‘We need to stiffen our spines and lean in to keeping people safe and healthy’: Governor Newsom says his recall success proves Democrats need to get tougher with Covid restrictions
- ‘What I’m saying here is, be affirmative,’ Newsom said, asked by CBS what he would tell national Democrats
- The California governor said that Democratic leaders need to ‘stiffen our spines and lean in to keeping people safe and healthy’
- Newsom admitted that the recall effort against him was ‘in no small degree because of our approach to this pandemic’
- Nearly two-thirds of Californians voted against recalling their governor on Tuesday
‘What I’m saying here is, be affirmative,’ Newsom said, asked by CBS what he would tell national Democrats.
‘Don’t be timid. Lean in. Because at the end of the day, it’s not just about formal authority of setting the tone and tenor on masks — on vaccines and masks. But it’s the moral authority that we have: that we’re on the right side of history and we’re doing the right thing to save people’s lives.’
Newsom said that Democratic leaders need to ‘stiffen our spines and lean in to keeping people safe and healthy.’
The liberal governor admitted that the recall effort against him was ‘in no small degree because of our approach to this pandemic.’
California demonstrator protests the state’s strict lockdown in Huntington Beach
Newsom speaks to members of the media after meeting students at Melrose Leadership Academy during a school visit in Oakland, California on Wednesday, the day his recall success was declared
California, hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, had some of the strictest prevention policies in the country, where many schools were shut down for over a year and confusing, back-and-forth lockdown measures left businesses frustrated.
Images of Newsom dining a the Swanky French Laundry restaurant with a large group of people while indoor dining was closed catalyzed the recall effort.
Newsom looked ripe for ousting at certain points ahead of the recall election, but ultimately held on to his seat with nearly two-thirds of Californians voting against recalling him.
Conservative radio host Larry Elder had emerged as a frontrunner among Republican challengers. He promised to repeal Newsom’s Covid protocols, including Newsom’s mandate for state workers to get vaccinated or face weekly testing.
Biden, too, said that Newsom’s success was a win for strong Covid measures.
‘This vote is a resounding win for the approach that he and I share to beating the pandemic: strong vaccine requirements, strong steps to reopen schools safely, and strong plans to distribute real medicines – not fake treatments – to help those who get sick,’ Biden said in a statement.
Vaccine mandates are popular in the state with 61 per cent of California adults in favor of some kind of mandate, according to a survey conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California conducted late last month.
Biden, too, has signed an executive order requiring all businesses with over 100 employees to mandate vaccination or weekly testing. Another order requires federal workers to get vaccinated with no option for testing.
Exit polls showed that about a third of voters, 31 per cent, rated coronavirus as their top issue. Of those who said that, about 80 per cent voted in favor of Newsom staying in the job.
Nationally, however, a pro-vaccine mandate stance could be more problematic.
A Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday showed that a slight majority – 51 to 48 per cent – were against Biden’s plan to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for American workers.
Biden is pushing companies that employ more than 100 people to mandate vaccinations or have them get tested for COVID-19 weekly.
While 89 per cent of Democrats approved and 84 per cent of Republicans disapproved, independents trended toward disapproving the move, with 56 per cent against, and 44 per cent last week’s vaccine mandate announcement.