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In latest example of ‘rules for thee but not for me,’ California Gov. Gavin Newsom is once again caught flouting his own COVID rules


California Gov. Gavin Newsom, D, along with other prominent state Democrats, were seen at an NFL playoff game in Los Angeles without masks, even as he continues to mandate policies that force children to wear masks in school and just weeks after a state agency permanently shut down a Christian preschool for not consistently keeping masks on two-year-olds and three-year-olds.

Quick Facts

The story hit when former NBA superstar Magic Johnson tweeted photos of himself inside one of the stadium’s suites with Gov. Newsom, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Hanging out at SoFi Stadium today!” Johnson exclaimed.

This incident isn’t the first time the governor of America’s most populous state has appeared to exercise behavior inconsistent with rules he insists must be followed to keep people safe from COVID-19. In November 2020, Newsom was seen dining without a face covering at an exclusive French restaurant in Napa called the French Laundry.

At the time, the governor was seated next to leadership from the California Medical Association, who had specifically run an advertising campaign advocating for everyone across the state to wear masks. Newsom apologized for what he described as a “bad mistake” in attending a birthday party that broke the very rules he had been advocating for.

The state’s indoor mask mandate, which has been extended through February 15, 2022, was in effect at SoFi stadium during the playoff game.

In response to Newsom’s latest maskless appearance, Erin Mellon, the governor’s communications director, issued a statement, saying, “The Governor acknowledged that he took off his mask for a few moments during Sunday’s game. He continues to encourage all Californians to do their part to get through the pandemic and this latest surge.” For his part, Newsom said that he only “took the mask off for a brief second” and tried to redirect to other issues when pressured by members of the media.

Later, additional photos came out that undercut his statement, including several “fancam” shots showing a maskless Newsom seated and surrounded by other people who were also not wearing masks.

Critics saw this as just one more example of hypocrisy by members of the political establishment, decrying it as a governing philosophy of “rules for thee, but not for me.”

Some individuals reacting to the incident on social media felt that the behavior of Newsom and other prominent state Democrats presented an inconsistent standard when children and teens are required to wear masks in schools. Studies have shown that requiring children to wear masks in school may have potentially damaging consequences that undermine the justification of those mandates, including from physicians at the University of Southern California (USC) Shaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics.

Newsom is hardly alone in his arrogance. The number of Democrat politicians who have practiced the philosophy of “rules for thee, but not for me” during the COVID pandemic are too many to list, but a few that warrant a mention are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was seen maskless in a Miami drag bar, other other hot spots, kissing and hugging numerous people before later announcing that she had contracted COVID-19; Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who placed a statewide travel ban on her constituents last winter and then traveled to Florida and other out-of-state destinations; and the Texas Democrats who skipped out on an election integrity vote, sent out a selfie of their mask-free and smiling faces as their private plane escaped to Washington, and then were forced to admit that several had tested positive for COVID.

People across the world are finally seeing COVID-19 restrictions for what they are — an opportunity to enhance government power at the expense of individual liberty. Many Americans have complied with pandemic restrictions out of a desire to serve their communities, even as their leaders have acted as if they are too good and too important to adhere to those same restrictions.

It’s time for these leaders to quit the power play and come clean. They know that COVID restrictions don’t work and that they’re actually doing more harm than good to their constituents, especially to children. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is acting on the recognition that it’s time to move forward and figure out to live a normal existence despite the presence of what is now an endemic virus.

The U.K., for example, has lifted most COVID restrictions, no longer requires children to wear masks in schools, and is expected to scrap its vaccine mandate for health workers amid crippling staffing shortages. Denmark, the Netherlands, and Ireland have also eliminated most or all COVID-19 restrictions.

The world is waking up to the disastrous consequences of COVID-19 lockdowns and ongoing restrictions, and citizens are putting the establishment on notice. It’s time for politicians to stop playing games with the lives, livelihoods, and liberties of Americans. It’s time for everyone to once again live normal, restriction-free lives — just as so many liberal politicians like Gov. Newsom have been doing throughout the pandemic when they thought no one was looking.

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