California GOP leader defied quarantine order to hold massive prayer rally — and didn’t even wear a mask

California GOP leader defied quarantine order to hold massive prayer rally — and didn’t even wear a mask
Image via Screengrab.

Shannon Grove, minority leader of the California State Senate, has been under quarantine — or at least she was supposed to be — after coming in close contact with a fellow Republican who tested positive for COVID-19: California State Sen. Brian Jones, who was diagnosed on August 26. But that didn’t prevent Grove from attending a crowded Christian music event and rally in Sacramento on Sunday, September 6 — and according to Washington Post reporter Tim Elfrink, she wasn’t wearing a protective face mask.


The event, billed as Let Us Worship, was supposed to allow up to 1000 attendees and enforce social distancing measures, but according to the California Highway Patrol, around 3000 people showed up. Videos of the event, Elfrink noted, “showed virtually no social distancing or masks in the crowd”— and California Gov. Gavin Newsom is warning that the concert could turn out to be a superspreader event.

“It does not help to have thousands and thousands of people not practicing physical distancing or social distancing not wearing masks,” Newsom warned.

Sean Feucht, the musician and Christian fundamentalist who organized the Let Us Worship event, has been highly critical of social distancing measures — and when he appeared on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” he claimed that city officials were discriminating against Christianity. What he didn’t tell Fox News is that he might have been responsible for a superspreader event.

Grove, according to Elfrink, “took the stage on Sunday and spoke at length to the crowd — while failing to wear a mask.” Elfrink also notes that California health officials are “urging anyone who attended the prayer event to self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms.”

According to Sacramento County Health Director Peter Beilenson, the Let Us Worship event violated the safety guidelines that California has had in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Beilenson, speaking to the Los Angeles Times, said of the event, “Everyone was piled up. That’s a problem. It’s not a matter of if there will be an outbreak from this, it’s how big.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.