EXCLUSIVE: California Governor candidate Major Williams put the blame on Wednesday Government Gavin Newsomvin for the last of the state COVID-19 workplace policies, which business groups say will place them an unnecessary burden.
Williams’ comments came less than a week after California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, known as Cal/OSHA, issued a new rules that employees could drop their masks – provided everyone in the workplace was vaccinated.
In an interview with Fox News, Williams suggested that Cal/OSHA’s latest guidelines weren’t so much about keeping Californians in mind and more about “power, control, and manipulation.”
“It falls under the umbrella of power, control and manipulation,” Williams said. “When you’re dealing with politics, sometimes it comes from indirect mechanisms that they use to control individuals.”
Williams, a Republican, said the state’s strict COVID-19 policies have pitted people against each other, playing into the hands of leaders.
“They always have the power if you can turn people against each other and create this fear,” Williams said. “I believe it has to do with that mainly because there are entire states that are virtually maskless right now.”
But Williams placed almost the entire blame on Newsom, whose emergency powers have allowed him to make far-reaching policies during the pandemic.
“You have to look at who is actually in power, which is Governor Gavin Newsom,” Williams said. “I think he was definitely mishandled [the pandemic], and it just adds more ammunition and fuel to the recall coming up.”
The Democratic governor faced bipartisan criticism last week when he said he planned to maintain an emergency declaration even after the state fully reopened its economy on June 15.
The statement means California can be reimbursed by the federal government for many of its pandemic-related costs. But it also gives Newsom the power to suspend state laws and impose new regulations. Since declaring this state of emergency, Newsom has issued at least 58 executive orders to change or suspend hundreds of laws because of the virus.
Newsom faces a recall election later this year. The organizers, angered by the governor’s handling of the pandemic, gathered and enough signatures validated to qualify for a vote in April.
Williams, an entrepreneur and founder of Major Kicks for Kids, was the first Republican to announce his candidacy for governor. Businessman John Cox, who defeated Newsom in 2018, former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, and 1976 Olympic decathlon champion and TV personality Caitlyn Jenner have since entered the fray.
Fox News contacted Newsom’s press team with a request for comment, but did not hear back before publication.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.