RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A group of elected officials from three California counties are calling on Governor Gavin Newsom to allow all businesses in their counties to safely reopen.
Officials from Orange, Riverside and San Diego Counties argued that the requirements set by the governor for reopening have been met, yet many business sectors are still either closed or heavily restricted.
"The subject that is on everybody's mind right now: When are we going to go ahead and open back up? When are we going to have everyone considered as an essential business and get back to life as we know it?" Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Hewitt said as he opened the press conference.
Representatives from all three counties touted the website OpenCALNow, which was created by a group of local elected officials, leaders, and business workers "on behalf of the public to safely re-open California from the pandemic and end the economic and societal suffering caused by the sweeping orders from Sacramento," the website states.
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"I have been absolutely flabbergasted by the different metrics that have come down from Sacramento during the course of these last seven months," said Hewitt.
The group of speakers included Hewitt, San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond, Orange County Supervisor Donald Wagner and Riverside City Councilman Chuck Conder, among others.
"The local elected leaders around Southern California recognize what the governor seems to fail to understand. And that is: We know our communities best, we know how best to help our communities and we know how best to keep our communities safe. And keeping our communities safe is what all of us are dedicated to doing," said Wagner.
Wagner argued that the three counties would be able to reopen their economies safely because they did what Governor Gavin Newsom asked, which was to flatten the curve and ensure counties had enough hospital and ICU beds to handle a potential influx of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
"All businesses should have the same opportunity to open up safely. It shouldn’t be some businesses can and some can’t. All businesses should have the same opportunity," said Desmond. "What the governor’s doing is punishing businesses."
FOX 11 has reached out to Newsom's office for comment and is waiting to hear back.