Newsom blows up unvaccinated Tucker Carlson over COVID-19 – .

Newsom blows up unvaccinated Tucker Carlson over COVID-19 – .

Gov. Gavin Newsom has likened choosing to remain unvaccinated to drunk driving and has denounced leading conservatives including Fox News host Tucker Carlson in a rare public rebuke as COVID-19 spreads to California and adds political pressure on the governor ahead of the recall election.
“We are exhausted by the right-wing echo chamber which perpetuates misinformation around the vaccine, its effectiveness and its safety,” Newsom said on Monday. “We are exhausted by the politicization of this pandemic and that includes wearing masks which has been equated with the Holocaust. It is shameful. it is unacceptable and we must denounce it.

Newsom appeared frustrated at a press conference Monday in Alameda County, where he announced at a Kaiser Health facility that state employees and healthcare workers would be required to show proof of vaccination or undergo routine testing starting next month.

The governor is trying to encourage more workers to get vaccinated, as the rise of the Delta variant in California puts Newsom in an uncomfortable political position.

Supporters of the recall criticized the sweeping statewide orders and trade restrictions imposed by Newsom last year in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus. With less than two months before the election, the order for new terms could risk frustrating some Californian voters again.

But a lack of statewide action could also come at a cost if conditions continue to deteriorate in parts of California and local leaders refuse to reimpose any kind of restrictions. Although the state has long withdrawn its multi-tier county-by-county reopening system, more than a dozen counties, including Los Angeles and Riverside, would now be classified in California’s most restrictive tier that has forced many businesses to close.

“If I were in his situation, I would be quite angry with the [unvaccinated] also, because they don’t help anything, ”said Joseph Tuman, professor of political and legal communication at the State of San Francisco. “They only make his job more difficult and they also make the spread of this disease more possible. He’s fucked up no matter what he does.

Tuman said Newsom’s decision to call in conservative experts could also help to excite his own base.

California reported a daily average of 11.2 new cases per 100,000 residents on Sunday, up from just two cases last month. Health experts have said California’s vaccination rates offer considerably higher protection than during previous outbreaks of the virus, but the state has not achieved herd immunity.

More than 60% of Californians have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 53% are fully vaccinated, according to data compiled by The Times.

Newsom has so far seemed reluctant to reinstate mask requirements or trade restrictions, choosing to leave those tough decisions to counties. The governor’s announcement on Monday did not require state employees and healthcare workers to be vaccinated and instead called for weekly testing of the unvaccinated.

Last week, Newsom avoided responding directly to questions about whether he would consider a state-wide mask warrant and he used opportunities at press conferences to advocate for vaccinations.

But the governor’s immunization speech took on a more critical tone on Monday, when he verified the names of Carlson, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) And U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga. ) for disseminating misinformation about the vaccine.

“It’s a choice to live with this virus, and with all due respect, you don’t have a choice to go out and drink and drive and put other people’s lives at risk,” said Newsom. “It’s the equivalent of this moment with the speed and efficiency of the Delta [variant]. You endanger the lives of other people, of innocent people.

Newsom also criticized the unvaccinated for putting businesses at risk and threatening the ability of children to return to school in person this year.

“Your choice not to get the vaccine and to listen to these experts who profit from the misinformation, intentionally misinforming, has a real societal cost,” Newsom said.

Newsom’s comments inspired a Twitter feud with Greene, who said the governor’s “Communist dictatorship” was exhausting the people of California.

“Shutting down businesses, shutting down churches, schools and beaches is shameful,” she tweeted. “Making vaccines mandatory against people’s will is unreasonable, which is why you are being reminded. “

Newsom fired back, suggesting his misinformation was “deadly.”

“Your anti-vaccine lies are literally killing Americans,” Newsom tweeted Monday. “Your own supporters follow you from the top of a cliff to the intensive care unit. Be clear about vaccines – they save lives. “

How to approach vaccines as governor could also be a difficult subject for opponents of Newsom’s recall.

When asked how she would persuade people to get vaccinated in an interview with The Times this year, Caitlyn Jenner said she was in favor of vaccines, but “also didn’t want the government to say everything. the world: “You need to get the vaccine. It’s a personal choice. ”

“We’ve done a great job of making vaccines available to people, and it’s so simple to do,” Jenner said in May. “But it’s your decision and no one else’s. “

Assembly Member Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin), who is running for governor and has publicly stated he is vaccinated, condemned Newsom’s announcement on Monday that state and health officials should show proof of vaccination or get tested for coronavirus.

“Today’s announcement shows that Gavin Newsom hasn’t learned anything,” Kiley said in a statement. “My approach would be to trust and respect the Californian people. “

Another candidate, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, accused Newsom of trying to make the “fight against COVID-19 openly political, launching partisan attacks on his opponents to distract from his response to checkered pattern to the pandemic ”.

“Our goal must be to get as many Californians vaccinated as possible, without further politicizing this issue,” Faulconer said in a statement.

Editor-in-chief Luke Money contributed to this report.


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