“We would have done everything different,” Newsom says about the way Covid did things

In hindsight, California’s Democratic governor says, “We’re all geniuses now” about the pandemic.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said that the criticism of California’s strict Covid-19 rules was fair and that, knowing what he knows now about the outbreak, he would have done things very differently.

“I think we would’ve done everything differently,” Newsom said in a taped interview that will air on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

“I think we’ve all grown in terms of how wise we are as a group. We didn’t realize how little we knew. We know a lot about looking back. We’re all smarter than ever.”

Later in the interview, when asked about criticism of his state’s choices, Newsom said, “It’s all fair game as far as thinking goes.”

The host, Chuck Todd, asked the Democrat from California about details, like whether Newsom and other state officials were too nice to the film industry during times when strict distance rules meant that Californians couldn’t get together for family funerals, for example. “There seems to be a lot of humility. And we didn’t realize how little we knew. And it wasn’t really me; it was us as a group,” Newsom said in response.

During the pandemic, there was a lot of anger in Newsom’s state. Partisans tried to get him fired, and company owners and parents were upset that the state was too cautious and wouldn’t loosen up like other states did. Nationally, people like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is now a Republican presidential candidate, have criticized him. DeSantis has compared his state’s more relaxed response to the pandemic to Newsom’s stricter and longer rules.

Even though Todd asked the governor a lot of specific questions about how he would have handled things differently in his hard-hit state, such as the long-term closure of in-person learning in schools, he mostly stuck to generalities.

Newsom did, however, point out that the virus spread differently indoors and outdoors, and he hinted that covering and giving out vaccines would have been done differently in retrospect. “You should talk about which medicines are most important right away. “You go through a series of things, and there are so many things we could have done differently,” he said.

Newsom said that different regions and industries dealt with the virus in different ways, but he also said that “there were few states that didn’t go on aggressive lockdowns, including Ron DeSantis in Florida.”

Newsom also complained about how partisan the pandemic was and how every move he, his counterparts in other states, and the White House made was seen through a partisan lens.

“It should worry all of us that health has all of a sudden become a political issue,” he said. “And we’re going to pay a big price for that in the future, you’re right. But we’re incredibly strong, so it won’t break us.”

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