11:05 GMT21 January 2021
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    Gavin Newsom has been harshly criticised for mismanaging the response to COVID-19 in California, where the increase in confirmed cases shows no sign of abating.

    Organisers of a petition to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom have already collected more than one million signatures, which means that they only need to get 500,000 more signatures that would allow them to place the recall on the ballot.

    Orrin Heatlie, the lead proponent of the RecallGavin2020.com petition, said earlier this week that “the people are being heard loud and clear, and it is not a matter of IF we are going to reach our goal necessary that will trigger a recall election of Newsom, it is just when we cross the finish line”.

    He spoke amid reports that a mid-year election in California will take place if the petition gains 1.5 million total signatures by mid-March.

    Randy Economy, a senior adviser to a campaign for recalling Newsom, for his part earlier told Fox News that he didn’t exclude that the threshold may be achieved by mid- to late January.

    The adviser added that the campaign is backed by non-partisan "grassroots" efforts, including those related to supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders and President Donald Trump.

    Economy also claimed that Newsom has “put corporate interests before the people of California”, in remarks that came as the governor was under fire over breaking his own COVID-19 restrictions, which he later admitted was a “bad mistake”.

    Newsom also acknowledged that the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in California is not proceeding as swiftly as expected, confirming that coronavirus cases in the state are on the rise.

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    Tags:
    restrictions, COVID-19, coronavirus, ballot, petition, Gavin Newsom, California, US
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