Mayor Eric Garcetti said early Tuesday that Los Angeles will reverse course and reopen a coronavirus testing site at Union Station, reversing a much-criticized decision to allow the site to be temporarily closed for a movie shoot.
"Working with @LAFD, @Curative & @metrolosangeles, my team has worked to reopen testing at Union Station on Tuesday," Garcetti tweeted at 12:11 a.m. "The 504 Angelenos who were scheduled for a test there can visit the kiosk as originally planned or any of the other 14 City sites, where we offer 38K tests daily."
On Monday, the homeless advocacy group Ktown for All tweeted a copy of an email allegedly sent from the testing company to a resident who had an appointment for a test on Tuesday. The email explained that all testing appointments for Tuesday were canceled due to "an event being held at this location," and that appointments would resume on Wednesday.
"In the middle of a horrible and terrifying COVID spike, LA just cancelled all of its Dec 1 appointments at Union Station (one of the only transit-accessible facilities) with less than 24hrs notice because of A FILM SHOOT!! @MayorOfLA @metrolosangeles @lapublichealt WTF???!!???" Ktown for All tweeted.
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The shoot was for "He's All That," a film inspired by the 1999 romantic comedy "She's All That" and featuring TikTok star Addison Rae, according to the Los Angeles Times, which cited the city and county's film office.
Several people weighed in on Garcetti's Twitter feed to express outrage at the original decision to allow the closure.
"It's wild how we live in a city of 4 million people, where the only thing standing between the Mayor and decisions so stupid they literally kill people is a network of unpaid activists who let the rest of us know when to cyberbully you. Thanks @KtownforAll," local writer Jelena Woehr tweeted.
"I sincerely can't believe that this is not an Onion article, and you took 7 hours from the initial posting to say AT MIDNIGHT that tests (which shouldn't have been closed to begin with) will be reopened," artist Andrew Minghee Kim wrote.
"Why were the permits authorized in the 1st place? It's a testing site not a book club meet-up. This will be your cross to bear and documented on your record as mayor. Bless your heart," tweeted Angela Naomi.
Garcetti has been the target of several consecutive days of demonstrations in front of his house by activists from Black Lives Matter and others who don't want President-elect Joe Biden to name the mayor to his cabinet. They say Garcetti has a poor record of aiding the homeless and following through with local transportation projects, accusations the mayor's team denies.
Los Angeles residents in need of a coronavirus test were encouraged to visit coronavirus.LACity.org/Testing.