News and Commentary

California Won’t Enact Statewide Beach Ban, Newsom Claims ‘Memo Never Got To Me’
NEWPORT BEACH, CA -- TUESDAY, APRIL 28, 2020: Beach-goers enjoy a partially-sunny, warm day on the beach near the pier in Newport Beach, CA, on April 28, 2020. Newport Beach City Council members are holding a special meeting to discuss closing the city's beaches for the next few weekends following Gov. Gavin Newsom's criticism of the large crowds and lack of social distancing.
Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) distanced himself from an internal announcement at the California Police Chiefs Association, which circulated a memo claiming the governor would close all beaches and state parks effective Friday, May 1.

During a press conference on Thursday, the governor said that the memo, which circulated widely online, was never approved by him, and that his position has remained consistent.

“Bottom line, that was their memo, that memo never got to me,” said the governor, who instead announced that only beaches in Orange County would be temporarily closed, a move he previously threatened after a reported 80,000 people flocked to Orange County beaches last weekend.

The Police Chiefs Association memo, a copy of which was obtained by Bill Melugin at Fox News Los Angeles on Wednesday evening, stated that Newsom would announce the statewide closures during a Thursday press conference.

“[T]he Governor will be announcing tomorrow that all beaches and all state parks in California will be closed,” said the Police Chiefs Association’s memo.

“We wanted to give all of our members a heads up about this in order to provide time for you to plan for any situations you might expect as a result, knowing each community has its own dynamics,” said the memo.

Fox News Los Angeles reporter Bill Melugin observed after the press conference that the governor “really threw the Police Chief’s Association under the bus and essentially said their memo was untruthful.”

John Myers of The Los Angeles Times reports that many sources familiar with the beach closure discussion thought the governor was taking imminent action, and that the governor’s office declined to debunk the story about beach closures when reached for comment Wednesday evening, prior to the news agency’s original report.

After the Thursday press conference announcing only beaches in Orange County would be closed, the California Republican Party mocked the governor for “backpedaling.”

Orange County Supervisor Donald Wagner published a statement Wednesday evening in response to the planned beach closure, remarking that the governor was undermining the efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus through government “overreaction.”

“Medical professionals tell us the importance of fresh air and sunlight in fighting infectious diseases, including mental health benefits,” said Wagner. “I fear that this overreaction from the state will undermine that cooperative attitude and our collective efforts to fight the disease, based on the best available medical information.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  California Won’t Enact Statewide Beach Ban, Newsom Claims ‘Memo Never Got To Me’