SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Emotions erupted Tuesday during a San Diego County Board of Supervisors meeting that lasted hours, with a number of community members showing up to the meeting after a rally protesting masks and vaccine mandates.
At least 120 people spoke during public comment of a routine agenda item. The speakers touched on a number of topics, including opposing vaccine mandates, mask use, the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the county's response to the pandemic.
Some of the public comment included profanity, screaming, and threats towards county officials. County officials were compared to Nazis and Hitler.
Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher reacted to the hours-long meeting on Wednesday, expressing his frustration and calling the meeting disheartening.
"We have to work really hard to call this for what it is, it is disinformation and lies," said Fletcher.
Fletcher also addressed a post he made on Instagram after the meeting. The post was a message that criticized those that say they do their own research on certain topics. Fletcher said he didn't draft the original post, but received it from a friend and shared it to his page. He said he stands by it "unequivocally."
"I think it’s interesting that the same people that came down to the county and called us terrorists and Nazis and worse than Hitler and that we’re force-killing people are upset by a social media post that had a cuss word in it," said Fletcher.
Supervisor Jim Desmond wasn't available for an interview Wednesday, but during the meeting, he did encourage those that want a vaccine to get one, saying it does reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. He also said he'd fight for anyone's right who does not want to get the vaccine.
San Diego County does not currently have a vaccine mandate. Earlier in the week, county officials did recommend that employers require their employees to get one.
There is also no mask mandate in the county, but mask use is recommended indoors.