‘We would’ve done everything differently’: Newsom reflects on Covid approach

Later in the interview Newsom responded to criticism of his state’s decisions by saying: “All of it’s legitimate in terms of reflection.”

Host Chuck Todd pressed the California Democrat on specifics, including whether Newsom and state officials were too accommodating to the film industry during periods of strict distancing requirements where Californians were prevented, for example, from gathering for family funerals. “I think there’s a lot of humility. And we didn’t know what we didn’t know. And it was hardly I; it was we, collectively,” Newsom responded.

Newsom faced considerable anger in his state during the pandemic, including a recall attempt fueled by partisans but also frustrated business owners and parents who felt like the state acted too cautiously and refused to loosen up even as other states did. Nationally, he’s taken heat from the likes of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, now a Republican presidential candidate, who has leaned into comparing his state’s more lax approach over the duration of the pandemic with Newsom’s stricter, longer, guidelines.

Despite considerable prodding from Todd on specifics where Newsom would have made different decisions in his hard-hit state, including the protracted closure of in-person learning at schools, the governor largely kept to generalities.

Newsom did, however, point to differences in how the virus spread indoors versus outdoors, and alluded to policies around masking and vaccine distribution that would have been handled differently in hindsight. “You want to talk about prioritizations early on in terms of those vaccines. You go through a series of things, and there’s so many things we could’ve done differently,” he said.

Newsom noted the varied approaches to the virus based on region, and industry, but he also argued there “were few states that didn’t go on aggressive lockdowns, including Florida’s Ron DeSantis.”

At the same time, Newsom bemoaned the partisan nature of the pandemic and how every decision by he and counterparts in other states and the White House were all viewed through a partisan prism.

“It should be alarming to all of us that that all of a sudden health became partisan,” he said. “And that’s something we’re going to pay a big price, you’re right, going forward. But it won’t break us because we’re remarkably resilient.”

Source link: https://www.politico.com/news/2023/09/10/newsom-covid-california-00114888




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