The Huntington Beach City Council voted to pursue a legal challenge to California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s beach closure order Thursday night.
“Governor Newsom’s mandate to close all beaches in Orange County today was a jarring decision that significantly impacts us here in Huntington Beach,” Mayor Lyn Semeta said in a statement. “Given that Orange County has among the lowest per-capita COVID-19 death rates in California, the action by the state prioritizes politics over data, in direct contradiction of the Governor’s stated goal to allow science and facts to guide our response to this horrible global pandemic.”
The council voted 5-2 to seek “any and all legal actions necessary” to challenge Newsom’s order.
Newsom said photos of overcrowding at beaches with little social distancing gave him no choice but to protect public health by ordering the beaches close.
“Everyone saw those images and we’re all concerned about that. … That’s what ultimately led to this decision,” Newsom said Thursday.
California has more than 50,000 diagnosed COVID-19 cases, with at least 2,036 deaths across the state.