Protests mark growing unrest with order to stay home in California
SACRAMENTO, USA USA: Californians are weary of stay-at-home orders that have left millions unemployed in defiance scenarios on Friday, with hundreds of protesters waving flags on Capitol Hill and on a famous beach while a county Sparsely populated in Oregon, the border allowed diners to return to restaurants and reopened other businesses.
While much of the state's population remained behind closed doors to deter the governor's spread Gavin News om He acknowledged the growing anxiety as he repeatedly joked that the state could begin to relax some aspects of the restrictions next week.
We are all impatient, the governor said during his daily briefing, adding: We have to be really deliberative about how to reopen this economy.
Om News noted that the state has just passed the bleak marks of 50,000 confirmed infections and 2,000 deaths, but that hospitalization statistics are going in a better direction and that is hopeful.
We can ruin all of that. We can delay all of that by making bad decisions, he said.
All of this works because people have done an incredible job in their physical distance.
In Sacramento, as police lined up in front of the Capitol, protesters waved signs saying Defend Freedom and broke U-S-A chants, most of the masks to prevent the spread of the virus.
A small plane circled overhead, displaying a banner with a picture of the News om face and the slogan End your tyranny.
Joe Ranciato from Roseville, California, showed up for the protest inside a home-made social detachment cage made of plastic tubing and duct tape.
I'm really sick of what's going on, said Ranciato, 58. I don't like to jeopardize my freedom. There were around a dozen organized protests in cities like Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco .
In downtown Huntington Beach, known for its world-renowned surf waves, protesters swarmed the streets, backing up traffic for at least a mile along the Pacific Coast Highway.
A day earlier, News om ordered all beaches in Orange County to close temporarily, after thousands last weekend sprawled on the sand in Huntington Beach and nearby Newport Beach.
People waved American flags from their car windows and carried signs reading "Open Cali now."
A plane buzzed overhead with a sign reading "Fire gruesome News om! Open California." While the beach was officially closed by News om's order, people continued to walk on the sand and on a popular bike trail in a park overlooking the shoreline.
In the far north of the state, rural Modoc County, home to approximately 9,000 people, became the first to challenge state shutdown orders.
The county is moving forward with our reopening plan, said Heather Hadwick, the county's assistant director of emergency services, adding that the county has not reported Covid-19 cases.
Hadwick said the county had not heard from the governor about its reopening plan, but she claimed it aligns with the om News indicators for the reopening. Schools did not open on Friday, but it was an option for districts that can accommodate preventive measures, he said.
"We are utilizing his guidance of those plans, and we have zero cases," she wrote. "Our residents were moving forward with or without us. We really needed to create guidelines for them so that they could do this in the safest way possible."
At Country Hearth Restaurant and Bakery in the small town of Cedarville, three customers came in for breakfast, general manager Janet Irene said. She said her regular customers had been very cooperative with orders that had allowed her to only serve takeout since March.
"Since we're a sit-down restaurant, people were constantly asking to be able to sit in the restaurant, and it was really, really difficult during this time to deny that," she said.
The county had notified News om of its plans and never heard back from him. His office did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.
Elsewhere, a variety of businesses from restaurants to hairstylists in rural and more populated areas have opened their doors in individual acts of defiance.
The moves underscore News om's challenge as the state enters its seventh week under stay-at-home orders, with only businesses deemed essential allowed to operate. Gyms, bars, shopping malls, restaurant dining rooms and sports arenas all remain shuttered.
News om hinted that the change would come soon. He previously described a gradual approach in which the economy would gradually return to normal.
But at the same time it warned of troubling signs, including the lack of evidence in rural areas that could be concealing a threat to the virus.
He recognized the residents' right to protest, saying he welcomed various points of view, but also warned that overcrowding posed a threat to health.
News om also confirmed the obvious: With its once-roaring economy in shackles and millions jobless, the state will face a funding shortfall that will run into billions of dollars.
Billions in surplus, in just weeks, tens of billions of deficits, he said.
Police across the state appear to have taken a largely hands-off approach with protesters, despite the fact they were violating stay-at-home requirements and not following physical distancing recommendations.
The fear is that the virus can be spread closely by people who do not know they have contracted it.
Om News, a Democrat, has gained bipartisan support for many of his actions during the outbreak.
However, the closure of its beach was condemned as political excess by Republican lawmakers, especially those in Orange County, where the Republican Party hopes to regain significant lost ground for Democrats in the recent election.
"At a time when California is granting early release to high-risk sex offenders and other dangerous inmates due to Covid-19 concerns, the implicit threat to punish beachgoers and surfers who violate the order is absurd," Republican state senator said.