Sonja Diaz, executive director of the Latino Policy and Politics Initiative, spoke to the Associated Press about growing criticisms of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. A new poll found that Newsom’s approval rating dropped from 65% last May to 54%. Newsom was criticized in November after being spotted at a birthday celebration at a luxury restaurant while simultaneously telling Californians to avoid large gatherings. More recently, he has drawn criticism for the messy vaccine rollout in California, failure to reopen schools and his decision to abruptly lift stay-at-home orders. Diaz said young workers and people of color are bearing the brunt of the state’s coronavirus surges and that the Trump administration deserves much of the blame for the disjointed response. However, she argued that Democrats should stay focused on the priorities of vaccinating people and providing economic help rather than bending to critics on the right. “This isn’t really just on one governor,” she said.