Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco criticized recent coronavirus regulations on Friday and vowed that his department would not be used to enforce the orders on the residents of his county.
The Sheriff issued a video message as a response to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent COVID-19 mandate that restricts businesses and requires residents to stay home. Bianco also lambasted state authorities who threatened to withhold state funding from counties that defied regulations in early September.
“These closures and these stay-at-home orders are flat-out ridiculous,” Bianco said in the video. “The metrics used for closures are unbelievably faulty and are not representative of true numbers and are disastrous for Riverside County.”
“He is expecting us to arrest anyone violating these orders, cite them and take their money, close their businesses, make them stay in their homes and take away their civil liberties or he will punish all of us,” he continued. “I believe that all jobs are essential to someone.”
“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 referred to Newsom’s personal behavior during the pandemic as “extremely hypocritical.” The governor was seen in photographs appearing to dine indoors with a crowd at a luxury restaurant, despite passing a slew of restrictive COVID-19 measures.
“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 toward California residents, his feelings about the virus, and it is extremely hypocritical,” Bianco said.
“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.”