Desert Stonewall Democrats is appalled by Riverside County Board of Supervisors 5-0 vote on Friday May 8, relaxing the restrictions put in place to reduce transmission of Covid 19, Miguel Navarro, Chair, wrote in a news release.

“It as an irresponsible and careless decision that threatens the general public, workers, and our long hard path back to economic recovery,” Navarro wrote.

The decision overrules Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser’s orders that  everyone, including essential workers, wear masks when leaving home. Face coverings and social distancing are critical for all, especially for protecting our essential workers and those with risk factors. Scientific evidence shows clearly that both mask wearing and social distancing stop community spread of Covid 19.

The Board’s ill-advised action, which runs contrary to the advice of public health experts, has created confusion, frustration, and anger in the community, Navarro said. This “irresponsible” vote leaves many persons, especially the elderly and those with health conditions more fearful to go out because others will not have facial covering or practice safe social distancing. The Board’s vote has put our lives
and the lives of our fellow Riverside County residents in jeopardy.

Supervisor Votes Appall Desert Stonewall Democrats

Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, board chair

Organizations, Labor, health professionals and individuals in District Four have been consistently vocal, reaching out to our elected Supervisor, V. Manuel Perez expressing our serious concerns and providing him with information to support the need to keep certain existing public health regulations in place.

We are deeply disappointed with Supervisor Perez’s leadership on this issue, Navarro said. We elected him as our representative because we wanted strong leadership, a consistent message, vision, and local representation for our District. He has failed on all accounts, abandoning his community and caving into the demands ofthe conspiracy theorists, the hoax promoters, and the short-sighted Chamber of Commerce.

We are also disheartened in how this issue has been handled in meetings and social media. During Public Comment at Friday’s meeting, the disrespect for the face covering order was evident. On that day, with the County requirement that people wear masks in public places still in effect, those without a mask should not have been allowed into the building. All elected Supervisors should have also worn masks as required by county policy. We expect the Board of Supervisor to model respect for public health regulations and the county’s public health staff. They did the exact opposite.

It was deeply disturbing that no ASL (American Sign Language) interpreters were provided for the Friday hearing and other meeting on this issue. This is sadly further evidence of the Board’s disregard for the County’s diverse population and its disinterest in hearing from all constituencies.

Regardless of the Supervisors’ action that jeopardizes the health of the people of Riverside county, we will continue to ask our community to please be responsible and continue facial covering and practice social distancing. This WILL help slow the spread of COVID-19 and help get our economy opened faster and keep it open.

Desert Stonewall Democrats helps and supports candidates to get elected who represent our values. It is then our responsibility to hold them accountable on decisions and actions we feel are not in the best interest of our members and our entire community. We are shocked by the recent vote of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors and will now work to ensure that future County Boards of Supervisors put the health and well-being of the people of Riverside County first.