Gavin Newsom Reflects On California’s Covid Approach: “We Would’ve Done Everything Differently”

Hindsight is 20/20. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who took considerable heat from constituents and a recall attempt over the state’s tough Covid restrictions and vaccine rollout, acknowledges the criticism was valid.

In a taped interview which aired on Sunday’s NBC news magazine Meet The Press, Newsom said given what he knows now, “I think we would’ve done everything differently.”

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Later in the interview Newsom responded to criticism of his state’s decisions saying: “All of it’s legitimate in terms of reflection.”

“I think all of us in terms of our collective wisdom, we’ve evolved,” Newsom added. “We didn’t know what we didn’t know. We’re experts in hindsight. We’re all geniuses now.”

While not giving specifics on decisions he might have made differently, including the lengthy pandemic-related school closures, Newsom did refer to the virus’ spread indoors vs. outdoors, as well as masking policies and vaccine distribution that in hindsight, would have been handled differently. “You want to talk about prioritizations early on in terms of those vaccines. You go through a series of things, and there’s so many things we could’ve done differently,” he said.

Newsom noted the state’s different approaches to tackle the pandemic were based on region and industry, but he also defended his position, saying “There were few states that didn’t go on aggressive lockdowns, including Florida’s Ron DeSantis,” from whom he has been hit with tough criticism.

Newsom’s own personal conduct received much criticism during the lockdowns, such as his bad judgment in joining a crowd of friends and lobbyists at The French Laundry shortly before he ordered Covid restrictions for restaurants in the state.

However, Newsom slammed the partisan nature of the pandemic and how everything has been viewed through a partisan lens.

“It should be alarming to all of us that that all of a sudden health became partisan,” he said. “And that’s something we’re going to pay a big price, you’re right, going forward. But it won’t break us because we’re remarkably resilient.”

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