Los Angeles Times

Should California punish people who refuse to stay home? Newsom prefers social pressure

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - In addressing the coronavirus crisis, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has been steadfast in contending that his stay-at-home order should be enforced through persuasion, not punishment.

And instead of calling on the National Guard to patrol the streets, the 52-year-old Democrat continues to enlist Californians to pressure one another to "bend the curve."

"That social pressure we're seeing out there for people to do the right thing is the most powerful enforcement tool we have," Newsom said Monday.

But while the approach is consistent with the governor's deliberate response to the coronavirus pandemic and his effort to persuade Californians to adapt to the new restrictions rather than wielding the power of his office, some have questioned whether Newsom needs to do more.

Newsom reasserted his position over the weekend with the launch of a new public awareness campaign that relies on video messages from celebrities including rapper Snoop Dogg and actor Will Ferrell to persuade Californians to stay home. The governor's office says the campaign includes advertisements on top social media sites and public service announcements from Newsom's wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, and officials in

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