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An ongoing leadership failure

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Trump and his Republican minions, needless to say, bear most of the responsibility for the catastrophic COVID response. But a lot of Democratic leaders haven’t covered themselves in glory either:

It was an intimate meal in a wood-paneled, private dining room in one of California’s most exclusive restaurants. No one around the table wore masks, not the lobbyists, not even the governor.

Photos that surfaced this week of a dinner at the French Laundry, a temple of haute cuisine in Napa Valley where some prix fixe meals go for $450 per person, have sparked outrage in a state where Democratic leaders have repeatedly admonished residents to be extra vigilant amid the biggest spike in infections since the pandemic began.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, who attended the dinner with his wife, has apologized, calling it a “bad mistake.”

But that has not assuaged his critics, who point to a cascade of other instances when Democratic leaders in California have been caught flouting the state’s coronavirus orders and guidelines. The revelations come as Mr. Newsom and other officials have asked Californians to make sacrifices to stop the spread of the virus, most recently beseeching them to stay home and avoid visiting extended family over Thanksgiving.

Pratically, there are limits to what law enforcement can accomplish, particularly when it comes to private residences. Political leaders need to make clear through their behavior how serious this is, and a failure to abide by the sacrifices being asked of others is really bad.

We’ve now reached 500 Epstein Coefficients.

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