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Mayor Who Blasted California Beach Ban Responds After Governor Appears To Stand Down
NEWPORT BEACH, CA - APRIL 10: Surfers pass bystanders at the Wedge in Newport Beach, CA on Friday, April 10, 2020. Officials closed the beach for social distancing concerns and restricted surfing with boards and flotation devices from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R-CA), who criticized Governor Gavin Newsom (D) after a memo circulated claiming that Newsom would announce statewide beach closures, has taken to Twitter to condemn “knee-jerk policies” after the governor appeared to stand down in favor of a more narrow policy.

“Great news: The Governor heard us. San Diego beaches WILL STAY OPEN under our plan approved by lifeguards and health officials,” tweeted the mayor. “In a time of great crisis we don’t need knee-jerk policies. We need to keep a steady hand. It’s the only way to keep the public’s trust. Keep it up, SD!”

The beach ban controversy was prompted by a memo, circulated through the Police Chiefs Association, that said the governor would close all beaches and state parks during a press conference on Thursday, a move that would take effect the following day.

“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.

In a phone call with Fox News Los Angeles, Faulconer said that the governor’s staff called his office on Wednesday evening, indicating that California would be enacting a statewide ban on beach attendance.

Before the governor’s press conference on Thursday, the San Diego mayor protested the pending plans online, saying that a sweeping order would send the “wrong message to regions where people are acting responsibly.”

“You stayed classy, San Diego. When other beaches across the U.S. have reopened, the nation saw pandemonium. Today, the nation saw San Diego acting like America’s Finest City. So many of you followed lifeguard and public health guidelines. Let’s keep it up,” said the mayor in a tweet.

During the governor’s press conference, Newsom announced that only beaches in Orange County, to which 80,000 people reportedly flocked last weekend, would be closed by the state, reports The Los Angeles Times.

“Specific issues on some of those beaches have raised alarm bells,” said the governor. “People that are congregating there, that weren’t practicing physical distancing, that may go back to their community outside of Orange County and may not even know that they contracted the disease.”

As The Daily Wire previously reported, the governor claimed during the press conference that the viral “memo never got to me,” and the governor also declined an opportunity from the Los Angeles Times to rebuke the beach closure story before it was originally published on Wednesday evening.

The governor also declined to share during the press conference whether he was planning to take action against Modoco County, the 9,000 person county in Northern California that recently announced it will reopen on Friday with social distancing measures and assurances that it will continue to take the coronavirus seriously.

“We cannot stress enough how important it is to do this right. COVID-19 is not over,” said a joint statement from the Modoc County sheriff’s office and public health director’s office. “The reopening plan was made in the best interest of residents’ physical, mental, and economic health.”

According to The Associated Press, the state’s public health orders prohibit local counties from enacting looser guidelines than the governor’s guidelines. However, the county will implement public health measures, including restaurant seating limits and social-distancing guidelines, and reassess them every two weeks. Modoc county does not have any confirmed coronavirus cases. 

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