Gov. Newsom Launders COVID-19 Restrictions – OpEd


On October 9, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued “Guidance for Private Gatherings,” which restricted the number of families attending the same non-public event, recommended a time limit of two hours, and demanded masks and social distancing. Any singing or chanting should be done in a low voice, wind instruments are banned, and the host is to take names of “all attendees,” should contract tracing be needed later. The next month, Gov. Newsom showed how serious he was taking the guidelines.

On November 6, Newsom attended a party at the upscale French Laundry restaurant in Napa, which apparently had continued as an “essential” business during the pandemic. The gathering included a dozen people of different households, including top medical officials and lobbyist Jason Kinney. As photos of the event revealed, the guests weren’t wearing masks or social distancing, and the group was so loud the sliding doors had to be closed. Newsom offered an apology, but if Californians considered it half-baked it would be hard to blame them. As they might note, this was hardly the only challenge of health guidelines by California’s ruling class.

This month a group of legislators flew to Hawaii, a state more locked down than California, for an event of the Independent Voter Project at the upscale Fairmont Kea Lani on the island of Maui. The group included Democrats and Republicans, and some brought along their families. Unlike Gov. Newsom, this group defended the junket. Paso Robles Republican assemblyman Jordan Cunningham told reporters, “This event promotes intelligent public policy in our state. In fact, we are here discussing ways we can safely reopen our society and save our small businesses, workers, and kids.” Like Gov. Newsom’s crowd at the French Laundry, the legislators paid with their own money, but whatever intelligent public policy they promoted did not emerge in any detail. Both events bring to mind the late billionaire Leona Helmsley. 

We don’t pay taxes,” Helmsley used to say. “Only the little people pay taxes.” In similar style, California’s strict regulations apply primarily to the little people, not the ruling class. So on Thanksgiving Day, remember to keep on that mask, lower your voice when singing or chanting, and don’t play any wind instruments. Be safe, and a white coat supremacy Christmas to all Californians.

This article was published by The Beacon

K. Lloyd Billingsley

K. Lloyd Billingsley is a Policy Fellow at the Independent Institute and a columnist at The Daily Caller.

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