New photos reveal California governor Gavin Newsom (D.) lied this month when he said he followed coronavirus safety guidelines while he dined with a sizable group at a French restaurant in Napa Valley.
In photos published Wednesday by Fox 11 Los Angeles, Newsom is seen at the French Laundry without a mask, not observing social-distancing guidelines, and apparently dining indoors. The witness who took the photos also said the birthday party for Newsom's longtime adviser Jason Kinney was "very loud," enough so that sliding glass doors had to be closed. Even then, the witness said, the party could still be heard.
EXCLUSIVE: We've obtained photos of Governor Gavin Newsom at the Napa dinner party he's in hot water over. The photos call into question just how outdoors the dinner was. A witness who took photos tells us his group was so loud, the sliding doors had to be closed. 10pm on @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/gtOVEwa864
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) November 18, 2020
The photos appear to disprove the governor's statement last week that he "followed public health guidelines and the restaurant’s health protocols" and cast doubt on his claim that the dinner was outdoors. Newsom has not said how many households attended, but California's guidelines prohibit gatherings of more than three households and stipulate that "seating must provide six feet of distance" and diners must limit the removal of face coverings.
Newsom apologized on Tuesday for attending the party but peppered the apology with qualifications. He said he had "early reservations" and the dinner was at an "outdoor restaurant."
"You can quibble about the guidelines, but the spirit of what I'm preaching all the time was contradicted," he said. "We're all human. We all fall short sometimes."
Gov. Gavin Newsom apologizes for attending party at French Laundry: "We're all human. We all fall short sometimes." pic.twitter.com/GPegzxt0dl
— The Hill (@thehill) November 17, 2020
On Monday, Newsom blamed his state's increasing coronavirus caseload on private gatherings where people are "letting their guard down."
"They’re taking their masks off. They’re starting to get together outside of their household cohorts," he said in a news conference.