RELEASE: Statement on Recent Dangerous Rhetoric from John Moorlach


CONTACT:¬†[email protected], Orrin Evans (818) 359-5536

Statement on Recent Dangerous Rhetoric from John Moorlach
State Senator with anti vaccination record doubles down on dangerous COVID-19 rhetoric

April 21, 2020– Irvine, CA–¬†Over the weekend,¬†California State Senator John Moorlach came out in support¬†of last week‚Äôs protests against the state‚Äôs COVID-19 ‚Äúsocial distancing‚ÄĚ measures, calling for the state to ‚Äúlighten up‚ÄĚ and allow people to resume certain activities such as playing golf or visiting the dentist. His opponent, UC Irvine law professor Dave Min, issued the following statement in response:

‚ÄúThis is outrageously irresponsible and dangerous rhetoric and Senator Moorlach should be ashamed of himself. The threat that COVID-19 poses to our society cannot be overstated. 170,000 people, including more than 42,000 Americans, have already died from this novel virus. While every death is a tragedy, California‚Äôs death count has been kept relatively low because our state has followed the guidance of scientists and medical experts. Encouraging people to flout our state‚Äôs ‚Äústay at home‚ÄĚ directives is going to get people killed.

While we are all concerned about the economic impacts of COVID-19, let’s be clear. The biggest threat to our economy is to have more COVID-19 infections. Economic activity will not return to normal until the threat of contagion is reduced to manageable levels. Calls to open up the economy and ignore physical distancing protocols while this pandemic is still raging will simply prolong the spread of this virus and drag down any possibility of an economic recovery. More importantly, this will lead to many more Californians dying unnecessarily.

If he were doing his job, Senator Moorlach would be consulting with scientists and epidemiologists rather than making light of this pandemic. I encourage him to spend some time visiting with the doctors, nurses, and other health professionals risking their lives on the front line every day, because they would be the first to tell him this is no laughing matter. Unfortunately, the residents of Senate District 37 have become all too familiar with this type of uninformed pablum from our State Senator, who has built up a well-deserved reputation for being anti-science over his career.‚ÄĚ

Sen. Moorlach’s comments were made following Friday’s Huntington Beach protest, where roughly 100 people ignored physical distancing protocols to protest against California’s COVID-19 directives in a highly publicized rally that was seen as supporting President Donald Trump. Over the weekend, California State Senator John Moorlach publicly supported this protest, and was quoted as stating the following:

“I¬†think we’ve got to start treating people like adults. There’s got to be some relaxing,” Moorlach said. “I don’t play golf, but, really? You’re not going to let people play golf? Or buy cars at a car dealership or go to the dentist?”

He acknowledged that some people could be asymptomatic, meaning they are carriers of the virus but show no symptoms, “but life comes with risks, and I don’t see anyone telling me not to drive anymore because I might die. I don’t have all the answers, but, wait a second, maybe we need to lighten up in certain areas.”

The troubling statements follow a dangerous pattern of anti-science and fringe positions by the controversial State Senator. Among other things, Sen. Moorlach has embraced the so-called ‚Äúanti-vaxx‚ÄĚ movement,¬†equating vaccination requirements with totalitarianism¬†and repeatedly opposing vaccination requirements in¬†schools¬†and¬†day care centers. He has also rejected the scientific consensus on climate change, stating that¬†‚Äúthe jury is still out about the impacts humans have on climate‚Ä̬†and¬†denying that ‚Äúhuman activity is a primary or significant driver in warming the globe.‚ÄĚ


David Min is a University of California Irvine Law Professor, father of three, and a former economic policy staffer in the United States Senate and for the Center for American Progress. Min began his legal career at the Securities and Exchange Commission to protect the retirement security of seniors, turning down high paying jobs to serve the public interest. He is a leading economic expert  whose research focuses on banking and housing policy.

California State Senate District 37 is located in Orange County and includes the communities of Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Foothill Ranch, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Newport Beach, Orange, Tustin, and Villa Park and is ranked by political handicappers as a ‚Äútoss up.‚ÄĚ The incumbent career politician John Moorlach, an unwavering Trump supporter and anti-vaccination proponent, was soundly rejected by a majority of voters in the March 3, 2020 primary¬†election.

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