On Sunday, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) went to bat for California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom, accusing “right-wing Republicans” of being behind the recall effort targeting Newsom in California. Sanders wrote, “Right-wing Republicans in CA are trying to recall @GavinNewsom for the crime of telling people to wear masks and for listening to scientists during COVID. Extremist Republicans have done enough to undermine democracy already. We must all unite to oppose the recall in California.”
Right-wing Republicans in CA are trying to recall @GavinNewsom for the crime of telling people to wear masks and for listening to scientists during COVID. Extremist Republicans have done enough to undermine democracy already. We must all unite to oppose the recall in California.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 8, 2021
Less than ten minutes later, famed chef Andrew Gruel, the owner of Slapfish, a seafood restaurant franchise based in Huntington Beach, California, and a vociferous critic of Newsom’s, fired back at Sanders with some inside info of his own, stating sarcastically, “This is very ‘unlike’ Bernie to undermine someone’s non-partisan, but credible concerns by brushing them into a political group. 90% of my restaurant-owner friends are Democrat and want Newsom out.”
This is very “unlike” Bernie to undermine someone’s non-partisan, but credible concerns by brushing them into a political group. 90% of my restaurant-owner friends are Democrat and want Newsom out. https://t.co/Hhia06uJtx
— Chef Andrew Gruel (@ChefGruel) March 8, 2021
In December, Gruel posted a video on Twitter in which he addressed critics who had slammed him for keeping his restaurants open, saying:
Okay, I’ve got everybody blowing up my replies right now, saying I’m a grandmother-killer and that we don’t take this pandemic seriously, so I’m just going to address it all right here so that I actually don’t have to individually go back and forth and box with every single one of these fake accounts.
So, here’s the situation. Do we take the pandemic seriously? Of course we do. Am I saying that we shouldn’t close outdoor dining? Yes, I am. At every single juncture along the way here, from the beginning shut-down to today, we’ve listened to all of the advice from our government officials, only to be shut down over and over and over again, and then not compensated for the elements that we put in place in our businesses in order to protect our customers.
We shut down indoor dining — no problem. I got a warehouse full of plexiglass right now, okay? We went outdoors, alright? Now that’s getting shut down. I just put thousands of dollars into outdoor heaters.
There is zero scientific evidence that proves that outdoor dining is contributing to a rise in cases related to this, alright? I am only saying that we are going to continue dining outdoors, because I can get on an airplane, and I can fly and eat and do whatever I want — and don’t tell me it’s the HEPA filters, okay? Because that’s not the case. You don’t turn those on until you get onto the plane. Before that, everybody’s fornicating on top of each other.
Gruel noted how big-box stores such as Walmart and Target were open to large numbers of people while outdoor dining at restaurants had been targeted by state authorities. He asserted, “Therefore, screw that. We’re staying open outdoors. It’s that simple. I’m not an a**hole, the governor is.”
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