To Live and Dine in L.A.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl believes “outdoor dining is probably more dangerous in terms of contagion than any other kind of business,” so on November 30 she voted to uphold a ban on outdoor dining in the county. Hours after casting her vote, Supervisor Kuehl dined outside at the upscale Il Forno Trattoria restaurant near her Santa Monica residence. When this lapse came to light, she didn’t want to talk about it.

Supervisor Kuehl has eaten at Il Forno virtually every night for many years, and on the last night that it was permitted by county health orders, she dined there alfresco taking appropriate precautions as recommended by the Department of Public Health,” said a statement from Kuehl’s office. Missing from news reports was Kuehl’s background on the health care front. 

As a California state senator Kuehl authored SB-840, a proposal for “single payer” health care. The measure would “establish the California Health Insurance System to be administered by the newly created California Health Insurance Agency under the control of a Health Insurance Commissioner appointed by the Governor.” The measure passed in 2006, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the measure, with its “vast new bureaucracy” that would “cost the state billions and lead to significant new taxes on individuals and businesses.”  

Before entering politics, Sheila Kuehl was an actress who appeared in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in 1954 and gained fame as Zelda Gilroy in the television show “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,” which ran from 1959-1963. Kuehl’s Il Forno Trattoria performance is consistent with both careers. 

Actors play roles that differ from their real lives, similar to a hypocrite, a person who “feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.” Kuehl the politician supports government monopoly health care, which takes away the health plan people want and allows only the care government wants them to have. True to form, Kuehl’s recent vote takes away a longstanding practice the ruling-class politician reserves for herself. 

The decision to ban outdoor dining in Los Angeles County was based on a CDC study that targeted 11 facilities in 10 states and found patients with coronavirus were twice as likely to have dined out at a restaurant. On the other hand, the study failed to distinguish between infection rates among outdoor versus indoor dining, and the study was not specific to Los Angeles County, home to more than 10 million people. 

Supervisors Janice Hahn and Kathryn Barger opposed the decision to shut down outdoor dining. As Barger told Fox News, “to say that they’re depending on the CDC when we’ve been doing this for seven months and, in fact, have been doing inspections that we don’t have data, and yet we are targeting one industry and saying with the number of cases rising we are going to set [restaurants] down to me is irresponsible.” 

K. Lloyd Billingsley is a Policy Fellow at the Independent Institute and a columnist at The Daily Caller.
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