While California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is busy locking down the state again because of a surge in Wuhan coronavirus cases, a number of legislators decided it was a good idea to head to Hawaii for the Independent Voter Project's annual conference.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, 50 rooms were booked for 120 conference attendees, 20 of which are legislators from California, Texas and Washington State. Not only did corporate sponsors, including Eli Lilly, AT&T, Walmart and Pepsi, pay for attendees' rooms but they're also forking over the dough for airline tickets as well.
Some take even more issue with the conference because attendees attend workshops in the morning and have the rest of the day to enjoy on their own, something that's seen as a "cozy relationship."
Independent Voter Project's Chairman Dan Howel defended the conference and it taking place, saying the four days are critical.
“There’s a lot of different ideas about how we can get people’s businesses (open), about starting the process of bringing people back to some semblance of normal,” Howle told the Sacramento Bee. “And because we have this long relationship with the hotel we agreed, let’s give this a try.”
All of this was done why the California Department of Health is strongly discouraging non-essential and out-of-state travel. Howel didn't seem worried about safety precautions because of Hawaii's mandatory Wuhan coronavirus requirements, including proof of a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
"It really doesn’t matter where you’re coming from as long as you have a negative COVID test before you arrive here," Howel told POLITICO.
But don't worry, Howel is encouraging participants to quarantine for 14 days once they arrive home and get a COVID-19 test done five days after getting back.
“If it does not come back negative, notify us so we can notify the hotel, the airlines and everyone in that stream,” he told participants.
The news of the conference broke after Newsom imposed the strictest regulations yet, which include forcing indoor businesses to run at a small capacity or move outside. Schools are being shutdown and churches are having to close their doors.
As it currently stands, 94 percent of the Golden State is under the stringent lockdown.