The Hypocrisy Pandemic

Politicians such as Governor Gavin Newsom proclaim that everyone should abide by safe COVID practices but do not always follow these themselves. Our leaders too often prioritize personal gain over integrity and lives.


Allison Ng, Staff Writer

“We need to flatten the curve together.” With these words in March of 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom set a national public-health precedent as he mandated a state-wide stay-at-home order. His actions seemed the epitome of the perfect political response to the raging COVID-19 pandemic. Sure, quarantine sounded tedious, but efficient leadership promised to protect our safety. As COVID cases erupted nationwide; however, government hypocrisy ensured that these promises of working together were but an illusion.

It’s almost comical how “together” suddenly meant that the responsibility for public safety fell on all of us—be it students, teachers, or loved ones—but our politicians felt entitled to blatantly ignore the same measures they just enacted. Nearly one million Americans have died from the pandemic. And in the viruses earlier days, Governor Newsom decided to express his respect and sympathy by partying maskless at The French Laundry with his favorite lobbyist, Jason Kinney. Apparently, his relationships with lobbying firms mattered more than the lives he swore to save. When all this was discovered, Governor Newsom acknowledged his error and publicly apologized, but in the moment he was, in essence, preaching about how social distancing was both “necessary” and “the right thing” until it was his turn to keep others safe. 

The hundreds impacted directly by these high-risk conditions become the thousands that looked to his public measures to battle the pandemic, which become the millions who falsely trusted so-called proper leadership. The worst part is that while we can blame Governor Newsom for normalizing this cycle of negligence, The Hill finds that he isn’t the only one. Many in power across the nation are doing exactly the same: risking numerous fatalities for their political interests. Take former President Donald Trump, who attempted to boost his reputation by hiding the cases erupting nationwide at the height of the pandemic. It’s simple for politicians to discuss our safety but another situation entirely for them to act upon it themselves when their interests come into play.

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on American citizens, but just as destructive is the pandemic bred from this agony that goes unaddressed: our government’s overwhelming gravitation towards personal interests that are counter to the mandates they can’t be bothered to follow. Those suffering are silenced while profit and convenience are prioritized. Coronavirus takes lives, and our leaders only worsen these stories through their misguided priorities.