California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom removed two of his children from a summer basketball camp this week after photos surfaced on social media showing his son indoors and not wearing a mask.
Newsom spokesperson Erin Mellon told the Associated Press in an email Tuesday that the governor and his wife Jennifer “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.”
Mellon added that the Golden State’s first couple “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.” The spokesperson added that two of Newsom’s four children, aged 10 and 11, attended the camp.
California’s masking rules require everyone — even vaccinated people — to wear masks in “youth settings” because children under 12 are not eligible to be vaccinated.
Late Monday, the advocacy group Reopen California Schools, which promotes full in-person school reopenings without masks, tweeted that it had obtained photos of Newsom’s maskless child at the camp. The group, which is run by parent Jonathan Zachreson, added that the photos were posted to the summer camp’s social media profiles.
“This is in clear violation of his own mask mandates,” the account tweeted. “Why can his [Newsom’s] kid be maskless, but not ours?”
“We support this summer basketball camp’s approach of having each family determine their own masking situation,” the account went on. “The real problem is Newsom’s own family having mask choice, while he forces a different policy on every other kid in California.”
Newsom is facing a Sept. 14 recall vote that is expected to play out as a referendum over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The recall drive picked up steam after the governor was photographed attending a maskless dinner with 11 others at the exclusive French Laundry eatery in Napa County this past November, despite telling Californians to avoid gatherings of more than three households.
The governor has also been criticized for sending his children to a private school that adopted a hybrid learning model as most public school students remained stuck in remote learning.
With Post wires