Nobody can deny that California Governor Gavin Newsom has a taste for the finer things. He certainly was enjoying himself on Sunday with the 70,000 fans at SoFi stadium for the Rams game. Nearly all sensibly unmasked.
The venue has a roof but is well-ventilated by open sides; Los Angeles County considers it an outdoor venue but expressly includes it under its mask mandate as a “mega event venue.” But even in the purely indoor hallways and concourses the beautiful people were unmasked. And California schoolchildren are still under a mask mandate both indoors and outdoors.
When Newsom was asked about his smiling photo that Magic posted on Instagram, he lied and said “I was very judicious yesterday … In my left hand is the mask, and I took a photo. The rest of the time I wore it, as we all should.”
Except that many other photos and videos quickly surfaced of the governor enjoying the game like a normal, unmasked person.
Which should certainly be his right. But he should also stop forcing schoolchildren to wear masks all day long, denying them and their parents the same choice he exercises for himself.
As SFGate politics editor Eric Ting wrote:
The parent complaints are valid, and the incident seems to underscore the current reality of the pandemic: Many Californians — including, evidently, some of its most visible leaders — are just not very afraid of COVID-19 anymore and want to move on.
Sunday’s SoFi incident has demonstrated that Newsom, Breed and Garcetti have already gauged their risk tolerances, (correctly) determined they’re at minimal risk of a bad outcome from COVID-19, and decided to go maskless and live their lives.
When will the rest of the state have that luxury?