SACRAMENTO — Two top officials at the California Medical Association attended a birthday party alongside Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this month as the state experienced an uptick in coronavirus cases.
Dustin Corcoran, the organization’s chief executive officer and Janus Norman, a senior vice president, were among a dozen people at the dinner at an upscale wine country restaurant, CMA spokesman Anthony York said Tuesday.
The California Medical Association represents 50,000 doctors in the nation’s most populous state and has recently tweeted messages including #StayHome and #WearAMask. None of the people at the dinner are wearing masks in photos obtained by Fox 11, a Los Angeles news station.
“The dinner was held in accordance with state and county guidelines,” York said in an emailed statement.
Corcoran did not respond to a text message seeking comment.
The Nov. 6 dinner at the French Laundry in Napa County was a 50th birthday celebration for Jason Kinney, a lobbyist and informal adviser to Newsom.
Newsom and state and local health officials have urged people to stay within their own households. If people must visit others, they should meet outside, include no more than three households, wear masks, stay socially distant and limit their time together, according to state guidelines.
Newsom’s office has not responded to repeated questions from the Associated Press about whether the governor wore a mask while not eating or drinking, as he’s urged Californians to do, or was tested following the dinner. He apologized on Monday for attending and said he made a “bad mistake.”
A spokesman for Kinney told the San Francisco Chronicle, which first broke news of the dinner, that 12 people were in attendance.
The photos of the dinner show the group seated closely together around a table. The table is surrounded by walls on three sides, and the room appears to be open on the fourth side.
At the time of the dinner, Napa County allowed outdoor dining and limited indoor dining under the state’s tiered reopening system. But Newsom on Monday moved Napa and most other counties back into the state’s most restrictive tier, which prohibits indoor dining, as the state faces a surge in cases and the Thanksgiving holiday approaches.
Newsom’s decision to attend the dinner could damage his credibility as he urges California’s nearly 40 million residents to exercise caution as the holidays approach.
The three-star Michelin restaurant has maintained its $350 per person tasting menu, served in an outdoor dining room during the pandemic. It also added a number of other options, including a $450 per person menu for parties of up to 12 people, that can be served indoors or outside, and another for $850. The restaurant requires all reservations to be paid in advance.
WATCH NOW: HOW THE HOTEL INDUSTRY IS TRYING TO CONVINCE CUSTOMERS IT’S SAFE TO STAY AMID PANDEMIC
PHOTOS: CHECK OUT THE MOST EXPENSIVE HOME SOLD IN NAPA COUNTY IN OCTOBER (tncms-asset)df370fa0-2081-11eb-9fd2-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)
Catch up on Napa County's top news stories
In case you missed it, here is a look at the most-read stories on NapaValleyRegister.com.
News of the family-built roller coaster went “viral” — delighting readers around the world, including one very special man.
It’s an unfortunate end for the homeless, but this camp, along with others in Napa, have gotten out control, said Napa City Manager Steve Potter.
Tired of speeders, someone took the matter into their own hands and built two striped asphalt speed bumps across Hilltop Drive.
The COVID-19 pandemic led Napans to take up all kinds of new hobbies and projects. Some locals got into sourdough bread baking. Others got hoo…
Napa County plummeted overnight from the COVID-19 orange tier to the purple tier, leaving many local business owners scrambling Tuesday to adj…
Five employees and 18 students attending classes in the Napa Valley Unified School District have contracted the coronavirus.
Alicia Sanner of Napa said the last promotion that went to a man less qualified than herself was the proverbial last straw, so, the 36-year-ol…
Napa County must halve its daily COVID-19 cases to escape the purple pit of the state’s color-coded rating system.
For almost 40 years, Auction Napa Valley was a fixture of wine country philanthropy, raising hundreds of millions of dollars for local charita…
A33-year-old Napa man was sentenced to 42 years in state prison after pleading no contest in Napa Superior Court to an assortment of child mol…
Get local news delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.