Newsom imposes coronavirus restrictions as he apologizes for breaking rules at birthday dinner

The California governor is not the only prominent politician to skirt his own coronavirus restriction policy

Updated: November 17, 2020 - 10:13am

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has been facing backlash for violating his own coronavirus lockdown restrictions after he attended a birthday celebration at a lavish restaurant in early November.

On Nov. 6, the governor attended French Laundry, a three Michelin star, Napa Valley-based restaurant with a dozen friends for the birthday of celebrated Democratic lobbyist Jason Kinney. 

"I made a bad mistake," said the governor after the fact. "I should have stood up and ... drove back to my house."

"The spirit of what I'm preaching all the time was contradicted. I need to preach and practice, not just preach," Newsom said.

The governor's mea culpa arrived on the same day that he imposed new restrictions on California residents, as coronavirus cases surge. Several southern California counties have been placed back into the "purple tier" of lockdown, which represents the most severe restrictions.

"California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet -- faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer. The spread of COVID-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes," Newsom said.

The restrictions, which go into effect today, place 41 of California's 52 counties back in the "purple tier" of the four-tier lockdown system. 

Ahead of Thanksgiving, and with Christmas and other holiday gatherings on the horizon, Newsom is imposing strict lockdown measures that he hopes prevent families and friends from gathering in even moderate numbers over the holiday season.

He has, however, not publicly addressed the widespread large group celebrations that occurred throughout his state when Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election last weekend.