Democrat California Governor Gavin Newsom continues to be criticized for being caught unmasked at the recent NFL playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.
Newsom took photos with other celebrities and public officials, including Lakers legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and actor Rob Lowe.
Johnson posted the photos on his Twitter account, followed by mainstream and cable news networks.
The SoFi Stadium rules state that “masks are required for all attendees except when actively eating or drinking.”
When asked about his mask-less appearance, Newsom said he was “very judicious” about wearing his mask at the game and only removed his mask momentarily to take the photos and drink water.
“The rest of the time, I wore it, as we all should,” said Newsom.
Under pressure, Newsom later announced an end to indoor mask mandates in the state, stating Feb. 15.
Fox News labeled the incident “French Laundry 2.0” in reference to Newsom’s attendance at a dinner party at the Napa Valley’s upscale French Laundry restaurant in November 2020, breaking his Covid-19 state protocols.
According to a statement by Jessica Millan Patterson, chair of the state Republican Party, the governor showed “insulting disregard” of mask rules.
“While they force California children to wear masks in school, Gavin Newsom and friends get to enjoy a mask-free night of football in a packed stadium. His blatant and insulting disregard for his own Covid rules is crystal clear sign that it’s time for his Draconian policies and state of emergency to go.”
Mask mandate review
Following Newsom’s mask-less appearance, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger called on local and state health officials to reevaluate Covid-19 mask mandates, explaining that it should be the individual’s decision when to wear one.
“Let’s do away with blanket Covid-19 masking policies — they don’t make a difference when they’re not consistently followed or enforced. We need to trust the public to make the best personal decisions for themselves based on their unique risks and circumstances.”
Barger pointed to the game, saying there was inconsistent adherence to the mask-wearing requirement.
The photos drew uproar from critics who accused the officials of hypocrisy when the public must follow county and state mask mandates. Los Angeles County requires all attendees to wear masks at significant outdoor events, like the game in SoFi Stadium.
Barger continued, “Masking rules set by the state and county weren’t followed consistently by everyone at yesterday’s NFC Championship. Instead, we saw individuals choosing to mask up based on calculated personal risk.
“Modern stadiums like SoFi Stadium have strong air circulation, and all attendees of the game were required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test. Some fans evidently felt this was enough to protect them against Covid-19.”