California Gov. Gavin Newsom has been accused of violating his own public health restrictions for a second time after he allegedly ate inside a restaurant in a county where indoor dining isn’t allowed.
The Democratic governor on Feb. 27 posted to his TikTok account a video that aimed to educate Californians about checking their CCP virus vaccine eligibility. The video, which featured himself and comedian George Lopez, appeared to be taken inside the Los Amigos restaurant in Fresno, where restaurants and bars are ordered to cease indoor services.
A spokesperson for Newsom told Fox News he was there to meet with the restaurant’s owners, who received a relief grant, and didn’t dine at the restaurant. However, people on social media noticed that the governor appeared to be in front of a table with food and drinks, and that he allegedly stayed inside the restaurant for more than an hour.
Newsom’s critics also pointed to a separate video posted to the Los Amigos restaurant’s Facebook page, in which Lopez was endorsing the restaurant’s food.
In an email response to NTD Television, the restaurant stated that the governor was in the restaurant for 45 minutes and didn’t dine there.
“[The] governor did not have anything to drink or eat at any time during his visit here at Los Amigos Mexican Restaurant,” the restaurant stated. “We shared our worries and concerns for our business, asked questions about vaccines and what other assistance business[es] can look forward to in order to get back afloat from these hard times. We are happy to see the governor’s interest in talking to folks like us and supporting us by offering grants like the one we received.”
Newsom was previously caught breaking his own indoor dining ban in November 2020 when he celebrated a birthday for a longtime aide at the prestigious $350-per-person French Laundry restaurant in Napa. Following intense backlash, Newsom apologized and admitted that the dinner party was a “bad mistake.”
“I should have stood up and … drove back to my house,” Newsom said at that time. “The spirit of what I’m preaching all the time was contradicted, and I’ve got to own that. And so I want to apologize to you, because I need to preach and practice, not just preach and not practice.”
The French Laundry incident has weakened public support for Newsom’s handling of the CCP virus pandemic and fueled an effort to force the governor into a recall election.
“He’s totally lost the public trust by moving the goalpost all the time on these arbitrary conditions of who can open and who can’t open. And he’s affected millions of people,” San Francisco resident Suzy Abbott told NTD Television.
San Francisco Bay Area resident Jason Caballero told NTD Television: “This is a civilian issue. It’s nonpartisan. We have people from both sides, in the middle, also supporting this. It’s about basically constitutional rights and protecting our basic human rights.”
Organizers of the recall movement recently announced that they’ve collected more than 1.8 million signatures, far more than the 1.5 million they needed before the March 17 deadline, although a portion of the signatures may not be deemed valid.
If the recall effort gets all the needed signatures, two questions will be added to the ballot in an election that will take place near the end of this year. The ballot will ask voters if they want to recall the governor, and who should replace him in that case. Hundreds of candidates could be on the list, since California doesn’t place a cap on the number of candidates for recalls, and a candidate only needs a relative majority to win.
Ilene Eng contributed to this report.