Conservative-leaning Utah GOP Sen. Mike Lee on Friday joined in the criticism of California’s response to COVID pandemic, saying, “sad, sad California.”

Lee made the comment during the start of the CPAC event in Orlando, Fla. The annual gathering of conservatives is taking place in a state with low virus numbers with schools and businesses largely open – while California has some of the country’s highest virus numbers with many businesses and school districts still shuttered. 

“The people of California are recalling their governor because they’ve had enough,” Lee also said, referring to a petition effort to get a measure on the state ballot to recall Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The governor was widely criticized for attending a dinner-birthday party in November 2020 at a fancy Napa Valley restaurant amid his strict orders on eating in restaurants amid the pandemic.

“They can enjoy a five-star meal at French Laundry with their governor, but they can’t go to church,” Lee said Friday at CPAC.

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