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OPINION | Where to draw the line in protecting our freedoms

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HAGÅTÑA  — Where do we as individual citizens (taxpayers and voters) draw the line between what an elected government believes is best for our health and safety? Where do we, as individuals, say the government has crossed the line by overly restricting our freedoms?

This has got to be a question weighing heavily on the minds of many people as we continue to go through these seesaw, seemingly illogical, lockdown rides restricting our God-given, constitutionally protected freedom of movement here on Guam.

Where do businesspeople (those who likely contributed heavily to the political futures of these elected officials) draw the same lines? When do they say enough is enough and swing open their doors from the standpoint of sheer survival?

Think for a moment of the hundreds of small and larger businesses that have been forced to close down and the 35,000-plus private enterprise employees who have been furloughed or discharged or are presently underemployed because of so-called "public health" decisions that have removed our freedom of movement.

Then think about the approximately 11,000 government of Guam employees who at the same time, continued to collect their normal, and in some instances increased, wages.

Now if public health was truly the reason for these continued lockdowns, then any thinking person must ask themselves, why is the sale of tobacco, alcohol and sugar — to name a few —  not more strictly regulated for the overall safety, health and protection of the general public?

How many people are sickened and die each month due to overconsumption of any or all of the three elements noted above?

It is my belief that the number of people who have been sickened and died from these above-mentioned items is disproportionately higher than the number of people who have been taken ill and died from Covid-19, even with comorbidities.

So maybe we aren't as smart as the elected officials. Or, maybe they really don't care deeply enough about the real overall health of our entire community.

Last week, a federal judge in Pittsburgh ruled that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's pandemic restrictions requiring people to stay at home, placing size limits on gatherings and ordering "non-life-sustaining" businesses to shut down was unconstitutional.

In so doing, U.S. District Court Judge William Stickman also wrote that "the Wolf administration's pandemic policies have been overreaching, arbitrary and violated citizens' constitutional rights," according to Fox News

It is my understanding that Governor Wolf also had an advisory team to assist in making lockdown decisions. Apparently, Governor Wolf never attended any of those advisory meetings nor were proper minutes or notes ever kept concerning the decisions made by the committee. Hence, there was no paper trail to find the truth.

In a similar fashion the physicians advisory board on Guam neither keeps minutes nor notes that could be used in decision-making.

It is my belief that as a community we deserve and must demand greater transparency from our government as a whole and particularly in these so-called critical health-related circumstances.

Esta.

Lee P. Webber is a former president and publisher of media organizations on Guam and Hawaii, former director of operations for USA Today International/Asia, and a longtime business and civic leader on Guam.

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