Business · COVID-19

Borgeas to Newsom on restaurant closures: Show us the data.

As most California restaurants prepare for one of their busiest holidays forced to serve patrons outdoors due to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pulling of a coronavirus “emergency brake,” one state lawmaker is balking.

Tuesday, State Sen. Andreas Borgeas (R–Fresno) questioned the Newsom administration’s approach on shutting down indoor dining amid the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Your administration has repeatedly emphasized the need for science and data-driven decision making,” Borgeas said in a letter to Newsom. “Recent data from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health indicates that COVID-19 cases traceable to the county’s restaurants and bars only accounted for 3.1% of total confirmed cases.”

Following Newsom’s announcement last week, Los Angeles County took a more drastic step and shutdown both indoor and outdoor dining for its restaurants.

Tuesday, Los Angeles County’s Board of Supervisors attempted to overturn the decision by its own department of Public Health. The move failed on a 2-3 vote with Supervisors Janice Hahn and Kathryn Barger voting to repeal the order.

“Since many counties do not have this data available, it is reasonable to request your administration justify these modifications with data, methodology and findings driving these consequential decisions,” Borgeas added.

In his letter Borgeas also called on Newsom to reopen indoor dining with “reasonable and understandable modifications” along with allowing his current private gatherings guidance – ripped by Californians as attempting to shut down family Thanksgiving gatherings – to apply to indoor dining during the holidays.

The Fresno Senator also called for an evaluation of a state-led version of the Paycheck Protection Program while Federal lawmakers struggle to approve a second coronavirus stimulus package.

Borgeas spokesman Blake Zante added that the freshman Senator sent this letter after consulting local restaurateurs Mike Shirinian and Dave Fansler along with Fresno County Health Director Dave Pomaville.

Alex Tavlian
Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at alex.tavlian@sjvsun.com.