CA Leader Calls for State of Emergency to End After Newsom Caught Maskless

By Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times.
February 4, 2022Updated: February 6, 2022

A state leader is calling for California Gov. Gavin Newsom to terminate California’s state of emergency days after Newsom was caught maskless at a Jan. 30 National Football Conference (NFC) Championship game at Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium.

“We are continuing with this charade that we’re playing,” Sen. Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) told The Epoch Times. “There is no state of emergency, the numbers are declining, [and] the vast majority of Californians are vaccinated anyways, many of whom are also boosted.”

Melendez was quick to scrutinize Newsom—along with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and San Francisco Mayor London Breed—for posing maskless in a photo with National Basketball Association (NBA) star Magic Johnson.

Melendez urged the state of emergency to end immediately as football fans prepare to sit shoulder-to-shoulder back at Sofi Stadium for the Super Bowl matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals on Feb. 13.

“If we can have a major NFL [National Football League] game in California with 80,000 people in the stands and be fine, I don’t see where the emergency is,” Melendez said.

Newsom defended his bare face after photos of him were criticized by state leaders and residents.

“I was very judicious yesterday,” Newsom said at a Jan. 31 press conference. “Magic was kind enough, generous enough to ask me for a photograph, and in my hand’s the mask. … The rest of the time, I wore it as we all should.”

However, the governor was also photographed sitting in the stands at the game with his mask hanging from his ear.

Garcetti also defended himself at a Feb. 2 press conference insisting he was holding his breath when the photo was snapped.

“I wore my mask the entire game and when people ask for a photograph, I hold my breath,” he said. “There’s a zero-percent chance of infection from that.”

In an interview, Melendez pressed for her colleagues in the legislature to “reclaim their authority” to voice their opinions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

“First, they said no one should be wearing a mask,” Melendez wrote on Jan. 31 on Twitter the day after the Super Bowl as the maskless photos of Newsom, Garcetti, and Breed went viral. “And then, everyone must wear a mask. Then they recommend wearing 2 masks. And now, I guess they’re optional if ‘the spirit moves you.’”

Since the state of emergency was announced on March 4, 2020, Melendez has attempted multiple times to propose legislation—including this week—allowing a vote to terminate the proclamation.

However, all have stalled.

Despite failed efforts, the senator said she will persist and asked like-minded Californians to contact their representatives in either the State Assembly or Senate and demand a return to normalcy.