Riverside County, Calif. Sheriff Chad Bianco published a video on Friday saying he will not enforce California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest lockdown orders that will devastate local hospitals, businesses, schools, and civil liberties.
“These closures and stay-at-home orders are flat-out ridiculous,” he added. “The metrics used for closures are unbelievably faulty and are not representative of true numbers, and are disastrous for Riverside County.”
Bianco said his police department will not be coerced into threatening the livelihoods, safety, and security of local residents. Instead, they will trust local citizens to protect themselves and others with “common-sense” precautions.
“He is expecting us to arrest anyone violating these orders, cite them and take their money, close their businesses, make them stay in their homes, and take away their civil liberties, or he will punish all of us,” Bianco said. “While the governor’s office and the state has threatened action against violators, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department will not be blackmailed, bullied, or used as muscle against Riverside County residents in the enforcement of the governor’s orders.”
Bianco highlighted Newsom’s hypocrisy in constantly refusing to follow the same rules he is inflicting on Californians, as well as his threat to withhold funds from localities that don’t obey him while doing exactly the same thing to the federal government regarding enforcing immigration laws.
Newsom’s “dictatorial attitude toward California residents, while dining and luxury traveling, keeping his business open and sending his kids to in-person private schools is very telling about his attitude toward California residents, his feelings about the virus, and it is extremely hypocritical,” Bianco said, referring to the governor’s recent dinner at a fancy restaurant with a dozen other people right after prohibiting gatherings of more than three households for Californians.
The video responds to Newsom’s most recent order, announced Thursday, closing hair salons, banning indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants, and limiting retail capacities to 20 percent in areas if ICU bed capacity falls below 15 percent. Bianco said he believes “all jobs are essential to someone,” and that Newsom’s demands in the name of health will actually impede local hospitals’ ability to treat COVID patients and others.
“When the medical field is so split about this virus, it might be time to employ a little common sense,” he added. “Keeping money and support from our hospitals who are struggling with normal seasonal increases in patients, coupled with COVID-19 patients, is irresponsible.”
Bianco encouraged his community to continue to follow health guidelines such as practicing social distancing and wearing masks, saying he believed that Americans are responsible enough to gauge their own risks and take precautions to protect themselves and others. Newsom’s expectations, Bianco stated, do not resemble true leadership.
“Leaders do not threaten or attempt to intimidate or cause fear, bullies do, as has been our position from the beginning of this pandemic,” Bianco said.