Gavin Newsom’s License to Misinform on Covid


Last summer, while trying to survive a recall effort, California governor Gavin Newsom claimed that Texas middle-class families “pay more taxes than middle-class families in California” and challenged doubters to “look that up.” A few months later, he swore that “violent crime and property crime” is “higher in Texas than in California.”

The facts didn’t land on his side. Comparisons showed that taxes are a greater burden in California, and there’s little difference in crime between the states in recent years.

Because Newsom is a media darling, his exaggerations didn’t hurt him politically. So he’s free to continue to dish out misinformation. “We’d have 40,000 more Californians dead” if he had followed Florida governor Ron DeSantis’s approach to the pandemic, Newsom said last month while appearing on ABC’s The View. Though Newsom seems to have pulled that 40,000 number out of the ether, it is true that California did do a little better than Florida when looking at Covid deaths per 100,000 residents (California’s number currently stands at 110, against Florida’s 128—both of which are below the national average of 138). But if he believes that his lockdown regime was the reason for California’s lower rate, he’s deluding himself…

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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