Gov. Newsom faces backlash after breaking his own COVID-19 guidelines

U.S. Army Pfc. Cynthia Veliz of the California Army National Guard collects a COVID-19 test specimen at a drive-thru assessment site in Long Beach, California, April 27, 2020. Photo by The National Guard (CC BY 2.0).

Over the weekend, new coronavirus cases in LA County were as high as they were at the previous peak in July. Saturday alone had more than 37,000 new cases. LA is mulling a curfew to clamp down on the spread.

Officials are desperate to get people to take this seriously and not socialize during Thanksgiving. But many are weary of staying home. Apparently that includes Governor Newsom, who just apologized for attending a birthday party earlier this month at the French Laundry, a fancy restaurant in Napa Valley.

“Certainly it doesn’t send a great message at a time when the state is saying please don’t travel, please avoid mixing with other households, and then to see the governor doing it at this really opulent restaurant,” says Politico state politics reporter Jeremy White.

Newsom has relied on social pressures and recommendations instead of statewide lockdowns to limit the spread of COVID-19. But White says it doesn’t help his argument that there’s now proof he hasn’t abided by the recommendations himself.

“Even if they were within the letter of the law, it’s not a great model to set,” he says. “This was not a great example of modeling correct behavior.”

Credits

Guest:
Jeremy White - co-author of Politico’s California Daybook

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Caleigh Wells, Angie Perrin