MONTEREY, Calif. (KGET) — Gov. Gavin Newsom opened up Tuesday about why he abruptly canceled his trip abroad to the United Nations climate summit.
The governor was in Monterey as he made his first public appearance since suddenly canceling his trip to the COP26 climate summit in late October for what he said at the time was because of a family obligation.
Newsom said he needed to prioritize being a parent over gathering with global leaders last week.
“The stresses of balancing your responsibilities at work and also your responsibilities at home,” Newsom said during Tuesday’s fireside chat.
Newsom went into detail about the time he’s been spending with his four children after they had what he called “an intervention.”
“They said they couldn’t believe that I was going to miss Halloween,” Newsom said, explaining that first partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom had also planned to travel to Scotland.
“And mom and dad missing Halloween, for them, it’s like worse than … missing Christmas. And I woke up that next morning with — something’s that’s probably familiar to a lot of parents — that knot in your stomach that I had no damn choice, I had to cancel that trip,” the governor continued as he was met with applause from the audience.
Newsom hasn’t appeared in public since he received his COVID-19 booster shot from Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly in a live stream on Oct. 27. His nearly two-week absence led some to question whether the booster brought illness, which the governor said it didn’t at all.
“Literally, the flu shot is the one I’m still a little sore about — literally, not figuratively — not the booster shot,” he said.
Although away from public view, Newsom said he did spend last week in the office working on port issues, the state’s COVID-19 winter surge strategy and his version of the state budget.
“It’s been probably the most productive week I’ve had since I’ve been governor,” he said.
The governor did not take questions from reporters at the event, but he does have another event scheduled for Wednesday in Los Angeles on vaccines.