California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is receiving unlikely support from a Republican congressman for attending a dinner party despite advising residents against holding such gatherings.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports Newsom and his wife attended the event on Nov. 6 and that there were at least 12 people there. Additionally, photos that surfaced from the event showed that Newsom and other attendees were not wearing face masks or social distancing.
He has since said he made a “bad mistake” by attending the party.
In a speech on the House floor on Thursday, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) defended Newsom’s decision to the dinner party despite urging residents to avoid such gatherings.
“I rise this morning in defense for Governor Gavin Newsom, who recently defied his own idiotic COVID edicts as he partied at one of the few restaurants that’s not yet been forced out of business,” he said.
He continued, “I defend him because he was doing what we all once did in our free society: make our own decisions over what risks we’re willing to run and what precautions we’re willing to take according to our own circumstances to protect our own health.”
Watch the video below:
.@RepMcClintock: "I rise this morning in defense for Governor Gavin Newsom who recently defied his own idiotic COVID edicts as he partied at one of the few restaurants that's not yet been forced out of business." pic.twitter.com/gjaTT0Zk7T— CSPAN (@cspan) November 19, 2020
He went on to noted that the coronavirus is a “nasty bug,” and over 250,000 Americans have died from the virus. Still, he argued that it is not the “bubonic plague” as he cited statistics that say Americans under the age of 49 have a 99.92% chance of surviving if they contract the virus.
Additionally, he said that Americans over the age of 70 have a 94.6% chance of recovering from the virus.
Instead of criticizing Newsom for the event, McClintock said his “night of partying” should be a “wake up call” for Americans.
“Every time we step outside our homes, the risks that we face multiple. A free society assumes that its citizens are competent to assess those risks, balance them against the avoidance costs, and to manage their decisions in a generally responsible way. It’s called common sense, and it’s a necessary prerequisite for self-governance and liberty.”
Additionally, he noted that a “healthy governor of California” may choose to make a different decision than an “octogenarian with emphysema.”
He added, “Only a fool would claim the omniscience to make an informed judgment for every person in every circumstance in every community.”
“And sadly, this crisis has revealed that fools abound in public office and that a fool with power can quickly become a petty tyrant.”
Finally, he argued that Democratic leaders who ignore public health advice are “demonstrating by their actions the freedom that every American citizen needs to reclaim from these very same people.”