Two California Medical Association officials were among the party guests that attended a birthday party with Governor Gavin Newsom last week that violated Newsom’s own COVID-19 regulations.
Photos obtained exclusively by Fox 11 reveal that not only were there two medical officials mixing company without the use of masks or social distancing, but that the event occurred indoors, contrary to what Newsom told the public after the event.
The woman who took the photos spoke with Fox 11 about what she witnessed that evening when 20 feet away from her own dinner party, there was “a very loud party going on.”
“It got louder and louder and so they had some sliding glass doors that they were able to close, so then it was a closed-off room but you could still hear them with how loud they were.
I just happened to look over and realize hey is that Gavin Newsom, who is that? And I did ask one of the waitresses and she confirmed it was, so I was able to take a couple of photos, I was able to document this especially since nobody was wearing a mask. It was a very large group of people shoulder to shoulder, something that he’s always telling us not to do so yeah it was a bit annoying for sure.”
The birthday party was held on November 6th at The French Laundry located in Napa Valley. Twelve guests from several different households gathered together to celebrate the 50th birthday of Jason Kinney, a longtime friend and political advisor of Newsom.
When it was discovered that Newsom had attended the party, violating his own recommendations to wear face masks, practice social distancing, and to limit private gatherings to a maximum of three separate households, the governor apologized.
“I made a bad mistake,” Newsom said in his apology video on Monday.
He said that when he arrived at the event, he realized there were more people than he expected. “Instead of sitting down, I should have stood up and walked back down to my car and drove back to my house.”
“You can quibble about the guidelines,” he said, “but the spirit of what I’m preaching all the time was contradicted and I gotta own that.”
But the woman who took the photos said she was surprised with Newsom’s apology, saying “it didn’t look like he was uncomfortable being there until the very end until people were looking at him and staring at him as he was leaving the room.”
In the photos, two California Medical Association officials have been identified. To Newsom’s left sits one of CMA’s top lobbyists, Janus Norman. And to Newsom’s right sits CEO Dustin Corcoran.
In June, the California Medical Association wrote on Twitter that, “Anyone who wants businesses to reopen and schools to open in the fall should wear a mask. Anyone who wants to slow the spread of COVID-19 should wear a mask. Anyone who wants to protect themselves, their neighbor and their community should wear a mask. Wear a mask.”
And despite the fact that Newsom and Kinney’s lobbying firm have defended the party by calling it an outdoor event, the photos call that claim into question.
“The photos suggest that the dinner was held in what amounts to a fancy garage, with walls on three sides and a roof.”
While Newsom may get away with a simple apology, Jon Miltimore of the Foundation for Economic Freedom has pointed out that regular Californians have been arrested and fined when they were found in violation of the governor’s orders.