Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco released a Youtube video Friday afternoon criticizing Governor Gavin Newsom and said that his office will not be “blackmailed, bullied, or used as muscle” ” against county residents to enforce the pending stay-at-home orders, according to Fox News.
In a statement, Bianco called some of Newsom’s actions and attitude during the pandemic “extremely hypocritical.”
“The dictatorial attitude toward California residents while dining in luxury, traveling, keeping his business open, and sending his kids to in-person private schools is very telling about his attitude towards California residents,” Bianco said.
The sheriff called the new restrictions and orders “flat-out ridiculous” and the metrics used to determine restrictions “unbelievably faulty.”
These metrics, Bianco said, “are not representative of true numbers and are disastrous for Riverside County.”
The Sheriff’s stand against the Democrat governor’s orders comes as California heads towards another sweeping new lockdown in an attempt to curtail resurgent cases of the coronavirus.
The California Department of Public Health on Saturday said the ICU capacity in Southern California and Central Valley hospital had fallen below a 15% threshold, and therefore triggers the new restrictions. The severe restrictions will force the closure of many businesses including dine-in restaurants and salons, and a ban on gathering with anyone outside of your own household. The new measures will take effect Sunday evening and remain in place for at least three weeks, meaning the lockdown will cover the Christmas holiday.
Bianco suggested that threats coming from the governor’s office appeared to be “part of the new goal to shift attention away from his and others’ personal behavior with a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ attitude by turning public opinion against California sheriffs.”
“Leaders do not threaten, attempt to intimidate, or cause fear; bullies do,” Bianco said.
Bianco noted that the hospitals are currently struggling with “normal seasonal increases” in patients coupled with COVID patients and said it was irresponsible of Newsom to withhold funding and support from these hospitals.
“It appears part of the new goal is to shift attention away from his and others personal behavior with a ‘Do as I say, not as I do,’ attitude by turning public opinion against California Sheriffs,” 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 said.
However, the sheriff urged Riverside County residents’ to “act responsibly and do what they can to protect themselves and their family from contracting the virus.”
Fox News reported Bianco ignored Newsom’s coronavirus orders earlier in the year when he refused to make criminals out of law-abiding business owners he said were exercising their constitutional rights and providing for their families.
Officials in San Bernadino County also announced Friday that the statewide curfew will not be actively enforced by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.