California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has put himself in a difficult position by attending a birthday party, getting caught breaking the rules he enforced to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The governor was spotted at the elite French Laundry restaurant, just north of San Francisco, on Nov. 6 where indoor dining occurred with at least a dozen people to celebrate the birthday of Newsom's friend and political adviser.
Newsom maintains that his party took the proper precautions and followed the recommended health guidelines.
But new images of the gathering show otherwise.
EXCLUSIVE: We've obtained photos of Governor Gavin Newsom at the Napa dinner party he's in hot water over. The photos call into question just how outdoors the dinner was. A witness who took photos tells us his group was so loud, the sliding doors had to be closed. 10pm on @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/gtOVEwa864
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) November 18, 2020
A Newsom spokesman refused to answer questions about whether Newsom wore a mask the whole time as he’s told Californians to do, but it has been confirmed that multiple families were represented at the party.
"While our family followed the restaurant's health protocols and took safety precautions, we should have modeled better behavior and not joined the dinner," Newsom said in a statement.
Critics are pointing out Newsom's personal double standard on many levels since he held a news conference three days after the party warning that the state's cases were spiking due to social gatherings.
Many are calling out Newsom's credibility, especially after he recently issued extreme COVID policies for upcoming holiday gatherings for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
"This was totally unnecessary, he didn't have to do this," said University of Southern California Prof. Sherry Bebitch Jeffe.
Andrew Noymer, a public health professor at the University of California, Irvine, said Newsom should be ashamed. "People should practice what they preach," Noymer said. "It's really tone-deaf and the fact that it is at one of the most elite restaurants in the world could really haunt him."
Meanwhile, California has issued a strong advisory against traveling, but California lawmakers are among a group of roughly 50 people from four states who have assembled in Hawaii this week for an event being held by the Independent Voter Project.
The group of nearly 20 lawmakers and their families, came from California, Texas, and Washington state for a four-day conference at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui, Politico reports.
Dan Howle, the project's executive director didn't seem too worried about people from across the country traveling in planes to gather as a big group. Hawaii allows visitors to bypass a prolonged quarantine if they provide proof of a negative COVID test that was taken within 72 hours.
"It really doesn't matter where you're coming from as long as you have a negative COVID test before you arrive here," Howle said.
Some of the lawmakers known to be attending the event include California Assemblymember Chad Mayes (I-Yucca Valley), Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D-CA48), and Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-CA09).
Howle refused to name the rest of the attendees and indicated that the 18th annual event was a third of its usual size.
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