One day after Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom was once again caught maskless in a public setting, all but one of the evening news broadcasts bothered to mention the incident. ABC's World News Tonight being the only network to cover the incident.
During a segment on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, correspondent Erielle Reshef reported on the "dramatic fall in new COVID infections across 40 states and territories." As well as the good news that we're seeing "cases down 32 percent since the peak of the Omicron surge."
Reshef then reported that "even with an average of half a million new infections every day, there is growing debate over when to loosen mask mandates. Starting tomorrow, San Francisco will end its indoor mask rule for people who are up to date on their vaccinations, at offices and gyms."
Reshef continued her report specifying that "Los Angeles County, a mask mandate is still in effect. So there was backlash after these photos showing Governor Gavin Newsom and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti not wearing masks at yesterday's Rams game. The pictures posted on Magic Johnson's Instagram. Newsom and Garcetti both say they wore a mask at the game, only removing them briefly."
Despite accurately reporting on Newsom's blunder, they did air his excuse for violating his own mandates:
I was trying to be gracious and took the mask off for a brief second, but, no I encourage people to continue wearing them.
While ABC's World News Tonight did their job reporting Gavin Newsom's apparent disregard for his own mask mandates, neither CBS Evening News nor NBC Nightly News bothered to even mention Newsom's hypocrisy once.
To read the relevant transcript of this segment click "expand":
ABC's World News Tonight
DAVID MUIR: We turn now to the pandemic and to a promising sign tonight and we need it. 40 states now reporting cases are coming down. That Omicron has peaked in their states. They hope they're coming down the other side of this now. But the U.S. still averaging 543,000 new cases every day. Cases in children going down last week. This is the first time since Thanksgiving they've seen this. But still, that number, 808,000 children testing positive over just the last week. And authorities with a warning tonight about getting children vaccinated, saying we're still in this, and to protect against any new possible variants. 15 states tonight are reporting ICU beds still in short supply. And here in New York City, the news that they plan to deliver the new antiviral drug to fight covid right to your home if you need it. Of course, the question tonight, why is it in short supply in many other parts of the country. ABC's Erielle Reshef here in New York tonight.
ERIELLE RESHEF: Tonight, a dramatic fall in new covid infections across 40 states and territories. Cases down 32% since the peak of the Omicron surge. Infections in kids dropping, too, for the first time since Thanksgiving, down nearly a third. But doctors stress that unvaccinated children remain vulnerable to Omicron or any other variant that could emerge.
DOCTOR ANDREA HADLEY (HELEN DEVOS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL): These kids need us to help them get vaccinated. They need us to get the adults in their lives vaccinated.
RESHEF: Less than 38% of kids five and over who are eligible are fully vaccinated. And those under five still can't get the shot. Nationwide, hospital admissions are falling, too, but 15 states are still running low on ICU beds. Tonight, more than five months after Pfizer got full approval for its vaccine, the FDA following suit for Moderna.
DOCTOR ALOK PATEL (STANFORD CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL): A lot of people want to know why it took so long. But also, I hope this adds trust to the general public that the FDA did a really good, rigorous evaluation of the safety and efficacy data.
RESHEF: And this week, New York City will start a home delivery program of those new antiviral pills for people who have prescriptions.
MAYOR ERIC ADAMS: New York is one of the only places in the nation where we are doing this free delivery.
RESHEF: But across the country, supply is scarce. An analysis by ABC News found three-quarters of U.S. Counties had run out of Paxlovid, the new drug touted as a game-changer.
DOCTOR CHRISTIAN RAMERS (FAMILY HEALTH CENTERS OF SAN DIEGO): The volume has been just mind-blowing for the last three to four weeks and just absolutely insane. Hundreds to thousands of people vying for about, you know, 40 to 50 treatment slots per day.
RESHEF: Even with an average of half a million new infections every day, there is growing debate over when to loosen mask mandates. Starting tomorrow, San Francisco will end its indoor mask rule for people who are up to date on their vaccinations, at offices and gyms. But in Los Angeles County, a mask mandate is still in effect. So there was backlash after these photos showing Governor Gavin Newsom and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti not wearing masks at yesterday's Rams game. The pictures posted on Magic Johnson's Instagram. Newsom and Garcetti both say they wore a mask at the game, only removing them briefly.
GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM: I was trying to be gracious and took the mask off for a brief second, but, no I encourage people to continue wearing them.
MUIR: All right, Erielle Reshef back with us tonight. And I wanted to get back to that antiviral drug for covid, news it's going to be delivered to homes in the New York City area if needed, but I know there is concern tonight that it's in short supply in many other parts of the country?
RESHEF: That's right, David. The Omicron surge has simply outpaced supply for this drug. The states are allocated the amount of their drugs based on their populations, but in some cases, the demand is higher. About 265,000 of these treatments were rolled out in January. That's expected to get ramped up to 20 million by September. We're expecting that this will be more widely available by the spring. David?
MUIR: All right, let's hope so. Erielle, thank you.