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Newsom spoke at the virtual Democratic National Convention on Thursday from a forest near California’s Central Coast after visiting a nearby Red Cross evacuation center.
More than two dozen major wildfires were blazing across California, blanketing cities and towns in smoke and putting tens of thousands of people under evacuation orders.
Newsom recorded the video after choosing to scrap the prerecorded video he originally recorded.
“I confess this is not where I expected to be speaking here tonight,” he said in a video recorded on a cellphone.
He added, “If you are in denial about climate change, come to California.”
Newsom criticized President Donald Trump for working to roll back vehicle emission standards meant to curb climate change and for threatening to withhold funding from California.
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