Newsom’s office refutes criticism about extended public absence, adverse reaction to booster shot
The Newsom administration said Monday Gov. Gavin Newsom has had no adverse reactions to a COVID-19 booster shot in response to speculation about why he hasn’t been seen in public since Oct. 27, the same day he received the booster.
Newsom was scheduled to participate virtually in a U.N. climate conference last week but didn’t, leading reporters to ask where he was. On Oct. 29, in an emailed news release, his office said he was dealing with unspecified family obligations. He hasn’t made a public appearance since.
The timing of his booster shot and his last public appearance led to widespread speculation on social media that he had an adverse effect to the shot.
State Rep. Kevin Kiley, R-Rocklin, who ran against Newsom during this fall’s recall election, won’t speculate as to why he is absent, but he said the absence is “pretty strange.”
“It’s pretty strange for the Governor to disappear for 12 days without explanation,” Kiley, who also has sued the governor over his COVID-19 restrictions, said. “Newsom hasn’t been seen since abruptly cancelling his UN Climate trip. Today, reporters couldn’t get an answer on his whereabouts from the senators in the Scotland ‘delegation.’ Yesterday, Newsom’s wife told those asking questions to ‘get a life’ before quickly deleting the tweet.”
In an email to The Center Square, a spokesperson for Newsom responded: “Last week Governor Newsom worked in the Capitol with staff on urgent issues including COVID-19 vaccines for kids, boosters, ports, the forthcoming state budget and California’s continued economic recovery. He will have public events this week related to the economy and vaccines.”
She emphasized: “No, the Governor did not have any adverse reaction to his booster shot.”
She also said Newsom’s eldest child, who recently turned 12 years old, did get her first COVID-19 shot, “and will soon receive the second dose.”
The spokesperson added, “all three Newsom children who are under 12 years of age will also get vaccinated.”
Newsom’s absences from the public eye are not unusual. Last August, his public events were minimal after “a COVID “data glitch” occurred, reportedly causing a backlog of COVID-related data from not being input into the state system correctly. Shortly after, the California Public Health Director resigned. This June, Newsom also limited public appearances after CapRadio revealed that he “misled the public about wildfire prevention efforts.”
Kiley sued to end California’s state of emergency that has now gone into its 20th month. He also introduced a resolution to end the state of emergency, which has yet to receive a vote in the legislature. He also sent a letter to Newsom asking him to justify the ongoing state of emergency, to which he has not received a reply.
“Governors work for the people, so an unexplained absence is always a matter of public concern,” Kiley said. “But that’s especially true for a governor who has claimed sole authority to control the lives of millions of people through his own ‘State of Emergency.’ So one-man rule continues, and nobody knows where that one man is.”
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