Delta variant raises concerns among California business owners in liberal cities of new COVID restrictions

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The Biden administration announced a July 4 target as “a return to normalcy,” but small business owners in liberal cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles are now concerned that it is in fact a return to 2020.

The reason: Public health leaders in Democratic-led counties are reinstating mask warrants across the country.

The news comes as the delta variant of COVID-19 spreads across the United States, with heightened fears sending shockwaves through the stock market on Monday and Apple reportedly delayed the return to its offices.

It also follows the FOX Business report that Wall Street executives are closely monitoring the variant and whether a change of course is needed with a return to office imminent.

Despite this, experts say the risk to those vaccinated is incredibly low, with around 97% of people currently hospitalized with unvaccinated COVID, and deaths from breakthrough infections remain rare.

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The overwhelming statistics supporting vaccine effectiveness, coupled with recent decisions to reinstate or recommend politicians’ mask mandates, have baffled business owners.

“As soon as I heard that the mask warrants were coming back, I immediately feared that [it] would delay our ability to reopen our restaurants, ”Steven Sarver, owner of the Ladle & Leaf fast food chain in San Francisco, told Lydia Hu of FOX Business.

“People and business leaders are using it as a reason to worry. It’s a signal to everyone that we need to slow down again – we can’t really get back to normal. company and workers won’t want to go back to work if they have to wear a mask. It just doesn’t make sense, “the California businessman continued.

Other Bay Area business owners concede that masks – while undesirable – are better than the alternative: closure.

“In general, no one likes to wear masks – I don’t know anyone who applauds having to wear one – but if the choice is another 15 months off or wearing a mask inside, then I’ll be happy to wear it. a mask, ”said Cache Bouren, owner of Haberdasher in San José.

“Faced with the idea of ​​another six to eight months with no real income to come [is] a very scary thing, “admitted Bouren, who is set to open a new bar soon called Cash Only.

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However, some experts are skeptical about the need for masks, especially as the number of vaccinations continues to increase and vaccines show efficacy against the delta variant.

“Has science suddenly changed? No, politics has changed. It’s about politics, not science. Stop the madness,” Dr Jeff Barke told FOX Business when asked about the reinstatement of mask warrants at his Los Angeles County home.

Barke said in an interview with KUSI San Diego on Monday that the warrant “makes no sense scientifically or medically. It only makes sense if you look through the lens of a tyrannical ruler trying to rule through fear. “. The interview was later deleted from YouTube for “spreading disinformation.”

Asked by FOX Business what he thought of the role of Los Angeles politicians in the new term, he pointed to a quote from one of the nation’s founding fathers.

“As Thomas Jefferson said, ‘there is no justification for depriving individuals of their liberty under the guise of public safety’, this is as true today as it was 245 years ago,” warned the Californian doctor.

As Los Angeles County continues to surpass the national immunization average, public health officials have nonetheless decided to move forward with the mask’s mandate, going against recent claims presentations by White House Senior Scientific Advisor Dr Anthony Fauci and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.

“If you are vaccinated you have a high degree of protection. So you don’t need to wear a mask, whether indoors or outdoors,” Fauci said.

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Los Angeles restaurateurs believe the message isn’t consistent enough when it comes to vaccines and masks.

“It creates anger. It creates confusion. And, you know, the funny thing is, it creates more hesitation about vaccines, in my opinion,” said Angela Marsden, owner of Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill in Sherman Oaks, Calif., in Renard.

“I don’t understand the inconsistency, the confusion and the fear bait that are mainly used by our leaders … I want them to stop interfering with our businesses and let us make our own decisions,” he said. she declared.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said last week his department would not enforce a mandatory indoor mask requirement because it “is not backed by science and contradicts US CDC guidelines “.

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