California medical officials were among the guests at an indoor dinner party at an upscale restaurant that Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom attended before further tightening coronavirus restrictions, Politico reported.
California Medical Association (CMA) CEO Dustin Corcoran and lobbyist Janus Norman were at the French Laundry in Napa alongside Newsom for the birthday celebration of Jacob Kinney, one of the governor’s advisers, according to Politico.
California Medical Association officials were among the guests seated next to Gov. Gavin Newsom at a top California political operative’s opulent birthday dinner at the French Laundry restaurant this month. https://t.co/2t5oDjou1a
— POLITICO California (@politicoca) November 18, 2020
In photos obtained by Fox LA, Norman could be seen seated to Newsom’s left during the Nov. 6 celebration. (RELATED: Photos Reveal Gov. Gavin Newsom Dining Indoors, Glass Door Reportedly Had To Be Closed Because Party Was Too Loud)
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
Newsom has said the restaurant was outdoors, but FoxLA reported that the room’s glass sliding doors had been closed, making the dinner party indoors.
The Michelin-starred restaurant is among the most acclaimed dining establishments in the world, and the price tag for a single person in a group reservation is roughly between $300 to $400.
Newsom has urged California residents to wear face masks “in between bites” at restaurants and announced Monday that California is “pulling an emergency brake” and mandating the most restrictive tier of coronavirus restrictions for more than two dozen California counties.
In total, 41 counties were pushed into the most restrictive phase of California’s shutdowns Monday, which includes closing bars and schools and allowing houses of worship and restaurants to operate outdoors only.
“California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet — faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer,” Newsom said. “The spread of COVID-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes.”
California limits the number of households allowed to gather privately to three, although restaurants are allowed to seat people from more than three households together. Napa County restaurants were allowed to serve people dining inside on the day of the event.
The governor also warned that he would announce more COVID-19 restrictions Friday ahead of Thanksgiving.
Newsom apologized for attending the dinner party, and said “we should have modeled better behavior and not joined the dinner.”
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
However, the CMA did not express similar regret. Spokesperson Anthony York told Politico that the dinner “was held in accordance with state and country guidelines.”