UPDATE: 12:32 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020 - Two top officials at the California Medical Association attended a birthday party alongside Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this month as the state was seeing an uptick in coronavirus cases.
CMA spokesman Anthony York says Dustin Corcoran, the group's chief executive, and Janus Norman, a senior vice president, were at the Nov. 6 dinner.
It was held at the upscale French Laundry restaurant in wine country to celebrate the 50th birthday of Newsom’s friend and lobbyist Jason Kinney.
Newsom has apologized for attending and said he made a bad mistake. California guidelines urge people to gather in groups of three separate households or less.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday apologized for what he called “a bad mistake” in attending a birthday party that broke the very rules that he has been preaching to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
He has suffered severe political backlash since it surfaced Friday that he and his wife attended the party Nov. 6 with a dozen friends at the pricy French Laundry restaurant in wine country north of San Francisco.
Newsom says he recognizes that he must practice what he preaches and set a proper example. He says there were more guests than he expected celebrating the 50th birthday of a longtime political adviser.
“I made a bad mistake,” Newsom said. “I should have stood up and ... drove back to my house."
“The spirit of what I’m preaching all the time was contradicted,” he added. “I need to preach and practice, not just preach.”
The lapse came just as California is seeing a surge in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations, and as health officials lobby residents to skip traditional Thanksgiving and holiday gatherings or self-quarantine if they travel.