RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. (KTLA) — Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco vowed not to enforce the state’s new restrictions to combat the coronavirus, calling Gov. Gavin Newsom’s efforts to contain the pandemic with business closures and stay-at-home orders “flat out ridiculous.”
“The metrics used for closures are unbelievably faulty and are not representative of true numbers and are disastrous for Riverside County,” the sheriff said in a video released Friday.
The Sheriff’s Department posted the video as state officials sounded the alarm on the dwindling number of available ICU beds across the state, announcing that regions with intensive care capacity that has dropped below 15% Saturday would have to impose another stay-at-home order at 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
As of Saturday, Southern California’s capacity was at 12.5%.
State data shows that Riverside County had 55 ICU beds available on Friday. That’s higher than in October, when the region’s available ICU beds dropped all the way to 15. But the number of patients confirmed to have the coronavirus is at the highest it’s been since the pandemic began, according to county records.
In his video, Bianco accused Newsom of trying to shift attention away from his and other officials’ “do as I say, not as I do attitude,” referring to a dinner attended by the governor and about a dozen others last month.
“The 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.
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He added that the Sheriff’s Department is counting on residents to do what they can.
“As has been our position from the beginning of this pandemic, the Sheriff’s Department is asking and expecting Riverside County residents to act responsibly and do what they can to protect themselves and their family from contracting the virus,” Bianco said.