Five California legislative assembly members, the majority of whom are Democrats, dined together outdoors Monday despite rising coronavirus case levels and strict and stay-at-home orders imposed on the state, Breitbart reports.
According to LA Fox 11, “lawmakers ate dinner outside at a Sacramento restaurant, hours after a swearing-in session that had been moved from the state Capitol to the Golden 1 Center to guarantee sufficient social distancing spacing for legislators.”
Over the weekend, strict new shutdowns forcing people to stay home except for essential trips were put in effect in Southern California, much of the San Francisco Bay Area and parts of the Central Valley.
The five state lawmakers are the latest politicians to be caught violating state guidance. According to the Sacramento Bee, those who dined at Sacramento’s Maydoon included Adrin Nazarian, D-West Toluca Lake; Chad Mayes, I-Rancho Mirage; Tasha Boerner Horvath, D-Encinitas; Marc Levine, D-Marin County; and Chris Ward, D-San Diego.
When questioned by the Sacramento Bee about the dinner, Nazarian responded, “Can we not have dinner?”
Fox 11 noted:
Boerner Horvath pulled her scarf up to cover her nose and left the table. Her chief of staff, Rob Charles, said in a phone call that the members had tested negative for COVID-19 and were following Sacramento County’s COVID-19 requirements.
According to Chad Mayes, who left the Republican party in 2019 and filed for re-election as an independent, only recently faced scrutiny for attending a Hawaii conference while Californians were urged to stay home, said he “thought we were following all the rules because we were sitting outside.”
“Legislators, just like everybody else – I don’t want to start beating other people up – but they think they’re very unclear,” Mayes said.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has been pushing the use of face masks and social distancing, implemented several coronavirus restrictions in the state.
Newsom and San Francisco Mayor London Breed both faced scrutiny for breaking not only the state health rules but had urged Californians to stay home. The Democrats, in separate outings, both dined at the exclusive, Michelin restaurant, French Laundry in Napa County with crowded dinner parties.