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Reflecting on the founders and their vision of individual freedom enshrined in our Constitution, a California sheriff has informed county officials he won’t be enforcing coronavirus-related ‘stay-at-home’ orders “that make criminals” out of law-abiding business owners.
In remarks delivered during a meeting of the board of supervisors, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco reaffirmed his oath to protect and uphold residents’ civil liberties.
The current statewide COVID-19 lockdown order has forced residents to remain in their homes, close their businesses, and has kept them from freely practicing their religion.
“In the name of a public health crisis, our civil liberties and constitutional protections were placed on hold,” he said.
What’s more, he noted that Riverside County’s infection and death rates from coronavirus are extremely low, all of which no longer justifies the current stay-at-home order.
“What that means is that out of 2.5 million people in Riverside County, we have only 2,300 residents positive with this virus,” Bianco said. “Statistically, that is less than a tenth of one percent. Unfortunately, we have lost 181 of our residents to this virus. But keep in mind that that is only 7/1,000 of 1 percent.”
While adding that all life is precious, Bianco urged county supervisors to not only be cognizant of individual liberties but also the county’s fiscal health.
“Not only do we not have the resources to enforce unreasonable orders, I refuse to make criminals out of business owners, single moms, and otherwise healthy individuals for exercising their constitutional rights,” Bianco said.
“There cannot be a new normal. We are talking about a country formed on the fundamental freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Any new normal is a direct attack on those basic rights which set us apart and make us the greatest country in the world.”
Despite Bianco’s impassioned and factually-correct statement that earned cheers from some in the board room, the board of supervisors — after an 11-hour meeting — voted unanimously to delay lifting the current stay-at-home order. The supervisors will reconvene Friday after getting new guidance from Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) Thursday.
Bianco has stood up for individual liberties before.
In an April interview with Fox Business Network’s Neil Cavuto, the sheriff reacted to police officers in Philadelphia physically removing a man from public transportation for failing to wear a mask.
“The order was obviously given by our county health doctor and through the executive office, and it applies to everyone in the county, but we in law enforcement — especially in this county, Riverside County law enforcement and even our surrounding counties — are taking the approach where we’re trying to get voluntary compliance,” he said in response to his own country’s mask rule.
“So in Riverside County, my deputies are not actively going out and searching for these people not wearing masks or coming outside their home. We’re taking more of the voluntary compliance approach. We’re passing out some fliers if we see people if we’re contacting them normally, and for the most part, in Riverside County, we are getting compliance when we ask,” Bianco said.
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