Bay Area elected officials on possible martial law in California, in response to pandemic

Prior to ordering California’s nearly 40 million residents to stay home in a statewide lockdown amid the coronavirus crisis, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he had put the National Guard on alert and that martial law could be used “if we feel the necessity.”

Under martial law, civil laws would be suspended and the military takes charge.

It’s not usually handed down in the U.S. — but Newsom’s office clarified that the governor does not envision tanks and armed soldiers patrolling the streets.

Instead, it would be a humanitarian mission to support health and safety.

San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa said martial law is too extreme of an idea.

“There should never be martial law. I know we’re under coronavirus. Martial law has many, many, bad implications. We’ve seen martial law in the Philippines. That did not work out too well.”

Daly City’s Filipina American Vice Mayor Juslyn Manalo echoed supervisor Canepa’s sentiments.

“In extreme times, I can see why he’s thinking about doing so. But I believe that our community as a whole can work together prior to us even moving in that direction.”

For now, Governor Newsom said the national guard will help in food banks and other humanitarian missions.

Amid the crisis, Bay Area officials continue to have faith in its community to being safe and responsible.

“We will be able to get through this, but we need every single person’s help,” said Manalo.

“This community that I represent in Northern San Mateo County represents the Bay Area,” said Canepa. “We are the most grittiest community, and when it comes to being challenged, being called to task, we always rise to the occasion. And I know it’s not basketball season, and they canceled the season, but we’re still living through the warriors. It’s all about strength in numbers.”

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