Newsom cancels COVID-19 briefing amid outrage over mob violence at U.S. Capitol

Luke Money, Anita Chabria, Taryn Luna
Gov. Gavin Newsom said California will review the safety of all COVID-19 vaccines approved by the Trump administration before allowing them to be released to the public.
"Peaceful protest is an important mechanism of our democracy, but what we are witnessing in our nation's Capitol building is reprehensible and an outright assault to our democracy and Democratic institutions," California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement. (Office of the California Governor)

Gov. Gavin Newsom was originally scheduled to provide a COVID-19 update Wednesday afternoon, but canceled the briefing amid unrest in Washington, D.C., where a mob objecting to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory breached the U.S. Capitol’s security barriers.

"Peaceful protest is an important mechanism of our democracy, but what we are witnessing in our nation's Capitol building is reprehensible and an outright assault to our democracy and Democratic institutions," Newsom said in a statement.

Supporters of outgoing President Trump — who has pushed incessantly to overturn his loss in the November election — also protested in Sacramento and clashed with police in downtown Los Angeles.

As many as 1,000 people converged in Sacramento, but there were no reports of violence. By 1 p.m., many had left. Then a rainstorm hit and many of the others departed.

In memos sent earlier this week to state Senate and Assembly staff members, legislative leadership advised lawmakers and Capitol employees to work from home Wednesday in anticipation of the “Wild West MAGA March” planned for the state Capitol.

The event, which drew hundreds of protesters, was not permitted by the California Highway Patrol.

The governor’s office also sent staff home to telework during the day “out of an abundance of caution." Newsom’s office said there were no major incidents stemming from the Capitol protest.

California is now a national hot spot of the coronavirus, with Newsom and other leaders struggling to keep hospital beds available amid a surge in patients.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.