While Newsom did not take offense, he did offer excuses, and he did not acknowledge that he was breaking the law he had laid down—not merely its “spirit,” but its specific requirements. “We certainly hope Gov. Gavin Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, enjoyed their dinner at the Michelin-starred restaurant,” The Sacramento Bee editorialized. “Because it will end up costing a lot more than $700 in terms of damage to Newsom’s credibility in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nothing will launder the stain of stupidity from his reputation after this ill-conceived outing.”

The paper also noted that Newsom’s children are attending private school while most public schools remain shuttered. “Newsom and the First Partner eschewed state public health guidelines to dine with friends at a time when the governor has asked families to scale back Thanksgiving plans,” the Bee observed. “If the governor can eat out with friends—and if his children can attend their expensive school—why must everyone else sacrifice?”

Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court said he was “shocked” that the dinner also included top CMA officials. “The message is to forget the pandemic, sit as close as you can, no face coverings, no masks, no social distancing,” he told KTTV. “This is the state’s medical association. They speak for the doctors in the state, and their chief lobbyist and the president are sitting shoulder to shoulder with the governor as though it’s any time in American history.”