The imperative of reminding Newsom and Weingarten about their lockdown failures

Gavin Newsom’s mishandling of California’s Covid-19 response is something he would like people to forget, but Chuck Todd and others still remember it vividly. During an interview on “Meet The Press,” Todd confronted Newsom about his poor pandemic record, particularly his preferential treatment of Hollywood while imposing restrictions on churches and public beaches. Todd highlighted the anger between the general populace and the elites, pointing out that Newsom prioritized the entertainment industry over religious worship. Newsom had to admit that the criticisms against him were legitimate, and that he would have handled things differently if given the chance. However, many of his missteps were evident in real time and not just in hindsight. One glaring example was Newsom dining at the high-end French Laundry restaurant while advising Californians to cancel their Thanksgiving plans. Another was his decision to send his children back to in-person classes at a private school while public school students remained on Zoom. Newsom’s actions clearly demonstrated a double standard, which was not lost on his critics. Californians protested against the lockdown measures in front of the State Capitol building, and they won’t forget the restrictions imposed on their liberties, including curfews and closed playgrounds. Meanwhile, other states, like Florida under Governor DeSantis, successfully experimented with reopening. Newsom faced criticism from both his critics and his constituents, with almost 5 million Californians voting to recall him in 2021. Similarly, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten tried to rewrite history by claiming she fought for school reopenings in May 2020, despite previously criticizing the Trump Administration’s efforts in July of that year. The consequences of school closures and the resulting learning losses for children are still being realized and should not be forgotten. It is our civic duty to remember and hold leaders accountable for their failures in order to prevent history from repeating itself.

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