California Governor Gavin Newsom Skirts His Own Coronavirus Restrictions To Attend Birthday Party Unmasked

( Another Democratic governor apparently doesn’t believe his state’s COVID-19 restrictions apply to him.

On Monday, Gavin Newsom, the Democratic governor of California, said he’d be “pulling the emergency brake” on reopening plans for his state. That same day, though, he also had to issue an apology when he was caught violating the rules he just announced.

Los Angeles-based Fox11 recently obtained photos that show Newsome and his wife Jennifer attending a 50th birthday party for Jason Kinney, a lobbyist and political consultant, on November 6. The celebration was held at the French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley.

The event was supposedly held entirely outdoors in the courtyard of the restaurant. More than two dozen people attended.

Photos that Fox11 had obtained showed Newsome sitting closely with other guests at a table, and none of the people were wearing masks. While the initial reports were that the event was being held entirely outdoors, that was debunked by the woman who took the photos. She said the birthday party was loud, and sliding doors in the restaurant were closed to reduce the noise.

Following the photos of the event being released, Newsom publicly apologized. He said:

“I made a bad mistake. I should have stood up and … drove back to my house. The spirit of what I’m preaching all the time was contradicted. I need to preach and practice, not just preach.”

Newsom has received a lot of praise from many people around the country for being aggressive in fighting the coronavirus. He was the first governor to issue a stay-at-home order back on March 19. Generally speaking, he hasn’t been criticized too much for his decisions.

But this is a huge black mark on Newsom’s leadership.

Robin Abcarian wrote for the Los Angeles Times:

“The governor, who has been among the state’s most vocal advocates of playing by the pandemic rules that he himself has created, blew it. He did not, in his own tired phrase, meet the moment. I mean, they do say the food at the French Laundry is to die for. But is it?

Newsom understood right away how bad that dinner looked. He had just foolishly handed his opponents ammunition on a silver platter.”

The California governor has been mentioned as one of the up-and-coming politicians within the Democratic Party. He has higher political aspirations. This incident won’t likely stunt those aspirations, though, since he luckily leads an extremely Democratic state.

If he were to seek a high-profile office that Democrats don’t dominate, though, he’d likely face extreme criticism by Republicans and others regarding this scenario.

Newsom becomes just the latest Democratic local leader who has been caught violating their own coronavirus restrictions.

The mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, has twice done so. Recently, she tweeted a video of herself without a mask at a celebration for President-elect Joe Biden, even though she told MSNBC that “everyone was wearing masks.” That happened while the mayor was also chiding people for “still” meeting in private places together, which contributes to the spread of the virus.