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After Winery Fiasco, Gov Newsom is making a joke of its own COVID laws again by hosting a major birthday bash

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After Winery Fiasco, Gov Newsom is making a joke of its own COVID laws again by hosting a major birthday bash
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Californians should ask Gov. Gavin Newsom if they have a proper Thanksgiving dinner if they have it at The French Laundry, Michelin’s three-star restaurant.

Much of the state can’t bear the restaurant’s $350-a-person price tag to get it to Napa Valley—after all the state of California has issued a non-essential travel warning. The California Department of Public Health also restricted private meetings of three or more households.

However, the governor of Newsom is not the majority of the territory. On Nov. 6, when lobbyist and long-time Newsom advisor Jason Kinney celebrated his 50th birthday, the governor, “first partner” Jennifer Siebel Newsom, and 10 others—representing three or more families, of course—meeting at The French Laundry in Yountville, California. The restaurant is still functional, even though it has outdoor seating.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Kinney representative Molly Weed said that the dinner followed all the state guidelines, but did not address why more than three households attended.

“This was a tiny, casual, 12-person dinner with family outdoors and a couple of close friends to celebrate their 50th birthday,” Weed said in a statement.

In his own speech, the governor insisted that the dinner did not violate any of the state’s rules, but that he was also disappointed that he (sigh) did not set a better example.

“While the First Partner and I followed the health guidelines of the restaurant and took safety measures, I was expected to model better conduct and not attend the dinner,” Newsom said in a tweet, according to Politico.

Yes, because we’re really disappointed that the multimillionaire governor wasn’t a better role model for us. I’m not a Californian, but I know the only reason I was wearing my mask, using a hand sanitizer, and avoiding meetings with three or four households was that some oleaginous wine magnate-turned-politician, who still thinks that Pat Riley’s 1992 hairstyle is the epitome of coolness, said I should.

Then I pointed out that Newsom was not modeling the kind of conduct that I was emulating—so I made a reservation at the nearby Michelin star-rated restaurant, along with 15 people from several households, and we continued to breathe heavily on each other for two hours over roasted cauliflower velouté and an antelope of Broken Arrow Ranch sampling, just as The French Laundry is serving this Sunday.

Do you think Gavin Newsom seems like a hypocrite?

I’m hoping to do the same thing for Thanksgiving.

So, as to how Newsom attended the meal, neither of the state rules broke—according to Politico, restaurants live in a kind of grey region.

The operative guidelines for private parties at the time of Newsom’s birthday dinner, released Oct. 9, describes such gatherings as ‘social circumstances that put together individuals from different households at the same time in a single room or location.’ Nevertheless, the July CDPH guidance for restaurants merely notes that they can imitate the number of patrons at a single table to a household unit or household unit.

However, if you have a private affair—which is somehow meant to be more troublesome than dining in a restaurant—the CDPH notes, “[t]he parties with more than 3 households are forbidden. This encompasses anyone present, including hosts and visitors. Know, the lower the number of individuals, the better they are.”

It’s not about “modeling” behavior, it’s about hypocrisy. No one decides whether to mix with three or more families in a restaurant (or privately, since the CDPH rules are nearly unenforceable) on the grounds of whether to let Gavin Newsom down.

Instead, it’s about the fact that Newsom’s government is predisposed to teach the Californians how to live their lives, while the man at the top seems to have no trouble making a joke of the laws he’s making for everybody else.

During the summer, Newsom was hot when it was revealed that the winery he owns in Napa Valley was still open during the fourth weekend of July, amid the state demanding wineries shutting down in other counties.

Yes, Newsom’s winery wasn’t in one of those counties, and he turned over power to another faction as he went into politics. However, though he did not interfere personally, the present president’s proactive thought about his company concerns—his sister, Hilary Newsom Callan—may have “modeled” any good conduct for the Californians.

The scab has been cured for a long time. One who did not have the idea, though, that the CDPH recommendations were to extend to Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas meetings on October 9.

In addition to the three-house limit, the guidelines also specified that meetings must take place outside, guests should only use the bathrooms if they are “frequently sanitized” and have to sit six feet away from those not in their home.

This sparked the kind of backlash on social media that you would expect:

Don’t worry, however, Newsom insisted—not that’s the Thanksgiving advice.

“I read somewhere that some people say we’ve set out holiday guidance,” Newsom said last month, according to Deadline. “They were actually fooled or, deliberately deceived them. We haven’t laid out the Thanksgiving Rules.”

Conveniently, the Newsom administration released the instructions on Friday, the same day that the French Laundry storey broke. It’s hardly a positive omen that a little fanfare is issued at the end of the week but California health secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly has been trotted out to announce the update. Not everybody who freaked out last month will be relieved.

A touch of background: California actually has four stages of COVID-19 management: purple, red, orange and yellow, in decreasing order of intensity.

The good news is that now everybody doesn’t have to eat outside All events must be held outdoors in the Purple Tier, and indoor gatherings are strictly prohibited in the Red, Orange, and Yellow Tiers.” Bad news: according to Politico, more than half of the state’s population is actually in the Purple Tier, and more counties likely to be added next week.

There is also a mandated six-foot seat difference for diners that are not in the same household and “face coverings must be worn in compliance with the CDPH Guide to the Use of Face Coverings, unless an exception is available.”

Ghaly was asked about Newsom’s visit to the French laundry during the media conference. According to KABC-TV, “he said that his attention was on reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the state and referring reporters to Newsom’s comment.”

However, Robert Salonga in the San Jose Mercury News astutely observed that for the 20 minutes or so of the news conference leading up to that issue, Ghaly repeated a variety of health and safety advisories that effectively instructed Californians not to do what Newsom did.”

If only the governor has modeled better conduct for all of us. Now if you’re going to forgive me, I’m going to have to cook a pearl tapioca sabayon with Island Creek oysters and Regiis Ova caviar as they sell at The French Laundry. I’m getting 12 households over for dinner, and I’m going to be spoiled if keeping those ingredients fresh for a lot of people isn’t hard, particularly if you’re serving such a fragrant dish in an unventilated room.

Plus, I need to google what the “sabayon” is like. He led me down the primrose road to the ruin of COVID, that of Gavin Newsom.

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