Californian politicians are facing a backlash after San Francisco Mayor London Breed attended an eight-person birthday party just one day after Governor Gavin Newsom’s ill-advised meeting last month, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Tuesday.
The story was released on Tuesday, November 7th, on the occasion of Gorretti Lo Lui’s birthday at the French Laundry, the same restaurant in the Napa Valley where Newsom was seen at a birthday party for 12 people, after the California Department of Health banned gatherings of more than three households and after he was attributed to private gatherings as a reason for an increase in the number of cases.
“COVID-19 continues to pose a serious risk to communities and requires all people in California to take the necessary precautions and adapt their way of life and work in the face of this ongoing risk,” says the State of California’s Assembly Policy. “The safest way to gather is to spend time with people in the same household, to gather virtually or to gather outdoors.
Although it is unclear how many households were present at the Breed gathering in the heart of California’s wine country, the Chronicle reports that the dinner was held in a “partially enclosed space. A spokesman for Breed told the newspaper that the gathering was a “small family birthday dinner.
On November 10, three days after attending the party, Breed announced in a statement that San Francisco would temporarily ban indoor dining again effective November 13, after the number of COVID 19 cases had risen 250 percent since October 2.
“The withdrawal of certain businesses and activities is necessary to curb the aggressive growth of the virus, which would cost lives and threaten the capacity of our health care system,” Breed said in the statement.
Since November 30, both San Francisco County and Napa Valley County have moved to the restrictive purple level.
At that time, Napa County allowed eating indoors without any specific limit on the number of households allowed per assembly. Before the ban on indoor dining, however, San Francisco policy only allowed six people to sit together both inside and outside, unless they came from the same household.
“I cannot stress enough how important it is that everyone acts responsibly to contain the spread of the virus,” Breed said on November 10. “Every San Franciscan must do his part so that we can move in the right direction again”.
“We will continue to act in the best interests of public health and we will continue to help our affected companies as much as we can,” she added.
San Francisco, like many other parts of the country, has experienced several economic slumps since the beginning of the pandemic, with countless closed stores and long lines at food banks begging for volunteers, the Chronicle reports. But the crisis shows no signs of ending, as California reported more than 12,000 new cases and an increasing number of COVID-19 hospital admissions across the state on Tuesday, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.
“There may be further rollbacks that we will introduce ourselves to help contain this virus,” Breed said at a press conference on Tuesday. “That’s why we must continue to do our part to distance ourselves from each other and limit our activities, because we’ve done it before. She added that San Francisco “may have some really challenging months ahead of it” as COVID 19 cases continue to rise.
Breed is one of several California elected representatives who have been called up because they did not follow their own advice regarding COVID-19 restrictions. Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl was spotted in a restaurant just hours after she voted one of three times for a ban on eating outdoors. In a virtual press conference last week, she explained that the restaurant employees, who are certainly serving unmasked guests, “think a little magic”.
The mayor of San Jose, Sam Liccardo, also drew criticism after he traveled with his elderly parents and other relatives from various households to a holiday dinner in Saratoga, California, despite urging his own residents to avoid large gatherings on Thanksgiving.
In a tweet last week, Liccardo wrote, “Cases are piling up, in part because we are lowering our vigilance (and masks) around family and friends. Let’s cancel the big gatherings this year and focus on protecting each other.
In a statement on Tuesday, Liccardo apologized for his participation in the family reunion, pointing out that he understands his “obligation as a public official to ensure exemplary compliance with health regulations and not to ignore them under any circumstances”.
Newsom has since also apologized for his dinner party and, during a press conference on November 16th, stated that “we all come up short sometimes”.
“I made a terrible mistake,” said the Democratic governor. “Instead of sitting down, I should have got up and gone back to my car.”
The Breed office did not immediately respond to Washington Newsday’s request for comment.