One day after Gov. Gavin Newsom was caught posing for mask-less photos inside SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger called for state and local health officials to reevaluate COVID-19 mask mandates, saying it should be up to the individual to decide when to wear one.
“Let’s do away with blanket COVID-19 masking policies — they don’t make a difference when they’re not consistently followed or enforced,” Barger said Monday in a statement. “We need to trust the public to make the best personal decisions for themselves based on their unique risks and circumstances.”
Barger pointed to Sunday’s NFC Championship game at SoFi Stadium, noting there was inconsistent adherence to the mask-wearing requirement. Most notably, Laker legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson on Sunday night posted a series of photos on social media taken that day at SoFi Stadium with mask-less officials and celebrities, including Newsom.
The photos sparked outrage from some critics who accused the Newsom of hypocrisy when the public is being told to follow state and county mask mandates. Los Angeles County requires all attendees to wear masks at outdoor mega-events, like football games at SoFi Stadium. The state’s mask mandate requires people to wear masks at indoor areas of outdoor mega-events.
Newsom said at an unrelated news conference in Los Angeles Monday that he was “very judicious” about wearing his mask at the game, and insisted he had his mask in his other hand when the photo with Johnson was taken. He said he only took the mask off momentarily to take the photo.
“The rest of the time I wore it, as we all should,” said Newsom.
Jessica Millan Patterson, chair of the state Republican Party, was unimpressed by the explanations, saying in a statement, “While they force California children to wear masks in school, Gavin Newsom and friends get to enjoy a mask-free night of football in a packed stadium. His blatant and insulting disregard for his own COVID rules is a crystal-clear sign that it’s time for his Draconian policies and state of emergency to go.”
The county’s mask mandate and other COVID guidelines are set by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, with guidance from the Board of Supervisors. Along with outdoor mega-events with more than 5,000 attendees, people are required to wear masks in all indoor public settings, venues, gatherings and businesses. The rules allow people to take off their masks when they are actively eating or drinking, are alone in a separate space, showering or swimming or receiving personal care services that require a mask to be removed.
Barger — the only Republican on the non-partisan Board of Supervisors — said it’s time for masking mandates to be re-evaluated.
“Masking rules set by the state and county weren’t followed consistently by everyone at yesterday’s NFC Championship,” said Barger, whose 5th District includes the Antelope Valley. “Instead, we saw individuals choosing to mask up based on calculated personal risk. Modern stadiums like SoFi Stadium have strong air circulation and all attendees of the game were required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test. Some fans evidently felt this was enough to protect them against COVID- 19.”
Newsom on Monday reiterated his call for the public to wear masks, but he said in the coming weeks the state will announce its “endemic plan” on practices for the state to live with the virus long-term.
UPDATE: Late Monday afternoon, county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said lax compliance at Sunday’s game shouldn’t be used as an excuse to lift mask mandates.
“While some are noting that at large events, like Sunday’s NFC Championship game, many were seen not wearing masks, non-compliance with a critical safety measure is not a good reason for ending the requirement,” Ferrer said in a statement. “That would be like eliminating speed limits because so many drivers ignore them and feel that they can assess for themselves the safe speed for their travel. At some point soon, transmission will be significantly lower, and we will not need to wear our masks everywhere. Unfortunately, we aren’t there yet.”
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7 comments for "Newsom mask-less at SoFi: Barger calls for mask mandate reevaluation"
Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said lax compliance at Sunday’s game shouldn’t be used as an excuse to lift mask mandates.
Barbara Ferrer is NOT a Medical Doctor, she holds a ‘PHD in Social Welfare”… She’s ”Appointed” by the Board Of Supervisors, not an elected official.. Many MEDICAL DOCTORS are now saying the ”Masks” don’t stop the transmission, since it’s airborne, & LOCKDOWNS didn’t stop the Virus either. Time to start ”Living with the Virus” instead of living in fear! Our Businesses & children have suffered enough!
NightofThe LivingDead says
I don’t think anyone in LA County takes that person seriously. It pains me to watch Barb doing interviews with her “Medical Knowledge”
while I approve taking masks off for photos, I have to think Newsom is a damn fool for not considering the backlash.
Picture day at school has been cancelled due to Covid19. I suggest they have their class photos taken at a football game.
Ferrer says “…That would be like eliminating speed limits because so many drivers ignore them and feel that they can assess for themselves the safe speed for their travel…”
So would that be like not prosecuting criminals because so many of them ignore the law anyway?
I have gas says
Wow the Grewsome gonna get HIV and COVID that night lmao! look at those two up on each other, grinning and grinding.
Rules for Thee and not for Me, says the Führer Newsom.