25 July 2020 Blog Post: Riverside County: COVID-19 and Political Amnesia
County officials were singing quite a different tune on May 8th. With a unanimous Board of Supervisors vote, they asked the county’s public health officer to lift three orders that went beyond state restrictions — including a mandate to cover faces and social distance in public. The motion to lift these public heath orders was put forward by Supervisor V. Manuel Perez and Supervisor Karen Spiegel.
Supervisor Spiegel provided an important update yesterday – she tested positive for COVID-19. Thankfully, she reported that she has only experienced minor symptoms of fever and fatigue. “The fever is gone, but I am still tired,” she said. “I am fortunate.” Spiegel used the occasion to urge constituents to wear face coverings, practice social distancing and get tested. “None of us are immune,” she said by phone. “We’ve got to be aware and more careful.”
Political amnesia is on full display in Riverside County. Rather than engaging in meaningful debate in early May, the Supervisors were more intent upon sending Governor Newsom a message of defiance. 4th District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, the board chair, called the guidelines unattainable and impossible. 5th District Supervisor Jeff Hewitt said that he didn’t feel he needed to wear a mask, citing conflicting evidence of its benefits.
At that time, Supervisors expressed interest in teaming up with other counties to form a coalition to approach Newsom about easing restrictions. “We will have more power in numbers,” 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington.
Here are the numbers – there have been 34,513 cases and 657 deaths in Riverside County from COVID-19 to date.
𝗦𝗶𝗴𝗻 𝗨𝗽 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗢𝘂𝗿 𝗡𝗲𝘄𝘀𝗹𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿
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