'Embarrassed and a little pissed off': California doctor tells off coronavirus deniers in passionate speech

RICHMOND, California -- As the coronavirus crisis worsens in parts of California, and ICU beds are already at 47% capacity, one doctor shared his frustration.

"I bulls**t you not, it is time to become serious about this COVID," said Dr. Desmond Carson, as he implored people to wear masks, practice social distancing and wash their hands in his prepared remarks during a Friday press conference.

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But it was during the question and answer session, when Carson was called back to the podium, that his frustration with the community and its treatment of COVID-19 boiled over.

"We had the National Guard come out to stem nonviolent protesters who killed no one. We need the National Guard to come out to tell these fools who don't want to wear masks, you're going to wear the mask or you're going to go home," he said.

"A grocery clerk should not have to fight a grown man to wear a mask. That's not their job. ... Our rights are going to kill us. Our rights to not wear a mask, that bulls**t is going to kill us."

Watch Dr. Carson's impassioned speech in the video at the top of this story.

Carson also expressed his disappointment in the government's response to the pandemic, with no national shutdown. "We've had 134,000 people die in this country, but there was no response to try to stem that. ... South Korea had one, two, three, four cases. They shut the whole damn country down. Shut it down! We're out here playing."

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The doctor added he was "embarrassed" by some of his colleagues in the medical field who haven't responded to the county's urgent need to treat patients.

"We took an oath. I'm embarrassed and a little pissed off to say they would not come. This white jacket means something."

"When flu season comes, how am I going differentiate flu from corona? How am I going to do that?" he asked. "If we don't get serious, ashes, ashes, we all fall down."

Contra Costa County has been on the state's watch list since July 5. As a result, it has paused and rolled back some of its reopening.
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