Gov. Newsom’s wife takes Twitter heat as Californians question absence

Twitter users grilled Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, about a new tweet and since-deleted tweet as her husband has remained quiet over the past dozen days amid backlash for canceling an appearance to the U.N. climate change conference in Scotland, citing “family obligations.”

Online speculation has continued to grow as Newsom hasn’t held any news conferences or public appearances since missing the Oct. 29 event. Newsom press secretary Daniel Lopez told the San Francisco Chronicle that the governor worked at the Capitol last week and that his usual appearances would resume this week.

Siebel Newsom, an award-winning filmmaker, posted Monday about a new project called “Fair Play,” a documentary investigating domestic inequality. But commenters were far more interested in Gov. Newsom’s whereabouts. #WheresGavinNewsom quickly began to trend.

“Where’s our Governor @GavinNewsom? Post video if he’s alive and okay,” one Twitter user wrote.

“Where’s Newsome? Is he playing hookie at home sick from the VAX?” another user wrote.

Lopez noted that the governor’s conference cancelation last month was not a result of the COVID-19 booster shot he received in his last public appearance. Newsom was in San Francisco on Saturday for the wedding of Getty oil heiress Ivy Love Getty, according to an ABC report that noted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as an officiant.

Backlash has centered particularly on the booster shot, with speculation about the safety of boosters coming into question with Newsom out of the public eye. The booster shots are safe and effective and have limited side effects, according to medical experts.

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Others called out Siebel Newsom for deleting a Sunday tweet in which she criticized the public for scrutiny of her family’s obligations and wrote, “Certain folks can’t handle truth.”

The tweet, according to the Sacramento Bee, read: “When someone cancels something, maybe they’re just in the office working; maybe in their free time they’re at home with their family, at their kids’ sports matches, or dining out with their wife. Please stop hating and get a life.”

Newsom’s office did not immediately respond Tuesday morning to USA TODAY requests for comment.

Late Monday, Newsom’s office announced he would soon “participate in a fireside chat at the 2021 California Economic Summit sponsored by California Forward.”

Newsom’s absence has been peculiar given his normal appearances, and his failure to attend the U.N. Climate Change Conference – where he would have been among major world leaders – was even more puzzling because Newsom has promoted California as a leader in fighting climate change by banning the sale of gas-powered cars in the region by 2035.

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