California Governor Reemerges, Attributes Break to Family Needs
(Bloomberg) -- California Governor Gavin Newsom made his first public appearance in almost two weeks, attributing the prolonged absence to family needs and the wishes of his children.
After several days of wild speculation and conspiracy theories on social media about his whereabouts, Newsom sat down for a one-on-one discussion at an economic summit Tuesday in Monterey. When asked about his break, the father of four said he felt the need to spend time with his family rather than attend a planned trip to the global climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
“The kids literally, they kind of had an intervention,” said Newsom, 54. “They said they couldn’t believe I was going to miss Halloween. I woke up that next morning with something that is probably familiar to a lot of parents, that knot in your stomach, that I had no damn choice, I had to cancel that trip.”
The Democratic governor’s last scheduled public appearance came Oct. 27, when he received his Covid-19 vaccine booster shot during a press conference in Oakland. Two days later, his office put out a statement saying he had to cancel the Glasgow trip, citing family obligations but giving no other details.
Since then, unsubstantiated rumors exploded on social media about his absence, including that he’d suffered a bad reaction to the booster. His office has said that wasn’t true and that he’s worked privately with staff in the Sacramento statehouse.
The rumors on social media left his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, to rant in a since-deleted tweet that people should just “get a life.”
“It’s funny how certain folks can’t handle truth,” The San Jose Mercury News quoted her saying in the tweet. “When someone cancels something, maybe they’re just in the office working; maybe in their free time they’re at home with their family, at their kids’ sports matches, or dining out with their wife. Please stop hating and get a life.”
Newsom on Tuesday noted that he has been intensely busy with multiple crises since taking office, including wildfires and the pandemic, as well a recall attempt that he handily won in September. He said he spent the recent time catching up on issues such as the state’s budget and preparing for a potential winter virus surge.
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