Dr. Jim Garlow’s Open Letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom

In this June 1, 2019, file photo, Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention at the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.

By Jim Garlow Published on May 6, 2020

Dear Governor Newsom,

You will not remember me, but we sat side by side on the Dr. Phil Show for two tapings in late 2008.

I recognize that I may have very little credibility with you, but may I give an honest appraisal from “among the people?” During this COVID-19 crisis, the people of our state have gone through several stages:

Questions Began to Emerge

Stage One: Four weeks from mid-Feb to mid-March — Disbelief, maybe even denial, but people were pondering and learning.

Stage Two: Four weeks from mid-March to around April 11 — Compliance, willingly, for the most part.

Stage Three: One week, beginning approximately April 12 — Questioning.

There were questions emerging: Yes, COVID-19 is highly contagious, but the death rate is much lower than we were told it would be.

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Note: This is where wise leaders — many governors — pivoted. People were willing to give our governmental leaders — including you — the benefit of the doubt through the first five weeks. After all, who could know? But after week five, they waited for our state government to make adjustments. They became aware that only a few groups should have been quarantined: those with heart challenges, diabetes, asthma or lung disease, liver disease, kidney disease, those who were immunocompromised, those with obesity or persons over 65. The rest — maybe 80% or so — could have functioned quite normally and handled the disease.

Loss of Trust in Government

Stage Four: The next week in April, beginning approximately April 19 — Protests and lawsuits.

Open protests begin as people realized that the predicted massive number of deaths were not accurate, yet the regulations did not change. Lawsuits have begun.

Stage Five: The final days in April and first few days of May — Loss of trust in government.

People are becoming aware that there is an ulterior motive in all of this. They are becoming angered and losing trust in our state government. As an example, the suggestion that churches cannot function “for months,” while opening so many other entities, is perceived as running roughshod over the First Amendment. That is not an image that you should want.

Allow me to repeat that which was stated above: People are becoming aware that there is an ulterior motive in all of these COVID-19 regulations. The masses are sufficiently legally sophisticated to know that the U.S. Constitution has not and cannot be suspended.

During the first three or so weeks, you gave good leadership. I urge you not to squander the good will you once had.

It is not necessary for our state government to further anger and alienate so many California citizens. I appeal to you to recalibrate, to allow citizens to calculate their own risks.

I plead with you to adjust immediately. Open the beaches and leave them open. Allow businesses to open. In all candor, there are many who question the authority to close them in the first place.

During the first three or so weeks, you gave good leadership. I urge you not to squander the good will you once had. You are perilously close to doing exactly that.

Dr. Jim Garlow

CEO & Founder of Well Versed


COVID-19 is causing massive disruptions in life. The Stream’s parent organization, LIFE Outreach International, is helping send a first wave of help.

LIFE’s local mission partners are already distributing thousands of surgical masks, gloves and other sanitary supplies to first responders, hospitals and nursing homes. In addition, other partners have focused on distributing as many meals as possible to help those who need food.

You can help with these efforts. Click here to donate.

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