California GOP Senate leader spoke at huge church event despite being under quarantine
California Senate Minority Leader Shannon Grove (R) spoke at a Sunday church event that gathered thousands of people in Sacramento, Calif., despite being ordered to quarantine until Thursday.
Grove appeared at the Christian “Let Us Worship” event outside the state Capitol without a mask and spoke on stage, even though she had been ordered to quarantine between Aug. 27 and the upcoming Thursday, The Sacramento Bee reported. Her quarantine, along with other state Republican lawmakers, was ordered after she attended a lunch with state Sen. Brian Jones (R), who tested positive for COVID-19 on Aug. 26.
The GOP state Senate leader applied for a permit to hold the event, which permitted 1,000 people with social distancing. But the California Highway Patrol reported that about 3,000 people attended the event, and videos showed people standing shoulder to shoulder, most without masks, The Washington Post reported.
“We are gonna worship like we’ve never worshiped before, and I declare that after all of this is over tonight, the remnant, the residue of this worship will saturate this ground and seep into that building,” she said on stage, according to the Bee. “And when it goes into that building, it will touch every heart that enters. God bless you, let us worship!”
In Grove’s application to hold the event at the Capitol, the organizers pledged to “make announcements and have people designated to assist in making sure people are” social distancing, according to documents reviewed by the Los Angeles Times.
Grove’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sean Feucht, a former congressional candidate, has organized several “Let Us Worship” events as a way to protest coronavirus restrictions on indoor worship services. He estimated that 12,000 people attended Sunday’s event in Sacramento.
Official Capitol Hill police estimate was 12,000 tonight in Sacramento!!!
— Sean Feucht (@seanfeucht) September 7, 2020
State officials have requested that attendees of the event now quarantine and monitor for symptoms for 14 days. But organizers of “Let Us Worship” have already moved to other cities on the West Coast, such as Seattle, for different events.
Feucht held a concert for hundreds in Seattle on Monday despite city officials shutting down a park where the gathering was planned, The Seattle Times reported.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) condemned the event during a Tuesday press conference, saying “literally someone can lose their lives” by attending.
“It does not help to have thousands and thousands of people not practicing physical distancing or social distancing not wearing masks,” he said.
Sacramento County health director Peter Beilenson told the Los Angeles Times that the event violated county and state restrictions and said officials would have tried to shut it down if his office was aware of it.
The event came after churches rebelled against orders in California and other states restricting or forbidding in-person worship services to prevent coronavirus from spreading.