California Gov. Gavin Newsom pulled his children from a summer camp after discovering that other children were attending without masks in violation of state policy, his office confirmed Tuesday.
“The Newsoms were concerned to see unvaccinated children unmasked indoors at a camp their children began attending yesterday and after seeing this, removed the kids from the camp,” Newsom spokesperson Erin Mellon said in a statement. “The family reviewed communication from the camp and realized that an email was missed saying the camp would not enforce masking guidance. Their kids will no longer be attending this camp.”
Newsom’s two eldest children, ages 11 and 10, attended the camp for a day, Mellon said.
The announcement from Newsom’s office came a day after Reopen California Schools, a group opposing pandemic restrictions that have kept kids at home to learn remotely, tweeted that it identified publicly posted photos of the governor’s 10-year-old son with other maskless children indoors at a summer basketball camp.
“This is in clear violation of his own mask mandates,” the group tweeted. “Why can his kid be maskless, but not ours?”
California requires all people to wear masks indoors in K-12 schools and other youth settings, including summer camps.
Newsom, a Democrat who is facing a September recall election driven by his pandemic response, is under pressure to balance the reopening of schools with the slowing of Covid-19. Last week, he was sued by Reopen California Schools and Let Them Breathe over the state’s recent announcement that all students and teachers must wear masks when schools reopen, regardless of vaccination status. That was a step further than federal recommendations at the time.
On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged local officials to encourage universal masking indoors for all teachers, staff, students and school visitors no matter their vaccination status. At least one major union, the American Federation of Teachers, has come out in support of the new guidance, which comes just weeks before the start of the school year in many parts of the country.
The governor was also slammed last fall for attending a maskless indoor dinner party at a posh wine country restaurant celebrating the birthday of a personal friend who until recently was a registered lobbyist. That dinner accelerated the recall movement and led to new ethics rules in Newsom’s office.
Tuesday saw the governor in his most precarious position yet, with a Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll finding that Newsom is “in jeopardy” of being recalled if his Democratic base remains apathetic. According to the poll, Newsom would defeat the recall by a narrow three-point margin, with 50 percent of the most likely voters saying they would retain Newsom versus 47 percent saying they would replace him.