The San Diego County Board of Supervisors held a meeting Tuesday night where they voted to declare COVID-19 misinformation a public health crisis.
Despite powerful testimonies from citizens during the 15-hour-long meeting, the resolution passed with a 3-2 vote.
The resolution, authored by San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, states that “using health misinformation is causing a public health crisis” in San Diego County.
The Board Letter introducing the proposal states, “At a pivotal time in our history, with an FDA-approved vaccine available to all San Diegans free of charge and booster shots recommended later this year, health misinformation now presents a greater threat to public health than a variant of COVID-19.”
Explaining his reason for submitting the resolution, Fletcher said, “Combatting health misinformation needs to start on the ground, in counties and cities across our nation. San Diego County took the first step by becoming the first local jurisdiction in the country to align its policies with the U.S. Surgeon General’s recommendations to fight health misinformation. Health misinformation is a national crisis and it requires all of us to fight against it together.”
The county will take the following actions for now.
Despite the declaration blatantly opposing the First Amendment’s protection of free speech, Fletcher claimed, “I fully support the first amendment, and people’s right to say and believe what they want, but we also have the right and responsibility to call out things that are objectively false.”
“The pervasiveness of health misinformation was on full display at our Board of Supervisors meeting a couple of weeks ago, and we have an obligation to make sure we are defending the science and pushing back on the non-science,” he added.
Individuals speaking at the meeting did not hold back in letting the board know the people won’t allow their rights to be trampled on without pushback.
One woman warned, “You’re guilty of misinforming the public. Trials will be held, you will be held accountable for your crimes against humanity.”
Matt Baker, a dreadlocked man who went viral in August for criticizing the county’s mask mandate, said, “Last I checked, you weren’t my health care provider. The Constitution and right to privacy guarantees this. This is why this is America and you guys can’t make your camps for the unvaccinated. What’s next, Nathan? You gonna make me cut my dreads?”
During a 5-minute recess, citizens shouted at the board members and one woman was escorted out of the building.
San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies made a line to block the supervisors from the angry crowd.
One of the two supervisors who voted against the proposal said, “Misinformation, I agree, is dangerous. However, it is hard for me to believe that we – or anyone – knows everything there is to know about COVID and medicine. For the past 18 months, there have been many contradictions made by all the experts. Today’s facts may become tomorrow’s misinformation.”
San Diego’s Matt Baker joined The Alex Jones Show two weeks ago in a fiery interview.
NBC San Diego covered the meeting in the following news report:
See more footage of the meeting’s public speakers here: