Consumer watchdog slams Newsom, CA lawmakers over COVID hypocrisy

"It is spitting in the face of physicians who want the public to stay home," the consumer watchdog Jamie Court said of Gov. Newsom and California lawmakers.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, questions of credibility swirl as new details emerge about the failure of some elected leaders to follow safety protocols.

Several left for Hawaii after a travel advisory was issued, and there are more questions about Gov. Gavin Newsom's admission that he attended a lavish Napa Valley dinner where COVID-19 safety rules were violated.

California Medical Association CEO Dustin Corcoran and vice president and lobbyist Janus Norman both joined the dinner in Napa Valley.

"It is spitting in the face of physicians who want the public to stay home, so that they don't have to be flooded and treating so many COVID cases," said consumer watchdog Jamie Court.

RELATED: Coachella Valley assemblyman defends decision to attend Hawaii conference

As for flying to the Maui for a conference after the travel advisory, Assemblyman Chad Mayes of Rancho Mirage is not apologizing.

Mayes came under fire earlier this week after it was revealed he and other lawmakers from California and other states attended a conference despite a tightening of health restrictions in California. The uptick spurred Newsom last Friday to urge residents not to travel out of the state.

RELATED: California lawmakers reportedly take trip to Hawaii for conference amid travel advisory, COVID-19 surge
EMBED More News Videos

A group of California lawmakers reportedly took a work trip this week to Hawaii amid the ongoing pandemic, just days after the state issued a travel advisory.

The conference is sponsored annually by the Independent Voter Project, but watchdog observers say it is more about lobbyists getting access in a vacation setting.

"Basically play rounds of golf and drink Mai Tais by the pool and claim they're in an educational seminar," Court said. "It happens every year and it is appalling."

The governor has apologized for violating safety rules. But questions remain about his close association with the CMA, the chief lobbying group for doctors.

There is concern that the public could follow the lead of the executives, flouting safety protocols, just as COVID cases are surging.

Eyewitness News contacted the CMA for comment but has not received a response.

City News Service contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.