Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has responded to a restaurant owner who called him out in a viral video over hypocritical coronavirus-related restrictions.
What's the background?
Angela Marsden, owner of Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill in Sherman Oaks, decried Los Angeles' COVID restrictions, which currently includes a ban on outdoor dining, in a video on Friday. In the shocking video, Marsden revealed that a TV production crew just feet from her restaurant had been approved to have outdoor dining for its production.
"I'm losing everything. Everything I own is being taken away from me and they set up a movie company right next to my outdoor patio, which is right over here. And people wonder why I'm protesting and why I have had enough," Marsden said.
She later continued, "This is dangerous. Mayor Garcetti and Gavin Newsom is [sic] responsible for every single person that doesn't have unemployment, that does not have a job, and all the businesses that are going under."
Los Angeles County enacted a ban on outdoor dining at restaurants last month amid a surge of COVID cases. Public health officials claim the ban is necessary to prevent the virus from spreading further.
What did Garcetti say?
According to the New York Times, Garcetti said he empathizes with Marsden — but, in the same breath, claimed the restrictions are "necessary."
"My heart goes out to Ms. Marsden and the workers at the Pineapple Hill Saloon who have to comply with state and county public health restrictions that close outdoor dining," Garcetti said.
"No one likes these restrictions, but I do support them as our hospital ICU beds fill to capacity and cases have increased by 500%. We must stop this virus before it kills thousands of more Angelenos," he added.
More from the Times:
California has declared entertainment industry workers essential, and in Los Angeles County they must follow strict guidelines such as eating in staggered shifts or in an area large enough to stay six feet apart.
How did Marsden respond?
She told the Times that, when she arrived at her restaurant on Friday, she saw members of the Hollywood production crew without masks.
Meanwhile, she described the impact of the restrictions on her staff as "devastating."
"They can't pay their rent, they have to tell their kids they don't have a job or money for Christmas," Marsden told the Times.
Last week, L.A. County Superior Court Judge James Chalfant ordered Los Angeles County public health officials to provide him scientific evidence proving why a ban on outdoor dining is necessary.
"You have to do a risk-benefit analysis for public health. You don't just talk about the risk of spreading disease. You have to talk about the benefit of keeping restaurants open," Chalfant said.