- California Governor Gavin Newsom said he "should have modeled better behavior" after attending a dinner party with at least a dozen people at an upscale Napa Valley restaurant, The San Francisco Chronicle first reported Friday.
- About a week after the private gathering, Newsom issued an advisory on Friday asking state residents to "limit interactions to their immediate household" as California recently surpassed 1 million confirmed cases of coronavirus.
- Critics and journalists swiftly slammed and called out the governor's actions as hypocritical.
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California Governor Newsom said he and his family "should have modeled better behavior" after it was reported that he attended a dinner party inconsistent with his own messaging for state residents to limit social gatherings.
Newsom and his wife attended a dinner party on November 6 with at least a dozen people at an upscale Napa Valley restaurant, The San Francisco Chronicle first reported Friday. According to the Chronicle, a spokesperson for Newsom said the governor abided by public health guidelines.
Newsom issued a statement on Friday, saying, "While our family followed the restaurant's health protocols and took safety precautions, we should have modeled better behavior and not joined the dinner," according to the Chronicle and the Associated Press.
A week after the dinner party, Newsom, alongside Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington Governor Jay Inslee, issued a travel advisory ahead of the holiday season which asked California residents to "avoid non-essential travel to other states or countries" and "limit interactions to their immediate household."
California, which recently surpassed 1 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University, had eased restrictions last month, allowing gatherings of up to three households to socialize outdoors, the Daily News reported.
Critics and journalists swiftly called out the governor's actions as hypocritical. Republican San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer tweeted, "He can celebrate birthday parties. But you can't. He can dine on a $350 meal at one California's fanciest restaurants during the worst recession in generations. But you definitely can't."
The California GOP slammed Newsom for "talking out of both sides of his mouth" and CalMatters political reporter Laurel Rosenhall pointed out that the governor "dines with a dozen friends while telling the rest of us not to."
A spokesperson for Newsom did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
This past week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi faced backlash over an in-person welcome dinner for Members-elect of the house. The in-person dinner was canceled and boxed meals were given out instead.
As Business Insider's Yelena Dzhanova reported, several states are tightening restrictions in an attempt to curtail the spread of the coronavirus as millions of Americans are expected to travel and gather for Thanksgiving.
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