State Watch

Newsom says he shouldn’t have attended 12-person party amid pandemic

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Friday acknowledged he should not have attended a 12-person birthday party amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Newsom and his wife attended a birthday party for his adviser Jason Kinney last week, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The governor had discouraged these types of gatherings during the pandemic.

“While our family followed the restaurant’s health protocols and took safety precautions, we should have modeled better behavior and not joined the dinner,” the governor said in a statement shared with The Hill.

California’s current coronavirus guidelines prohibit gatherings that include more than three households, according to the Chronicle. Gatherings must also be held outside and should last no longer than two hours. 

But Newsom’s communications director Nathan Click defended the party. He told the Chronicle that it was outdoors at a restaurant, which follows a separate set of regulations that do not specify if people from more than three households can congregate. 

Click further said that Newsom and his wife “followed public health guidelines and the restaurant’s health protocols — all in line with the state’s rules for restaurant operation.” 

Click noted that restaurants only have to “limit the number of patrons at a single table to a household unit or patrons who have asked to be seated together.”

It is unclear how many households were in attendance.

California on Thursday became the second state to hit 1 million coronavirus cases, following Texas. The same day, the U.S. recorded more than 152,000 new cases, surpassing a daily increase of 150,000 for the first time since the pandemic hit. 

Experts have long warned that cases would surge in the coming months as the colder weather forces people to spend more time indoors. 

Updated at 3:45 p.m. EST

Tags California Coronavirus COVID19 Gavin Newsom

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