Newsom blasts 'right-wing echo chamber' for undermining vaccination efforts

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference at The Unity Council on May 10, 2021 in Oakland, California.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference at The Unity Council on May 10, 2021 in Oakland, California. Photo credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Gov. Gavin Newsom called out Ron Johnson, Tucker Carlson, Marjorie Taylor Green, as a "right-wing echo chamber" for "perpetuating misinformation around the vaccine" Monday morning.

People like them are profiting off of intentional misinformation, he said.

"We are exhausted by the ideological prism that too many Americans are living under," said Newsom.

Announcing a new statewide effort to get more Californians vaccinated amidst the growing threat of the fast-spreading delta variant Monday in Oakland, Newsom decried the waves of misinformation contributing to vaccine hesitancy.

Newsom argued the politicization of the pandemic has led to the disrespectful comparison of mask-wearing to the Holocaust by some groups.

"It needs to be called out," he said. It’s becoming more frequently called out, he said. "I want to applaud particularly Republican leaders that have had the courage to call that out."

Newsom equated choosing to not get vaccinated to choosing to go out and drink and drive.

"Your choice not to get vaccinated and to listen to these pundits...comes at a real societal cost," said Newsom. It’s even more troubling considering many who argue against vaccination likely work for organizations that require it, and those pundits are most likely vaccinated themselves, said Newsom.

Starting Aug. 2, all state workers and long-term health care workers in the state will now be required to get vaccinated or face weekly COVID-19 tests. Employees will either have to show proof of vaccination or must wear masks indoors.

The new policy for health care workers and congregate facilities will take effect on Aug. 9, and health care facilities will have until Aug. 23 to come into full compliance.

California has a higher vaccination rate than any other state, with nearly 75% of residents having received at least one dose. Last week, there was a 16% increase in the number of people receiving their first dose of the vaccine, said Newsom.

The new state-wide effort includes partnerships with private-sector clinics, like Kaiser Permanente, said Newsom, as well as an increase in testing to twice a week in vulnerable, high-risk communities and areas.