Criticism grows over Gov. Gavin Newsom’s management of the coronavirus crisis

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Advocates for seniors and people with disabilities blasted Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration last week for advising hospitals to prioritize younger people with greater life expectancy for care during the coronavirus outbreak, saying the state’s medical shortage guidelines were discriminatory and crafted without their input.

“The disability, aging and older-adults community had reached out a number of times to the state of California sharing our concerns ahead of time and offering to meet,” said Claudia Center, legal director for the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund. “We got no response.”

Then, as quietly as the guidelines were initially posted online, the document was removed and replaced with another version stating California’s commitment to prohibiting discrimination and promising that the administration would revise what had been previously labeled as the final recommendations “to ensure that they reflect our values as a state.”

Initially applauded for his approach early in the coronavirus crisis, Newsom’s recent waffling on the life-and-death decision and other actions have renewed critiques of the impatient, and at times chaotic, governing style that dogged Newsom in his first year in office.

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