to poke and prod President Trump for his haphazard, ad hoc responses to this global pandemic. But to play politics with cherished constitutional principles that have been with us for centuries appears reckless and irresponsible.

California is a state with a long and proud history of progressive politics, and Gov. Newsom has been leading the charge to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But California is not a nation-state, and Newsom, for the sake of clarity and constitutional deference, should stop using the term.


James P. Rudolph, La Jolla


To the editor: I have never been happier with the decisions made by Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to take drastic action to slow the spread of the coronavirus. This makes me proud to be a Californian.

In contrast, I have been seriously disappointed in our federal government for ignoring warnings about the coronavirus back in January. Why would this administration dismiss early alarms and dismantle programs already in place to fight pandemics? This has caused an untold number of deaths in our country.


I hope California takes the lead again and tests every man, woman and child for the presence of coronavirus antibodies so we can make informed decisions based on hard data.

Rob Johnson, Covina

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