Rep. Karen Bass (D., Calif.), a frontrunner to replace Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the Senate, said her state's elected officials haven't sent a "mixed message" by violating their own coronavirus guidelines.
"Those were unfortunate mistakes and each of those elected officials have held themselves accountable and apologized," Bass said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union. "But I don't think that is sufficient in terms of a mixed message."
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California Democratic officials, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, the mayors of major cities, and county officials, have defied their own coronavirus guidelines. Newsom, who attended a large dinner party last month at the French Laundry in Napa Valley, defended his actions, saying he "followed public health guidelines." The governor later walked back his statement in an apology, saying, "We all fall short sometimes."
San Francisco mayor London Breed, who also attended a dinner party at the same restaurant last month, said she should hold herself to a "higher standard" but insisted she didn't violate local public health guidelines. Breed's dinner party, however, would have violated her city's coronavirus restrictions.
The brazen acts have infuriated small business owners as the state shuts down businesses to combat a spike in cases. The state's department of public health forced new lockdowns that will shutter businesses and ban gatherings outside households for three weeks.