The Beverly Hills City Council voted to repeal its moratorium on any elective surgeries, including cosmetic procedures and plastic surgeries.
Members voted 4-1 to remove restrictions put in place by the state to ensure more beds for coronavirus patients and to prepare hospitals for a surge of cases.
While doctors will have the authority to decide if a procedure is medically necessary, the vote means cosmetic surgeries will now be permitted in the city of Beverly Hills.
Beverly Hills Mayor Lester Friedman says the decision to allow all elective surgeries was made to comply with California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order.
“We just wanted to be in line with what the state and the L.A. County Department of Public Health has permitted,” Friedman said.
Last week, Newsom announced the state will once again begin allowing scheduled surgeries. The governor also noted that elective procedures like cosmetic surgery are not a priority.
Councilmember John Mirisch, who voted against the decision, said it is absolutely “ridiculous,” “absurd,” and “offensive” to allow cosmetic surgeries at this time.
“In the middle of a pandemic, nobody needs Botox,” he told CNN. “To me, that’s just kind of an obvious sort of thing.”
“We should have simply said, we will allow colonoscopies and tumor removals and angioplasties and heart valve replacements. We will permit those, we will not permit purely cosmetic surgery,” Mirisch said. “The city had the opportunity to make that clarification, it actually never did.”
A city spokesperson disputed Mirisch’s characterization of the decision.
“The notion that this is solely about cosmetic surgeries is a mischaracterization,” the spokesperson said in a statement to CNN.
The City of Beverly Hills tweeted Wednesday, “While some elective procedures will be allowed, others such as cosmetic surgeries are still not recommended by the State, LA County Health or the City of Beverly Hills during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“We’re basically saying, we’re not recommending it but we’re allowing it,” said Mirisch, referring to the city’s tweet.
And the decision could further constrain the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from medical workers who desperately need it amid a nationwide shortage, he says.
“We’re seriously going to reduce the supply of that so people can have a rhinoplasty or liposuction or breast augmentation, and take away PPE from those who are on the front lines of battling the virus,” Mirisch said.
Friedman, the city’s mayor, says the decision puts the city in line with the state’s and county’s requirements.
He clarified that, “if a procedure is medically necessary and it is an essential surgery that does not include those that are purely cosmetic, it is allowed.”
“Why councilmember Mirisch thinks, or has tweeted, or has put out that all of a sudden people can get purely cosmetic surgeries is beyond me and my colleagues,” Friedman told CNN.