SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday apologized for what he called “a bad mistake” in attending a birthday party that broke the very rules that he has been preaching to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
He has suffered severe political backlash since it surfaced Friday that he and his wife attended the party Nov. 6 with a dozen friends at the pricy French Laundry restaurant in wine country north of San Francisco.
Newsom says he recognizes that he must practice what he preaches and set a proper example. He says there were more guests than he expected celebrating the 50th birthday of a longtime political adviser.
Newsom announced Monday that he is pulling the “emergency brake” on the state’s efforts to reopen its economy as coronavirus cases surge more dramatically than they did during the summer. The measures announced Monday will impose more restrictions on businesses across most of the state.
Health officials say the troubling rise in cases in November has come at a faster pace than a spike in mid-June and could quickly surpass the peak of hospitalizations at the time. The state became the second in the U.S. last week to surpass 1 million cases of the virus.