SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As a group of protesters descended on the California State Capitol Monday to protest the ongoing stay-at-home order, Gov. Gavin Newsom urged people to continue social distancing, CBS Sacramento reports.
“If you’re going to protest, practice physical distancing,” Newsom said when asked about the protest at his daily briefing.
Protesters arrived at the State Capitol on Monday to call for California’s “shelter-in-place” over the coronavirus to end. The protests prompted some streets around the building to be closed.
Despite the Governor’s request, most protesters were not wearing masks and many were not practicing social distancing.
The rally comes as groups in several states gather to protest against ongoing stay-at-home orders.
Even as the federal government issued their own guidelines for states to meet in order to reopen as the coronavirus ebbs, President Donald Trump seemed to goad protesters to defy stay-at-home orders with a string of “LIBERATION” tweets.
Dozens of law enforcement officers were standing by and monitoring the event that at one point blocked the street.
The Sacramento rally was in part organized by a group of activists who protested a new state law restricting medical exemptions for vaccines that are mandatory for kids to go to school in the state.
Some were calling the coronavirus “manufactured.”
“I’m woke, I’m broke and I’ve had enough,” said one protester. “We need to go to work. We can do that safely.”
“People need to get back to work,” said a second protester. “I believe in leaving distance, I believe in cover yourself, but we need to get back to work.”
Newsom struck a measured tone, however, urging people to think beyond politics.
“The worst mistake we can make is making a precipitous decision based on politics and frustration that puts people’s lives at risk and ultimately sets back the cause of economic growth and economic recovery,” Newsom said.
The governor cautioned that other parts of the globe that gave into the pressure of reopening their economies had to pull back again as coronavirus reemerged.
“We must have a health-first focus,” Newsom said.
Newsom said California’s curve is beginning to flatten, but the number of cases is still rising.
As of early Monday afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins University, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in California is at 31,740 with 1,181 deaths.