Gov. Gavin Newsom spent the past year as one of the nation’s most restrictive pandemic governors. Now, he’s throwing the doors open.
Facing a recall threat, Newsom this month announced the return of outdoor concerts and Major League Baseball games, allowed Disneyland to open its gates soon and signed legislation that attempts to reopen schools.
The Democratic governor has two things going for him: a decline in the infection rate and an increase in vaccinations. But the shift in his COVID-19 strategy has prompted cynicism from Republicans and some local leaders as a recall election becomes reality. Would this be happening if not for the movement to oust him?
“Now the recall pressure is on him and suddenly he’s changed his tune,” said Jon Fleischman, a conservative pundit and former executive director of the California Republican Party. “He’s changing the very framework he set up, and it’s right about the time that it became obvious that this recall is going to qualify.”
Newsom and state officials, however, say they are driven by science. And that science has changed as more data is gathered on the virus, they note.