Community Organizations Condemn Local Elected Officials for Mishandling COVID-19 Response

Inland Empire, CA — January 14, 2021. A group of local non-profit organizations have co-signed the attached letter which accuses the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, Riverside County Supervisors, and the Riverside County Sheriff of mishandling the COVID-19 response of their respective jurisdictions.

 Co-signed by over 20 community organizations, the joint letter states, “Instead of leading the people you were elected to serve, you have chosen to pit the community against each other for political gain. We will no longer stand and be silent, and we cannot forget your lack of leadership.”

 This letter delineates that these elected officials have been pushing false narratives and ultimately pitting community against each other and local small businesses, while ignoring pro-public health guidelines. It is also a rallying call for the elected officials that do understand and comprehend the gravitas of the perilous next few months the Inland Empire is about to traverse. Hospitals in both counties are already at their breaking points surging to using 100% of their ICU capacities. It’s an extreme crisis as there are more intensive care patients than there are beds. Front-line healthcare workers are barely holding on as new COVID cases from the holidays continue to stream in.

Michael Gomez Daly, Executive Director of IE United, commented: “It is disgusting and downright shameful that these electeds whom have sworn oaths to protect and do what’s right for our communities, have instead been spewing falsehoods against science and encouraging so many people to ignore the realities of this Inland Empire crisis.”

 To make matters worse, hospitals are also challenged with distributing vaccinations as fast as they can. The rhetoric and false narratives regarding COVID health guides being amplified by these elected officials is severely undermining effective health and economic recovery. Riverside County has seen a staggering 50% of front-line workers refuse to take the vaccine because of skepticism.

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