Officials from the California Medical Association raised eyebrows when they were spotted at a birthday lunch at a fancy French restaurant for a lobbyist and advisor to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, despite the governor insisting constituents stay at home and take extra precautions due to the worsening COVID-19 pandemic.
CEO Dustin Corcoran and top CMA lobbyist Janus Norman joined Newsom and others at the dinner hosted at French Laundry restaurant earlier this month, where attendees of a birthday party for adviser Jason Kinney were seated closely without face masks. Photos obtained by Volpe 11 a Los Angeles showed nearly a dozen people sitting together.
A Kinney spokesperson said the event was considered outdoors and did not violate any rules. Newsom has since apologized for not following strictly to his own mandates, quale, at the time of the dinner on Nov. 6, included dining restrictions limiting seating to no more than three households gathering together at the same table.
The photo shows at least 10 persone– friends and colleagues of Kinney– seated at the same table.
The woman who took the photos told Fox 11 that sliding doors leading to the area where the group was gathered were eventually closed due to noise complaints.
A spokesperson for the CMA, Anthony York, said in a statement that “the dinner was held in accordance with state and county guidelines,” according to reports by Politico.
Although neither Corcoran nor Norman are doctors, the CMA has worked throughout the pandemic, lobbying Newsom for COVID-19 screening and testing guidelines, and funding an ad campaign urging people to wear a mask.
The news comes as Newsom had just announced new restrizioni sul coronavirus questa settimana. These include closing indoor dining in a majority of counties across the state as cases surge in California and across the country.
State officials have also urged residents to avoid large Thanksgiving gatherings next week to keep the virus from spreading.