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Chico Mayor addresses Facebook post on coronavirus outbreak

Tens of thousands sick, roughly 7,000 dead, the coronavirus is no laughing matter. Some say a Facebook post by Chico Mayor Randall Stone is inappropriate.

Posted: Mar 16, 2020 8:58 PM
Updated: Mar 16, 2020 9:04 PM

CHICO, Calif. - Recently a post posted by Chico Mayor Randall Stone has gotten attention for the way he spoke on the coronavirus.

"Because the coronavirus is so dangerous, the council has been asked to pass an ordinance banning its distribution," read Mayor Randall Stone's Facebook post. "Prior to the outbreak, no one had even considered a ban, and now this council, due to its inaction, must ban this virus outright."

Stone seems to make a joke in the post, comparing the community request to ban needle handouts to the concept of banning the coronavirus.

When asked if he believes the coronavirus is a serious matter, the Mayor said absolutely.

"Every single action I've taken on my Facebook page - both above and below that message - have been about the severity of COVID, in fact, I believe this may be the most trying times in our nation's history; because of the coronavirus, because of our unwillingness to address safety to prevent these viral attacks."

Some Facebook users who commented feel the post was making fun of the coronavirus. 

"Why would anyone make light of this situation? This is a deadly viral disease, there are people in this community that are going to die because of the inaction of our state and local representatives," said the Mayor.

Stone says the reasoning behind his post was to evoke a conversation about the seriousness of the pandemic.

"It was partially stark, given congressman Doug LaMalfa, councilman Scott Huber and assemblyman James Gallagher were all pushing these billboards at the end of the town talking about communicable disease but at the same time not assisting us with economic support," said Stone.

He also said that he only post what he views as relevant and will repeat what becomes relative to the community.

"I don't want to be a source for public health information," said Stone. "The reason being, they have the most readily available information regarding that topic, so if I start posting what public health is doing, then I become a source that somebody wants to depend on and I don't want to do that."

Stone told Action News Now the next steps are to make sure to fight this virus and that we economically improve.

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