The California Attractions & Parks Association blasted Gov. Gavin Newsom after he said there was “no rush” to reopen theme parks in the state, specifically Disneyland, amid the pandemic.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Newsom made the comment during a press conference after he was asked about Disney chairman Bob Iger’s resignation from his state’s coronavirus economic task force.
The Governor told reporters that he understood Disney’s frustration, but he wasn’t going to budge on his stance.
“It didn’t come as a surprise to me at all. There are disagreements about opening a major theme park. We’re going to let science and data make that determination,” he said.
CAPA said that Newsom’s stance was unacceptable and pointed to the successful reopening of Florida’s Walt Disney World in July as an example that it could be done.
In a statement, CAPA executive director Erin Guerrero called it “disconcerting” that Newsom has no planned timeline for issuing guidance to the theme parks on when they can reopen. “Each day that parks are closed further decimates the amusement park industry. The Governor’s ‘no big rush’ approach is ruining businesses and livelihoods for thousands who could responsibly be back at work.”
Disney executives also criticized Newsom’s lackadaisical approach.
Disney’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pamela Hymel explained in a statement that the company had taken a “robust science-based approach to responsibly reopening our parks and resorts across the globe.”
Hymel claimed that Disney created health and safety protocols that “were developed in consultation with epidemiologists and data scientists, after considering guidance from the CDC and experts in local government and health agencies.”
The delay to reopen already caused Disney to lay-off 28,000 employees last month, but Newsom said on Wednesday, “We don’t anticipate in the immediate term any of these larger parks opening until we see more stability in terms of the data. We feel there’s no hurry to put out guidelines, and we continue to work with the industry.”