Issues & Insights

A COVID Tyrant For President?

When recently asked if he was going to run for president next year, California Gov. Gavin Newsom wouldn’t rule it out. This is no big news, since we’ve been hearing for some time that he will rescue the faltering Biden-Harris regime. But it is distressing. In addition to driving people from his state with policies that become more deranged with every passing year, Newsom was a malevolent pandemic warrior who should have been punished for his offenses. Voters deserve to know just how vicious he was – and that he remains unrepentant.

It would be hard to argue that any another state mistreated its citizens more than California. Given the opportunity of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Newsom smoothly tapped into his just-below-the-surface authoritarianism (the same urge to dictate that afflicts nearly every Democrat in the nation).

When he issued his stay-at-home command in March 2020, which the Los Angeles Times called “unprecedented” in “modern California history,” it was the first stomp of the heavy boot that Newsom would keep on Californians until February of this year. Only then did he surrender his self-granted emergency powers – five months after he vetoed a bill that would have limited the authority governors can wield during a declared crisis.

During his reign of petty tyranny, Newsom:

  • Brawled with Orange County, where residents had been enjoying their beaches in the Southern California spring weather,” even though police said beachgoers were “mostly keeping social distance” practices.
  • Routinely condescended toward Californians who didn’t behave as he demanded.
  • Was fittingly called an “out-of-touch elite,” a “narcissist,” “Big Daddy #thugboy,” and “The King of Sacramento.”
  • Held more political prisoners during the pandemic than any other governor.
  • Signed the bill that penalizes doctors who spread “misinformation or disinformation related” to COVID. It was such poor legislation that it was repealed after first being derailed in the courts.
  • Considered himself a savior. He claimed his 2021 recall election was ”​​a matter of life and death” because the favorite to replace him, had he been recalled, was radio talk show host Larry Elder, who promised that if he was elected governor, he would repeal “right away” any “facemask mandates and vaccine mandates.”
  • Was complicit in California students’ historic learning loss. His four children were protected, however, because they were sent to a private school that returned to in-person instruction while many public schools remained closed.
  • Issued “39 executive orders, unilaterally changing 200 laws spanning most sections of the California code” – all before the end of May 2020.
  • Went maskless, as did his rich friends, at a party in a three-Michelin-star Napa Valley restaurant while expecting everyone else to comply with mask rules.
  • Hectored and disparaged anyone who didn’t agree with his oppressive pandemic response, which turned out to be fatally wrong.

When confronted a few weeks ago about the harshness of his COVID restrictions while on “Meet the Press,” Newsom said that had he known then what he knows now, “I think we would’ve done everything differently.”

This has been characterized as an admission of guilt. But it sounds more like someone who’s sorry he was caught stealing, not a man repentant of his transgression – and would do the same thing again if he had the chance. Fox’s Greg Gutfeld has called Newsom “the slickest, sneakiest man on Earth,” and the governor’s “admission” only bolsters Gutfeld’s point.

Rather than be rewarded with the presidency, Newsom, like all the other COVID-itarians in the country, should be held to account for the damage he unleashed. And it should be so severe that no government official will ever again consider closing society, shutting down the economy or compelling people to wear masks.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board 

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • There is No Way that Gov Newsom would use COVID as a political tool!
    Oops … n/m
    April 2, 2020 “California Governor Newsom: Yes, We Will Use Coronavirus to ‘Reimagine a Progressive Era’ “There is opportunity for reimagining a progressive era as it pertains to capitalism,” absolutely we see this as an opportunity to reshape the way we do business and how we govern.”

  • You missed a big one. Newsome, like Cuomo, put the elderly – the most at risk – in danger by forcing nursing homes to take COVID positive patients.
    Newsom, state failed nursing home residents during COVID outbreak
    Newsom had offered to pay assisted living facilities $1,000 per day to house COVID-19-positive patients – after saying in an April 24 directive that nursing homes must admit coronavirus-positive patients.

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