Unhappy with a series of new COVID-19 restrictions going into effect today, dozens of people gathered in front of the Echo Park home of Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer on Sunday to air their grievances.
As the Los Angeles Times reports, about 50 demonstrators—few of them wearing masks—demanded that Ferrer “Open L.A.” and chanted, “No science. No data. No shutdown.”
One protestor held a sign reading, “Newsom and Ferrer are non-essential,” while another shouted, “How dare you take away our guns and lock us in?” One protester’s sign insisted: “Trump won.”
Although one Echo Park resident called the demonstrators “Nazis” and “fascists,” an LAPD vehicle observed the event from Ferrer’s driveway and the protest remained peaceful until the crowd went on its way at around 5 p.m.
The new policy—which includes a ban on most gatherings, tighter limits on retail businesses, and shutting down playgrounds that aren’t part of a school or childcare center—comes on the heels of Los Angeles reaching the grim milestone of 1 million cases, with the county seeing nearly 4,200 new infections per day, a rate that surpasses the summertime spike when the county peaked at 3,300 daily cases.
Gavin Newsom and the governors of Oregon and Washington issued a holiday travel advisory in hopes of curbing the spread of the virus, but it appears many didn’t heed the warnings. On the day before Thanksgiving, airports were the busiest they’ve been since mid-March, according the TSA.
Earlier this month, as the alarming data began to come in, Ferrer had warned that the rising numbers might result in safety restrictions, saying, “We all need to act now. The actions we take today, tomorrow and next week have tremendous impact on the health and well-being of many, many people across the county. If, collectively, we fail to stop the acceleration of new cases, we will have no choice but to look at additional actions.”