California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he was “very judicious” about wearing his mask throughout the Rams game on Sunday, but removed it for a photo with Magic Johnson.
Los Angeles County and SoFi Stadium require patrons to wear masks at all times during “mega events” such as sporting events, with the exception of eating or drinking. The county also requires either proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter a mega event.
“I was very judicious yesterday… and you’ll see in the photo I did take…in my left hand’s a mask and I took a photo,” Newsom said on Monday during a briefing on California housing and mental health. “The rest of the time I wore it, as we all should. I encourage everybody else to do so.”
Hanging out at SoFi Stadium today! pic.twitter.com/XfotiRLGz9
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 31, 2022
Photos of a maskless Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti circulated the internet Monday morning, with social media users calling into question the mask regulations, including California representative Kevin Kiley, who said, “In light of his conduct at the football game, and in light of what empirical data and common sense have long dictated, I’m calling on Gavin Newsom to end the school mask mandate.”
In response, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger called for a “re-evaluation” of the county’s mask policy after, saying in a statement:
“Masking rules set by the state and county weren’t followed consistently by everyone at yesterday’s NFC Championship.
“Instead, we saw individuals choosing to mask up based on calculated personal risk. Modern stadiums like SoFi Stadium have strong air circulation and all attendees of the game were required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test. Some fans evidently felt this was enough to protect them against COVID-19.
“I strongly believe individuals should be allowed to make an informed choice about whether to mask up or not. I hope state and local health leaders take this into consideration and re-evaluate indoor and school masking mandates now.
“Let’s do away with blanket COVID-19 masking policies – they don’t make a difference when they’re not consistently followed or enforced. We need to trust the public to make the best personal decisions for themselves based on their unique risks and circumstances.”
Newsom also hinted at a California “endemic plan” that would detail how the state will “live with” the COVID-19 virus and its surges going forward.
“We need to be vigilant and we need to maintain that vigilance,” Newsom said. “I did so, with that exception, and you know, I look forward to continuing to maintain vigilance in the future.”