Republican lawmakers in the California state legislature are advocating for people to engage in civil disobedience and are pushing back against new COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
The new regulations, which went into effect Tuesday, place 94% of Golden State residents under serious restrictions. Forty-one of the state's 58 counties are now in purple tier status, the most stringent category. The state uses a color-coded system to indicate levels of restrictions.
State Assemblyman James Gallagher, a Republican from Yuba City, is urging citizens to ignore the new rules.
“The Governor and state bureaucrats can color code counties and change rules as they go, but the basics remain the same: We are all free people who can exercise our freedom responsibly,” Gallagher said in a released statement shared with The Christian Post.
“The Government can only take what you let them. I don’t think you should close your business, church, or school. I would encourage you to keep them open. I don’t think you need to cancel Thanksgiving.”
The new regulations disallow restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, and churches from meeting indoors. Newsom is also pondering implementing a statewide curfew.
Gallagher added: “You are all responsible adults and you can decide what risks are acceptable for you and your family. Be considerate. Recognize that we are seeing another increase in cases. It is not because some restaurants have been open, it’s because that is what viruses do.
"In order to limit the spread, do your best to keep up on washing your hands, keeping distanced and wearing a facial covering when you can’t. We can and will overcome this as a free society.”
The Yuba City politician is not the only one decrying the restrictions.
Writing on her personal Facebook page Monday, California Senate Minority Leader Shannon Grove noted that the public is not being informed that the disease has an over 98% survival rate or the other mental health repercussions and other ills that lockdowns have brought about.
"We desperately need the Church to stay open !!! Suicide, depression, child abuse, isolation, domestic violence, business closures, the Church is needed and essential, especially in this hour !!! May God raise up is people," she said.
Newsom has come under criticism for attending a birthday party dinner for his longtime adviser and lobbyist Jason Kinney at the French Laundry — an exclusive restaurant in Napa County — while the rest of the state was being put under restrictions. A typical meal at the restaurant costs around $350 per person, not including wine. Meals at the French Laundry usually include nine courses.
"Newsom is considering a statewide curfew. Unless you’re going to a birthday party for a lobbyist at an expensive restaurant like French Laundry. Then you can go and just say 'I made a bad mistake' and just like that, all is forgiven," quipped Melissa Melendez on Twitter Monday.
Melendez is a Republican state senator from southern California who represents portions of Riverside County.
The Sacramento Bee editorial board said the move was bad judgment.
"If Newsom can’t get his head into the game, perhaps he should make this governor thing a one-term affair and leave the job open for someone with a desire to lead," the editors opined in a Nov. 13 editorial.
Newsom said in response to the controversy: "I want to apologize to you because I need to preach and practice, not just preach and not practice, and I've done my best to do that.
"We're all human. We all fall short sometimes."