State Watch

Gavin Newsom blames ‘right-wing’ misinformation for delta variant deaths

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) attributed the rising number of coronavirus deaths in his state to what he described as misinformation being spread by “right-wing pundits” in politics and media. 

“Time to be a little bit more specific,” Newsom said Monday during an appearance on MSNBC. “The Ron Johnsons of the world. The Marjorie Taylor Greenes of the world, the Tucker Carlsons of the world.” 

“I watch them,” Newsom continued. “I listen, I pay attention. They’re misinforming people. They’re literally putting people’s lives at risk. People are dying because of the misinformation, either knowingly or unknowingly, regardless, time to call it out.” 

The COVID-19 delta variant is now accounting for the majority of new cases in the United States, almost entirely among the unvaccinated. Federal health officials have said all three vaccines being used in the United States are safe and effective against the coronavirus, including the delta variant. 

The White House has placed a renewed emphasis on fighting false or misleading information about vaccines in recent weeks, calling out social media companies for allowing bad information to spread on their platforms and conservative media figures for questioning the science behind vaccines. 

Johnson, a Republican senator from Wisconsin, earned a rebuke from the largest newspaper in his state earlier this month after he highlighted five people who said they had serious side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines. 

Taylor-Greene, a Republican House member from Georgia, has declined to say whether she is vaccinated and has on multiple occasions compared mask mandates and national vaccine rollout programs to Nazi Germany. 

Carlson, the top-rated cable news host in the country, has claimed he is not against vaccines but has questioned whether young, healthy people need to get a coronavirus vaccine and has slammed suggestions that government should require inoculation among citizens to help slow spread of the virus.  

California, once a national hot spot for coronavirus cases, infections and deaths, has seen some of the highest vaccination rates of any state in the country. The state announced this week it would require vaccination proof for state and health care workers. 

Newsom, who is in the middle of a recall election fight, reopened the state’s economy and lifted most COVID-19 restrictions in June. Some localities, like Los Angeles County, have since reimposed mask mandates or other public health measures.   

Tags COVID-19 misinformation COVID-19 vaccine Gavin Newsom Gavin Newsom Medicine Vaccine

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