California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom has come under fire after he was photographed not wearing a mask while at the Los Angeles Rams' NFC Championship game at Inglewood's SoFi Stadium on Sunday.
Newsom took photos with NBA legend Magic Johnson without wearing a mask, as did Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and San Francisco Mayor London Breed. The New York Post reported LA County still has a mask mandate in place for outdoor events with more than 5,000 people in attendance.
"Toddlers are being forced to wear masks all day long in school," California GOP state Sen. Melissa Melendez tweeted Monday. "Maybe one day they'll be governor or the mayor of LA and they won't have the follow the rules they impose on others."
The governor told reporters Monday he only took the mask off to take the photos with Johnson, and said the "rest of the time I wore it – and as we all should. And I encourage everyone else to do so."
He added, "I was trying to be gracious, took the mask off for a brief second. But no, I encourage people to continue to wear them."
Newsom was previously criticized in 2020 after he was seen without a mask while at a Napa Valley restaurant, which he later apologized for. An attempt to recall the governor failed last year despite a campaign by conservatives.
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