California governor Gavin Newsom (D) fled his state last week as residents in the San Bernardino mountains remained trapped in their homes by historic piles of snow.
The governor left the state Wednesday after declaring a state of emergency over back-to-back winter storms that buried mountain communities in southern California. The snow has left roads impassable, leaving residents in towns like Crestline and Lake Arrowhead stuck in their homes for days.
Residents in the region are struggling to access food and necessary medical care, and the snow has caused the rooves of some buildings to collapse, including the roof of Crestline’s only grocery store.
Newsom flees emergency
Amid this disaster, Newsom took a trip out of the state Wednesday, Fox News reported, adding his destination was unclear.
As mountain residents waited for relief to arrive this weekend, Newsom, a Democratic party rising star who is widely seen as a future presidential contender, was attacking Republicans over Twitter.
One of his tone-deaf tweets directed his followers to watch a clip of liberal comedian Jon Stewart dunking on Republicans about gun control.
“Watch this entire clip immediately,” Newsom wrote.
The governor had declared an emergency Wednesday in 13 counties including San Bernardino. The state response came after residents reached out to Newsom, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“It’s highly unusual for Californians to reach out directly seeking aid during times of crisis,” Brian Ferguson, a spokesperson for the state Office of Emergency Services, said. “It certainly was a sign that this was a dangerous event that was unfolding in San Bernardino County.”
Despite Newsom’s directive to send the National Guard, some communities are still snowed in. A Good Samaritan named Max Strawn, of Crestline, said he’s been delivering supplies to elderly and disabled neighbors as the town waits for the cavalry to arrive.
“We’re really hoping for the National Guard to assist us,” Strawn said. “We were expecting it, but we’re not getting it.”
True priorities revealed
Newsom’s office blasted out a short press release Sunday with a photo of him receiving an “update” on the disaster, but it was back to culture war politics on Monday as Newsom threatened to block Walgreens from doing business in California for its cooperation with laws restricting abortion pills in red states.
“California won’t be doing business with @walgreens. — or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk. We’re done,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, access to San Bernardino Mountain communities has been limited to emergency vehicles, leaving residents who left home to re-supply in limbo. One man, Eddie Loya, told Los Angeles’ KABC that he just wants to shovel snow off his roof before it collapses.
“We need more help. Gavin Newsom, if you’re listening, we need more help!” he pleaded.
Unfortunately, the storm does not appear to be at the top of the governor’s mind as he focuses on promoting his personal ambitions.