Larry Elder, the leading Republican candidate in the California gubernatorial recall election, held his first official press conference of the campaign on Friday morning and promised to “suspend” any statewide mask or vaccination mandates that may be in place if elected.
“I am not going to tell private businesses what to do. I’m talking about what I would do as a governor regarding state employees,” Elder said during the Zoom webinar. “If a private business wants to require people to wear masks and require people to have shots, that’s a whole different thing.”
“But at the state level, I’m not going to require any kind of public worker to wear masks, or any kind of public worker to have a vaccine,” he continued. “I think that’s an assault on freedom. Thomas Jefferson said it’s a mistake to trade freedom for public safety, and I believe he is right.”
Elder, 69, said that he had been vaccinated against COVID-19 after being strongly advised by his doctor to get immunized.
“I believe vaccines work,” said Elder. “I believe that if you’re in a high-risk category, you should be vaccinated. But there are many Americans who disagree with me, who feel that the vaccine was done too quickly.”
The Los Angeles Times reported, “With the spread of COVID-19 on the rise, Gov. Gavin Newsom faces a delicate decision over whether to again impose statewide mask requirements in all indoor public spaces and risk upsetting Californians just weeks before they decide if he should be recalled from office.”
The special recall election is set for September 14, and the Newsom administration has so far left that decision to counties.
But Newsom faced harsh criticism last month after issuing a mask mandate for K-12 indoor classes that applies to teachers and students. Elder said during his Friday press conference that “the idea that we’re requiring children to wear masks, to me, is against science,” saying they are less likely to be hospitalized or die if infected.
And on Wednesday, the governor announced a new statewide executive order issued by the state’s public health officer requiring health care workers to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus. State health officials described the directive as a “first-in-the-nation” requirement.
“Protecting the public health is an utmost priority for the governor, but that duty should never be abused to trample on individual freedoms,” Elder’s campaign website says. “By now, everyone who wishes to be protected by a vaccine can get one. As such, Californians who assume the risk of not wearing a mask or not getting vaccinated should not be forced to do so.”
More from Elder’s website:
Remember the original reason for the lockdowns? It was to prevent hospitals from reaching capacity and overrunning our healthcare system. No such threat exists today. Instead, our ruling classes—with Governor Gavin Newsom as their poster boy—have repeatedly imposed mandates and moved the goalposts—which they themselves think they’re above—and shut down our businesses and inflicted unnecessary pain on ordinary Californians.
I will govern as your governor, not as your tyrant.
On Thursday, Elder had vowed on social media to “fight any and all vaccine and mask govt mandates at the state and local level” if elected governor.
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) August 12, 2021
He specifically referenced a new health order in San Francisco requiring eligible people to prove they are fully vaccinated before entering certain indoor businesses, along with a similar proposal in Los Angeles.
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) August 12, 2021
“Nope. Don’t bother @LACity,” Elder tweeted. “I will fight you on this when I win.”
- Gov. Newsom Announces Statewide Vaccine Mandate For California Healthcare Workers
- Newsom Announces Mandate Requiring 320,000 CA Teachers And School Staffers To Get COVID-19 Vax Or Test Regularly
- K-12 Schools ‘Must Exclude’ Unmasked Students From Campus, California Says
- School Board Announces Plans To Sue California Governor Over Indoor Mask Mandate For K-12 Students
- ‘Let Them Breathe’: Parents Sue California Governor Over COVID-19 Rules For Classrooms
- San Francisco Becomes First Major U.S. City To Require Proof Of Full Vax To Enter Some Indoor Businesses
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.