California Gov. Gavin Newsom's "ineptitude" and "gross mismanagement" are on full display after reports the state gave away billions in fraudulent coronavirus unemployment benefits, a Southern California restaurant owner told "Fox & Friends."
Bank of America said California likely paid at least $2 billion in fraudulent benefits since March, having reached "unprecedented levels" compared to other states.
"This is what we've always been taught. Never trust the government with your money and this is exactly why. They're going to lose it all," Chef Andrew Gruel, owner of Slapfish Restaurant, told host Steve Doocy.
"The ineptitude and the gross mismanagement of the funds, of the entire response to the coronavirus crisis over the past 10 months, have really been unbelievable," Gruel added.
The owner, who is offering outdoor dining in defiance of state coronavirus restrictions, said that if the mismanaged funds were distributed to the roughly 75,000 restaurants throughout the state they could've given them $100,000 and saved the industry.
Gruel, who is located in Southern California, said he is "strategically maintaining employment for hundreds of employees at the holidays. But we are allowing outdoor dining. The data has not shown that outdoor dining creates any type of a risk or spike in coronavirus cases, so we're following the data as they told us to do all along ..."
The report of rampant fraud comes as more than 800,000 have signed a petition to recall the Democratic governor, but the effort needs at least 1.5 million to sign by mid-March 2021 and would trigger a midyear election.
"You're hearing it from both sides of the aisle. This is no longer a political issue," Gruel said. "This is a state with a Democratic supermajority and I think that everyone has laid bare Gov. Newsom's hypocrisy and his mismanagement throughout this crisis."
The chef teased a run for governor against Newsom in 2022.
"This will be my announcement right here because I think as a small business owner, I can actually manage the entirety of the economy probably better than Newsom has, in addition to the fact that he's just so disconnected from reality," Gruel concluded.
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