Gov. Gavin Newsom attended a birthday party for a political adviser last week that included people from several households, the type of gathering his administration has discouraged during the coronavirus pandemic.
The dinner the night of Nov. 6 at the famed French Laundry in Yountville in Napa County brought together at least 12 people to celebrate the 50th birthday of Jason Kinney, a longtime friend and adviser to Newsom who is also a partner at the lobbying firm Axiom Advisors. In addition to the governor, his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, was in attendance.
State guidelines limit gatherings, defined as “social situations that bring together people from different households at the same time in a single space or place,” to no more than three households. Representatives for Kinney and Newsom declined to specify how many households the diners represented, but did not dispute that it was more than three.
Nathan Click, communications director for Newsom, initially defended the birthday celebration because it took place outdoors at a restaurant, which must follow separate coronavirus safety regulations developed by the state for the dining industry. That guidance is silent on whether people from more than three households can dine together.