CALIFORNIA — Governor Gavin Newsom apologized Friday, November 13 for attending a birthday dinner last week in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

First reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, Newsom was at The French Laundry in Yountville, California on Friday, November 6 to celebrate his friend’s birthday.  The event was held outdoors and was attended by 12 people, including Governor Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom.

In a statement, Governor Newsom expressed regret and said he “should have modeled better behavior.”  Before the story broke, Newsom, who has been governor since 2019, said on Twitter that everyone must take the rise in COVID-19 cases seriously and added that “your actions could literally save lives.”

This also comes on the same day that the state of Washington, California, and Oregon announced travel advisories as Thanksgiving approaches, which is Thursday, November 26.

On Thursday, November 12, California became the second state in the nation to reach 1 million coronavirus cases.  Texas reached 1 million cases two days earlier on Tuesday, November 10.

Governor Newsom announced a state of emergency in early March due to the rising threat of COVID-19.

On the morning of Friday, November 13, the state of California officially has 1,006,400 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University, with more than 18,000 dead.  Los Angeles County has the most confirmed cases of any county in the U.S., with more than 330,000.