California Governor Gavin Newsom appeared inside a restaurant in a county where eating is not allowed inside, but the governor’s office has said he did not dine at the restaurant.
He was there to meet with the restaurant’s owners, who received an aid grant, Newsom spokesman Daniel Lopez told Fox News.
Newsom posted a video on his TikTok account with celebrity George Lopez talking about where to look for eligibility for the coronavirus vaccine. Newsom and Lopez were in Fresno, California, and they are inside the Los Amigos restaurant.
A separate video of López was posted on the Facebook page of the Los Amigos restaurant. Lopez endorsed the restaurant’s food.
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Fresno is on the most restrictive purple level, which does not allow eating indoors.
In early November, Newsom was spotted dining at the posh French Laundry in Napa for the birthday of a longtime consultant. The indoor dining room was not open to the public in Napa. Newsom earned a bitter backlash over the exit, which he later called “a mistake.”
“I should have gotten up and … driven back home … The spirit of what I’m preaching all the time was contradicting itself,” he said. “I need to preach and practice, not just preach.”
Newsom said in his apology that he wanted to “acknowledge” his mistake because he was concerned it would undermine the safety message he wanted to send to residents.
“I’m doing my best every day to try to model better behavior,” he said.
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The departure of French Laundry helped spark a recall effort that is gaining traction in California. Organizers of Newsom’s recall effort say they have collected 1.825 million signatures. They need 1.5 million signatures by March 17, but they represent a fraction of the signatures that will be rejected.