Dec 3, 2020
California Gov. Gavin Newsom COVID-19 Press Conference Transcript December 3
California Gov. Gavin Newsom held a COVID-19 press conference on December 3. He announced new regional restrictions based on COVID-19 cases numbers. Read the transcript of his coronavirus briefing speech here.
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Gavin Newsom: (00:00)
… yesterday, we’re reporting 18,591 new cases of COVID 19. That’s an average now North of 15,000, 15,121, the seven day average. One of the highest we have seen since the beginning of this pandemic. The effects of Thanksgiving, they have not yet been felt. They will be felt in a number of weeks. Dr. Fauci I think said it best. He says we should anticipate a surge on top of a surge. Take a look at what’s already been happening again. These are pre-Thanksgiving numbers. The 14 day positivity rate has grown from 5.2%. Now to 7%. The seven day positivity rate, even higher. You can see hospitalizations now have increased 86% just in the last 14 days, and ICU admission 67% over a similar period of time. We’ve seen death rate increase significantly over the course of the last number of weeks. Just take a look at this slide, a month ago, on November 2nd, we reported tragic loss of 14 lives related to this pandemic.
Gavin Newsom: (01:18)
In the last 24 hours, similar to the previous 24 hours, we’ve reported back to back days with 113 deaths. Just in the last 14 days, close to 1000 Californians have lost their lives due to COVID 19. The bottom line is if we don’t act now, our hospital system will be overwhelmed. If we don’t act now, we’ll continue to see a death rate climb, more lives lost. And that’s why today we are pursuant to the blueprint we put out some 14 or so weeks ago, pulling that emergency break. We’ve done it sequentially over the course of the last number of weeks, but we’re doing it in a much more broad, and much more comprehensive way today. We are announcing and introducing a regional stay at home order in the state of California, fundamentally predicated on the need to stop gathering with people outside of your household, to do what you can to keep most of your activities outside.
Gavin Newsom: (02:22)
And of course, always most important non-pharmaceutical intervention. That is, wear face coverings, wear a mask. Here’s what we are introducing today. Regions where the ICU capacity is falling below 15%. We are now mandating that we are implementing a stay at home order for three weeks. These regions are defined by this slide. We have five regions in this state. These regions are considered and constructed based upon preexisting mutual aid system in the state of California. You may recall a number of months back in Imperial County, we had a situation where their ICS and hospitals were overwhelmed. We had pre planned strategies for mutual aid in surge capacity. Again, it’s all part of a regional strategy, well-defined within the hospital and healthcare delivery system. We’ve defined these five regions, Northern California, Greater Sacramento, Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley, and the larger region in Southern California. Take a look at what our projections suggest.
Gavin Newsom: (03:36)
The five regions that we have highlighted, most of these four out of the five, we anticipate as early as the next day or two, as early or rather as late as the next week or so, that the Greater Sacramento, Northern California regions, as well as San Joaquin Valley and Southern California regions will have reached that 15% or less ICU capacity. The Bay Area may have a few extra days. Our current projections suggest mid, maybe late December, but all within just the next few weeks. Our ICU capacity in the state of California will drop in these five regions. Not just in the aggregate, reminding you, none of us live in the aggregate, but in these regions where we all reside, 40 million of us, the ICU capacity in all of these regions by the end of this month, will drop based on our current projections, below 15% in total capacity.
Gavin Newsom: (04:37)
What does a stay at home order mean? What is on that list in terms of augmentation, and new protocols, and new guidelines? Take a look here that we’re looking temporary closure, when the region, when the region is placed in the stay at home category, that bars, wineries, personal services, hair salons, and the like will be temporary closed for that three week period. Those sectors that will remain open in this new criteria include schools. Bars closed, schools opened that have received waivers with the appropriate oversight and safety protocols that we have advanced and we demand in terms of standards. Critical infrastructure, broadly defined on the previous guidances we have put out. Retail occupancy at 20% capacity. What we want to avoid is concentrating just in large box retail, too much of concentrated retail activity that actually would induce more mixing, not less. Thus the decision by our health professionals and our advisors, which are ample.
Gavin Newsom: (05:46)
We’ve been reaching out across the spectrum for number of days now to get insight and valuable consideration that we put into play. Made that determination on retail, and restaurants be open, continue to be open for takeout and delivery. And I just want to acknowledge Jot Condie, I want to acknowledged the California Restaurant Association as a restaurateur myself, as someone who quite literally started right out of college, opened a small retail business and a restaurant I deeply empathize, and I have deep appreciation for the stress and the struggles our restaurants have had. And I want to just acknowledge the incredible leadership of Jot, his board of directors and his team. I know how difficult and challenging this is, and I just want to thank them for their insight, and for their recognition of this current moment that the state of California is in. We’re also establishing a framework where all nonessential travel is as well, temporarily restricted statewide.
Gavin Newsom: (06:50)
Here’s what we want to emphasize. None of us are naive. I certainly am not, of the mental stress that all of us are under, not just the financial distress that many are under, and more still with this stay at home order. But we want to encourage activity. Activity again, that’s focused, not indoors, not in congregate facilities, not where there’s tremendous amount of mixing, but outdoors. We encourage you, we encourage you to take your dog for a walk. We want you to exercise and go on a run with a partner within your household, go sledding, these outdoor activities in the winter, to the extent. A walk on the beach or out in our state parks, or your local parks is appropriate. We encourage that. Take a bike ride, go fishing. Those that are learning to meditate more and more. I imagine, and yoga, we encourage those activities.
Gavin Newsom: (07:47)
So this is really important to take care of your physical health, to take care of your mental health, to get the kind of exercise that is required to get us through this temporary moment. This is not a permanent state. This is what many had projected. We had predicted the final surge in this pandemic. There is light at the end of the tunnel. We are a few months away from truly seeing real progress with the vaccine, real distribution, real accessibility, real availability. We do not anticipate having to do this once again, but we really all need to step up. We need to meet this moment head on and we need to do everything we can to stem the tide, to bend the curve and to give us the time necessary by bending that curve, to get those vaccines in the hands of all Californians, all across the state.
Gavin Newsom: (08:43)
We’re doing everything in our power as well, not only to message a recognition of the importance of minding your mental and physical health, but also to prepare. And to prepare, we mean prepare hospitals, to prepare our capacity, not only within our hospital delivery system, but outside of it, which I’ll talk about in a moment. To do what we can to support the small businesses that will not receive this news very favorably. And I can deeply understand and appreciate that. And to make sure that workers that also are impacted, not just businesses are also getting support. And I just want to remind everybody of what that preparation has been. We have not been sitting by idly, we’ve not been sitting by passively. I want to remind everybody of that preparation. You can see here on this slide. We’ve talked a lot about the 11 facilities outside our healthcare delivery system, that the state has prepared in what we refer to as warm status.
Gavin Newsom: (09:50)
Here’s an update on two of those facilities. One that we’ll be opening on December 9th, just in a number of days, the ARCO Sleep Train Arena that could take in over 224 patients. We have the ability now with the current, ready to receive status in Imperial Valley College. These are the field medical stations that we received from the Federal Government a number of months ago, pre-positioned. These are just two examples of facilities that are ready to receive patients and are ready to move from warm status, into active capacity, in terms of their ability to receive patients. Here is a list of nine additional facilities. I’ve referenced a number of these in the past, Fairview, Porterville. Here’s a more comprehensive list, and here’s a more detailed list where you can see the number of beds that are attached to each of those facilities Tulare County, Riverside, Contra Costa, San Diego, San Francisco County, of course, Orange County.
Gavin Newsom: (10:49)
So these are the 11 pre-positioned surge facilities that are in warm status all up and down the state. And as we move to the stay at home, as we see the significant increase in ICUs, and hospitalizations, and deaths in the state of California, we are moving from warm status to more active status. Accordingly, I’ll remind you of our efforts, over 600 million pieces of PPE have already been distributed. In addition to those 600 million, this is our current status of inventory. I noted on Monday that California just as one state has 40 million more masks than the national stockpile. The United States itself. We have been doing a lot to prepare for this moment, and to appropriate ourselves, to the highest level in terms of accessing amount of available PPE that we possibly can procure. And that’s PPE that runs the spectrum, not just N95 masks and surgical procedure masks, but as you can see here, gloves, gowns, face shields, and the like. Over half a billion masks, face shields, and the like all part of our current cache and inventory.
Gavin Newsom: (12:07)
And speaking of inventory, I wanted to update all of you on the availability of ventilators. Critical, when we talk about ICUs, we’re really talking about personnel and we’re talking about ventilators. Of course space, but at the end of the day, ventilators and healthcare professionals. Ventilators, we’ve been very, very active. You can see her eon this slide over 21,000 ventilators in the state of California available for use today. Close to 7,000 within the hospital system, the healthcare delivery system. But in addition to that, we have been very aggressive in the last six months in procuring and purchasing over 14,000 ventilators that are now in our state inventory. So that gives you a sense, we’ve never been this abundant in terms of available vent resources. And this is profoundly important, as you can recall, back in March and April, the issue of ventilators and the lack of accessibility was so acute that California was actually sending to five different states, some of our excess inventory in order to help those states during that time of acute crisis in that first wave, that first surge, which again, California was able to avoid.
Gavin Newsom: (13:23)
You were able to avoid, because of your astounding work. 40 million of you met that moment and we bent the curve in the beginning. Let’s take that same spirit and that same capacity, and make sure that we meet this moment as well in this third, and what we hope final surge. As it relates to businesses, I reminded many of you on Monday that this state has been active in providing supports and relief for small businesses and medium sized businesses. We did so in last year’s budget. And we also announced on Monday some new proactive efforts in support, and in council, and cooperation with the California Legislature, which has been extraordinarily responsive at this critical moment. I’ll remind people of one of the critical things that we are providing for businesses. And I made a note here that 99.6% of businesses qualify for this, billions of dollars, billions of dollars in sales tax deferrals, without interest and penalties.
Gavin Newsom: (14:33)
We are extending the ability to what we refer to as float those dollars that are otherwise due to the state, and allow the businesses that are being impacted by the stay at home orders and by this pandemic, to take advantage and utilize those dollars for more pressing needs. Billions of dollars available in these tax deferrals. And I’ll remind businesses, take advantage at this moment of this critical capacity to provide resources, allow you to utilize and float those dollars before they’re due to the state. We also provided this hundred million dollar Main Street Tax Credit. I will encourage folks to take advantage of this for one reason, one reason alone, that it’s a hundred million dollars, and just in the last 48 hours, you can see on the bottom of this slide, almost 25,000 businesses have already applied. And that represents close to 21 billion of the hundred million dollars in tax credits. Thousand dollars per qualified employee tax credit, and up to a hundred thousand dollars there’s for each business employer.
Gavin Newsom: (15:45)
So please, if you’re a small business, a medium sized business, if you know a small business men or women, please encourage them to go to the COVID19.ca.gov website. COVID19.ca. gov website to learn more about how they can take advantage image of this hundred million dollar hiring tax credit. We also announced, as I noted a moment ago on Monday, a 500, half a billion dollar COVID relief package. This is $25,000 grants up to $25,000 grants. And because of leadership in the legislature, these are not just for small businesses, a number of key legislative leaders made the point that we needed to do more for nonprofits and for cultural institutions. And I thank them for that insight. And for that support port, our nonprofits are critical. Our cultural institutions are part of what makes life worth living, meaning what makes our quality of life so special here in the state of California. And they need critical support as well.
Gavin Newsom: (16:49)
Again, go to the COVID19ca.gov website to learn more about how you can access these emergency grants, which we just made available this week. Accordingly, we are also encouraging you to do the same, to learn more about immediate relief that you can receive if you do not have traditional relationships with credit unions, or financial institutions, if you’ve fallen through the cracks in the past, and you’re a small business person, and you’re just barely getting by, and you really fear that you’re not going to get that SBA loan and you weren’t able to get those PPP loans, which we hope to get extended did when Congress finally acts to extend the PPP loan. Well, that’s why we created this California Rebuilding Fund, this first loss program, this first lost fund, which leverages additional private sector money.
Gavin Newsom: (17:41)
But we’re trying to get that 125 million dollars of low interest loans out to those of you that may fall through the cracks. And these are loans up to a hundred thousand dollars, not insignificant. Again. COVID19.ca.gov website, to learn more about how to take advantage of that. And I’ll just close on the business front to remind everybody that we are just getting started in terms of the business relief and business support. We are looking across sectors, particularly those sectors being disproportionately impacted by the stay at home order and by subsequent tiered guidelines and impacts based upon our four tiered status, which is well-defined in this state. We recognize over the last number of months, the limitations and capacity limitations in terms of doing everything that traditionally you were able to do to secure more support, more revenue and provide for not only your business, but your family and your employees.
Gavin Newsom: (18:42)
We needed to look at waiving fees and look at impacted industries in a much more comprehensive way. And we’ve begun that process, working with the legislature, getting their input and ideas, and putting together next year’s budget in real time. And we will be making decisions early action in January, working with the legislature, to advance more supports. All of this again, that we announced this week is a bridge to get us into January, and certainly a bridge when we see what the Federal Government puts together. And I’m more and more encouraged by some of the activity, even since the beginning of this week, in terms of the bipartisan efforts that are occurring in Washington, DC. They simply cannot happen soon enough. And they’re critical in terms of helping support our businesses during this very, very challenging next, not just three weeks, but likely next month, month and a half, maybe as much as two months.
Gavin Newsom: (19:40)
Talk about businesses. We talk about preparing our healthcare delivery system for a surge. We cannot forget our workers. And I just want to remind folks, those of you that are working that may have been exposed, you may have been quarantined or been requested to isolate. I want to remind you that we put together a very comprehensive package. I dare say that few states in the country did more in terms of sick leave, in terms of Workers’ Compensation, in terms of access to health coverage and expansion. It’s critical people take advantage of these programs. These programs are only as good as they are available and people are knowledgeable about them. And so these expanded supports for workers have been advanced. They are the law, and we encourage people to take advantage of them, including parents.
Gavin Newsom: (20:33)
I’ve got four young children, they are doing distance learning because their school shut down, was shut for some time. Opened very briefly, shut back down again. Childcare is very, very challenging for families, particularly for workers, essential workers that have to go to work, and yet still have their kids at home that they also have to attend to. And that’s why we have the Mychildcare.ca.gov website, mychildcare.ca.gov website, where we-
Gavin Newsom: (21:03)
…Mychildcare.ca.gov website, where we have created this portal to provide more information and more supports for childcare, particularly for essential workers. Just want to remind people of what’s out there and these very critical supports. Nothing more important perhaps than housing, remind folks as well that we extended with the leadership of the California legislature, we were able to extend through February of next year eviction protections. We were able to procure unprecedented number of hotel rooms for individuals living in congregate facilities and out in streets and sidewalks and underpasses, individuals that have been homeless. Over 22,000 we’ve gotten off the streets through our project Room Key. We’re looking to extend the Home Key program, which is a permanent program. We provided $835 million to procure [inaudible 00:22:01] units moving forward.
Gavin Newsom: (22:03)
Room Key, though, nonetheless continues to operate. It’s on a month to month basis, getting reimbursements from FEMA, we’re working aggressively with the new administration, the Biden administration, to get more clarity so that counties feel more comfortable extending the Room Key model and feeling confident that it will extend beyond the end of this calendar year. We also have been doing a lot to protect and support our farm workers. Talk about essential workers. Not just in the central Valley, but also on the central coast and other parts of our state. And also, taking care of the most important workers, and those are our healthcare workers. When you talk about strife, you talk about stress, you talk about the need to empathetic. We have asked so much of our frontline healthcare workers, and we’re asking them now for more still, and this is profoundly challenging. And that’s why we have provided hotel rooms and stipends and debit cards for hotel workers. And we want to just thank philanthropy for really stepping up in that space and being supportive, and we’re looking for more philanthropic support and we’re going to look to build on all of these things in the coming days, weeks, and certainly months.
Gavin Newsom: (23:19)
Food resources have also become top of mind issue. As any holiday, we always focus on those in need around Thanksgiving, holidays, we move into Christmas, Hanukkah, the rest of the year. I just want to remind people of some of the things this state has done with the incredible support again of the California legislature. And that was the expansion of our CalFresh program. $1.8 billion of additional food benefits that have already been distributed to most vulnerable Californians. Our pandemic EBT program, 3.7 million children have benefited. It’s been very successful in reaching the vast majority of folks across the state in need. And the heroic work of our food banks. And I want to thank Josh Friday, Cal volunteers. I want to thank Holly Mitchell, our budget chair, and Phil Ting, budget chair and respective Senate and assembly for their wonderful support.
Gavin Newsom: (24:18)
Recently, we did an additional appropriation with their leadership and support, to provide even more money for our food banks beyond which we did in our budget. $110 million. We’re going to get diapers out there as well, and other reimbursements on food expenses. You can see in that last this bullet point in this slide some of that support. We’re going to continue to be mindful of the needs of our food banks, but I want folks to know over $100 million dollars of additional supports we’ve recently provided. Again, it’s never enough, I’m not naive, and across the spectrum of all of these supports I’m mindful that we must do more and we are committed to doing so. But I’m also am mindful of this, and I want to just end on an update on the vaccinations. Help is on the way. There is light, at the end of this tunnel. We are not in any permanent state. This is a temporary state. This is the third wave of a pandemic with a vaccine that’s not under the development, a vaccine that’s now being distributed. Not by one distributor, but by many different distributors. Not just Pfizer-Moderna, not just Oxford vaccine AstraZeneca, but others that are in the queue, that we’ve been monitoring through our scientific safety review committee, through our drafting work groups committee. And our community advisory committee that’s been working for weeks and weeks, months and months if you include the office emergency service task force, that was organized around our distribution strategy for vaccines. Help is on the way, vaccines are about to arrive here in the state of California in the next few weeks and you’ll be hearing good news on top of other good news, more and more vaccines will be arriving January, February, March. More and more individuals will be availing themselves the opportunity to take the vaccine. I want to update you on the plan.
Gavin Newsom: (26:20)
So, I mentioned on Monday that we have 327,000 doses of the vaccine that we anticipate receiving anywhere between December 12th and December 15th. And by the way, December 12th to December 15th, that’s roughly. The reason we say the second week in December, those days could change a day or two, but that’s the current plan and our current anticipation in terms of what we refer to it as our phase 1A protocols in terms of the vaccine. So, we have been very publicly having a drafting guidelines work group meet with our community advisory committee to really talk about the nuances, the subcategories, the subprioritizations that are required with a scarce amount of doses, just 327,000.
Gavin Newsom: (27:11)
It’s one thing when you hear the national news talk about, “Well, we broadly all agree that our healthcare workers and skilled nursing, residential care and assisted living facilities should be prioritized,” but that is millions and millions of people. When you only have a few hundred thousand doses of vaccine, it’s doses. You need two doses. You can cut that in half in terms of the total number of people that actually will be fully vaccinated. We have to look at subprioritization of those doses and we’ve done just that. This is our plan and it is online, and I encourage people to take a look. Covid19.ca.gov. And we are going to be updating this online portal, and you are included in these updates. And when I mean you, we will, as we put these plans out, be providing information in detail in specific terms about where you are in the queue of prioritization for the distribution of these vaccines. The current, what we refer to and what we socialized on Monday, plan 1A has three tiers.
Gavin Newsom: (28:22)
Here they are. Tier one, the first vaccines. So, 327,000 doses of the first vaccines directly being delivered from Pfizer will go to the three tiers in six regions in the state. And I’ll get to the region in a moment. Tier one, you’ll see the list here. Acute care, psychiatric and correctional facility, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities with assisted living, similar settings, paramedics, EMTs, dialysis centers. So, you get a sense of these tiers in terms of our prioritization of distribution based upon the scarcity of the first available doses, 327,000.
Gavin Newsom: (29:06)
Here’s tier two. It’s intermediate care facilities, home health care, in-home supportive services, we referred to as IHSS, our community health workers. You can see others in rural health centers, correctional facilities, urgent care facilities.
Gavin Newsom: (29:23)
Tier three, the three tiers in our plan 1A. I know this can be confusing, but again, all this is available online. Covid19.ca.gov. Tier three are others healthcare settings, specialty clinics, lab workers, dental, oral health clinics, and pharmacy staffs, particularly working in settings in those higher tiers.
Gavin Newsom: (29:48)
So, that’s the priority. This went through the drafting work group. This went through our community advisory. These are their recommendations based upon an equity and fairness lens, looking at this holistically bottom up, not top down and looking at the nuances and looking at the subprioritizations in terms of the priorities. Here are the six regions, and here are the number of doses. In fact, I think if I can quickly add up, it’s roughly 327,600 doses in the first traunch, these are our vaccine regions. I distinguish the five areas in our state home order as distinctive from these vaccination regions, which are defined through our traditional vaccination protocols. But these are the regions, and these are the total number of vaccines that are going out.
Gavin Newsom: (30:42)
Here’s what you should know. Tomorrow, the regions will be making direct orders based upon the prioritization of these three tiers. Tomorrow, they will be making the orders directly to Pfizer. So, tomorrow the orders actually go in. They go in based on this tiers, based on these regional numbers, based upon the subprioritization. that’s plan 1A, that’s our first phase of distribution. I’ll remind you, in subsequent distributions we have the unique distribution strategy that distinguishes itself from Pfizer and Moderna. Pfizer will directly distribute those vaccines, Moderna uses an intermediary, McKesson. McKesson we are working with proactively, and we will go through a similar protocol in terms of their distribution and our regional strategy and sub category and subprioritization strategies. We anticipate in a few weeks to learn more about when those vaccines will be available. And as you recall, these are not the ultra cold storage vaccines, these are just cold storage vaccines.
Gavin Newsom: (32:02)
And so, it’s a different distribution strategy. It requires different protocols and procedures because it’s a different vaccine, but nonetheless, the efficacy is roughly the same. Again, very encouraged by not only the speed, but the efficacy and availability and, yes, safety of these vaccines. We have reviewed through our scientific safety committee in concert with Washington State and Oregon, and with some of the world’s leading experts that happen to represent this 11 member body. They have been very active in reviewing the protocols and trials phase one and two, working with the FDA, and they will quickly assess all the available information when it’s made available by the FDA and others for all the subsequent vaccines that are moving forward. So, safety and efficacy, not just speed, and making sure that we have an equity lens and we prioritize the most vulnerable. I should just note this, we will be very aggressive in making sure that those with means, those with influence are not crowding out those that are most deserving of the vaccines. And I mean to say that those that think they can get ahead of the line and those that think because they have resources or they have relationships that will allow them to do it. We also will be monitoring that very closely.
Gavin Newsom: (33:31)
We will prioritize, and we will expect that everyone in the healthcare delivery system is held to the same ethical standard of prioritizing truly those that are most in need, and the real heroes in this pandemic are frontline healthcare workers. And those are the folks that we must protect, and we must prioritize moving forward.
Gavin Newsom: (33:55)
I want to just end, this is a curious way of ending, in October, November, December, that we once again maintain our vigilance as it relates to active wildfires in the state of California. We’ve talked in the past about wildfire seasons. I think this is a proof point, we’re in December and we now have active wildfires still in our state.
Gavin Newsom: (34:22)
[inaudible 00:34:22] and the winds in the last few days have been quite intense. They’re peaking later this afternoon into the early evening. We have been monitoring a number of fires. One in particular in Orange County, the bond fire is 0% contained, 6,600 acres. We did receive, and I want to bring this up just to remind people the importance of being vigilant. We had a record dry October. We are now experiencing significantly below average precipitation yet again in this state. And that means this active wildfire season continues. It gets extended, if it’s a season at all. And we did receive from the federal government and I’m grateful to the administration, to FEMA for the FMAG that was obtained. And I’ll just close with gratitude, and we’ll open this up to questions. Dr. Galley is here and our surgeon general is with us as well on the behavioral health issues, and some of the other stresses that people are under and she’s available to talk about that as well.
Gavin Newsom: (35:24)
But I also want to just express my deep respect and admiration to our firefighters. It is not lost on me. I had the privilege of being in contact with the head of CAL FIRE, the largest firefighting force of its type in our country. Our firefighters, your firefighters, the state firefighters, their union representative was talking about the stress during the holiday season of not being able to see their loved ones because of this historic wildfire season, and how they have been under incredible pressure as well. And so, again, this is now moving past the Thanksgiving season into the holiday season, and we’re still asking more from CAL FIRE and all of our firefighters. Thank you, and we recognize you and we can’t say thank you enough for your heroic work this wildfire season and all we’re demanding of you during the holiday season. I know how difficult it is for you and your families as well, forgive me that point of personal privilege, but again, cannot thank the folks that are being so selfless and sacrificing so much on all of our behalfs during this very challenging and difficult time.
Gavin Newsom: (36:39)
So, that’s the overview, that’s the update. I just want everyone to know this is time limited. It’s based upon the facts it’s based upon what’s happening on the ground. It’s based upon epidemiology. It’s based upon the transmission rates. It’s based upon what’s happening by regions. It’s based upon on what’s happening within our hospital care delivery system, particularly our ICUs. These are transparent triggers. These are triggers that will impact all of us across the state, but they are limited in scope and time. We will get through this. This is the final surge. We have a light at the end of the tunnel with these vaccines, but we need to take seriously this moment. This is the most challenging moment since the beginning of this pandemic. This is the time, if there was ever any doubt, to put aside your doubt, to put aside your skepticism, to put aside your cynicism, to put aside your ideology, to put aside any consideration except this. Lives are in the balance. Lives will be lost unless we do more than we’ve ever done.
Gavin Newsom: (37:54)
We’re being asked, we’re being called to do everything in our power to make tough decisions that are required at this moment to get through the next number of weeks, to get through the next few months, and we will enjoy on the other side of this. We will be resilient and we will recover as a state, and all of us will be rewarded by knowing we saved lives of loved ones, we saved lives of strangers, and we did our best to mitigate the spread of this virus, to diminish the acute surge that we’re currently experiencing and bending that curve, buying us the time to vaccine. And that’s what we’re all being called to do, and I’m grateful to all of you, humbled by this responsibility. A task I’m not naive about what’s being asked of you, I’m not naive about the pressure and stress that you’re under, I’m not naive about the impact this has on your dreams, particularly small businessmen and women. I have deep respect, admiration, appreciation for all of you and want to do everything in our power to be there and be supportive through these difficult and challenging times. So, with that, of course we’re happy now to answer any questions.
Speaker 1: (39:14)
Kathleen Renee, AP.
Speaker 2: (39:17)
Hi, governor. You and the state and the counties have been tightening restriction for weeks now, yet cases are continuing to go up. So, how do you ensure that putting in place this order, shutting down more businesses, doesn’t just encourage more gathering inside homes. What evidence do you have that shutting down things like barbershops is actually going to achieve what you want? And then, secondly, have you considered asking hospitals to suspend elective surgeries to free up space and resources?
Gavin Newsom: (39:48)
In the last 72 hours, we’ve had very detailed, comprehensive, direct conversations with hospitals large and small, [inaudible 00:18:57], Kaiser, Sutter, others by region all up and down the state. They are already proactively suspending elective surgeries and the like based upon conditions on the ground, based upon trendlines. So, that’s already occurring. The evidence, you ask? Very significant evidence, overwhelming evidence, and that’s what we did by leading the nation as the first state with a stay at home order. And we avoided the surge that many other states experienced, particularly larger states in that first wave. So, we were able to bend the curve by using the same strategies, these same approaches of non-pharmaceutical interventions. So, that’s the evidence and it was overwhelming, that data, the facts and the results of that original effort.
Gavin Newsom: (40:43)
And that’s what we’re being asked to do now. We’re taking this to a whole other level. We’re moving past just the curfew conversation, we’re looking past just a food sectoral modifiers. We’re really looking for people to do their best, to restrict the activity, the gatherings which you say may occur. We’re encouraging people, we’re really imploring people not to have those gatherings. That’s the new order, those are the new guidelines and avoid the mixing and do our best to mitigate the spread. But with that, let me ask as well Dr. Ghaly to amplify or perhaps provide additional thoughts and insight based upon your very thoughtful question.
Dr. Ghaly: (41:26)
Yeah, governor, I think as you said, and I appreciate the question and I just want to begin by saying we recognize the gravity and the importance of this moment and what is being asked of all Californians. And as we’ve done before in coming together and reducing transmission through our own actions, not just how to mix safely, as we’ve been talking about over the last many months, but with nearly four times the rate of transmission going on in our state that we had just six weeks ago, it’s time that we actually limit our movement-
Dr. Ghaly: (42:03)
It’s time that we actually limit our movement and really get this transmission down, so that’s what this is about. It isn’t about a single sector by sector and where is that spread happening specifically, but we know that by reducing our overall movement and mixing for a short period of time, we can get the gains that we need to bend this curve, move out some of those distressed moments in our hospitals, and as the governor said, to save lives now.
Dr. Ghaly: (42:31)
The evidence, we have our own experience with this, we’ve seen other states achieve similar reductions in transmission, and frankly, we looked to Europe. They’ve always been a couple of weeks, if not a couple of months, ahead of some of the experiences in the US and they have had their own experiences of little by little tightening restrictions and then finally moving to something more significant, even if for a short period of time, reducing transmission by 30, 35%, sometimes even more in the most heavily impacted areas because of similar types of interventions.
Dr. Ghaly: (43:12)
It is about timing, it’s about doing it now, especially when we see an erosion of that ICU capacity, that’s those staffed beds. We know that hospitals have built up a tremendous amount of physical space capacity, the ventilators, as the governor mentioned, plus all of the medications and the other tools that allow us to take care of very sick individuals, but it is a staffing issue. We know that those frontline healthcare workers who have carried a tremendous burden throughout the risk to themselves and their families, but even more, the difficulty of dealing with people in an unknown space with diseases that we are just getting better at treating little by little. It’s really an opportunity, as the governor said, to save a life of a loved one, save a life of a neighbor who you may pass by but not know how vulnerable they are for COVID.
Dr. Ghaly: (44:10)
I think the evidence is there with these much more broad scale interventions and asking it to be triggered only when we know that the hospital system is vulnerable in a way that frankly California can do better than that. That’s why we’re asking for this today, and certainly the evidence points that this is a tool that can be successful.
Speaker 3: (44:40)
Marisa Kendall, Mercury News.
Marisa Kendall: (44:43)
Hi, thank you. I wanted to ask about vaccines. HHS says it expects 40 million doses of the two COVID vaccines will be ready for distribution by the end of December, so then why is California only getting 327,000?
Gavin Newsom: (45:00)
Because that’s the current available number of doses from the first distributor, first manufacturer, and that’s Pfizer. We will be receiving information around second round of doses from Pfizer very, very shortly. The only information we’ve received to date is that first traunch, 327,000. We will have that number, we’ll update you once we receive it in a very transparent way. Moderna, still waiting for approval. Once they have approval as well, they will have more clarity in terms of the availability of doses.
Gavin Newsom: (45:32)
You’ve heard numbers in the past, by the way, we’ve had working numbers that were provided by the CDC and the DOD that were estimates as well, that 40 million is an estimate, but we will provide you details once we receive that information from the manufacturer, through McKesson, through Pfizer, and of course Johnson. I mean, there’s so many others that are in the queue and we’re looking forward to that information be made public as soon as we receive it.
Speaker 3: (46:05)
Maricela De La Cruz, Univision 19.
Maricela De La Cruz: (46:10)
Hi, Governor. When you advised for a stay-at-home order a couple of weeks ago, several law enforcement agencies said they wouldn’t be enforcing a curfew or responding to gatherings. How do you plan on enforcing a stricter stay-at-home order this time? Is there a new approach to local governments that announced they will defy orders? Also, we’re just three weeks away from holidays. What does this mean for travelers planning to fly in and out of state? Can we expect any new guidelines to be implemented upon their arrival?
Gavin Newsom: (46:40)
Well, we put out guidelines specific to traveling. I’ll have Dr. Ghaly talk a little bit more about that in a moment. Let me specifically talk about enforcement. We’re seeing overwhelming support for enforcement. We’re seeing a few exceptions, a few folks that just don’t … I mean, some just don’t necessarily believe this is a serious pandemic still, which is remarkable. Some that have expressed that actually tragically have come down with COVID themselves and are experiencing their own health effects, which is unfortunate.
Gavin Newsom: (47:18)
As it relates to enforcement though, I should note that we have worked with CSAC and our League of Cities, and forgive me if you don’t know CSAC, it’s our county partners. We put together a protocol and a process. We worked collaboratively with them because we didn’t want to be punitive, but we also wanted to be firm. That is, we have pandemic relief dollars, CARES Act dollars. We have dollars that are set aside specifically to address this pandemic. We made the point, if you’re unwilling to enforce the rules, if you’re unwilling to adopt the protocols to support the mitigation and the reduction in the spread of this disease, we’re happy to redirect those dollars to counties that feel differently. That’s exactly what we’ve done, we’ve not been shy. We have sent letters to counties that have defied the orders and we have withheld dollars on that basis as well. It’s not something we look forward to, it’s not a threatening point, it’s just a point of additional consideration as it relates to addressing this pandemic. But as I say, very small number of people now are in total denial and I’m really pleased.
Gavin Newsom: (48:28)
I saw down in Orange County, Santa Ana and others, some really remarkable local leadership, sheriffs included, that get it and are putting out warnings that are really taking seriously the enforcement. As well, by the way, our state agencies, the Alcohol Beverage Control, they went out almost 3,500 visits right before Thanksgiving. They were compliance visits, they’re not to be punitive. They’re not just to hit businesses, whack them and find them. They were really about getting people into compliance. They’re doing their part as well.
Gavin Newsom: (49:01)
Both from a sector perspective, an industry perspective, both on the ground from a masking perspective at the local level, some wonderful leaders doing extraordinary things, and a few where we are just encouraging some different behavior and we have some tools that we’ve been exercising in terms of encouraging that behavior and incentivizing more enlightened local leadership.
Gavin Newsom: (49:23)
With that, let me go back to Dr. Ghaly because it’s a very important question you asked about the travel advisory we put out and about our recommendations for quarantine, that will be updated as well based upon the new quarantine guidelines by the CDC. I think, Dr. Ghaly, this is an opportunity to perhaps socialize what the state is looking to do to perhaps mirror and codify the new quarantine guidelines and how they would impact travel, as well as just general isolation strategies in the state.
Dr. Ghaly: (49:56)
Yes, thank you, Governor. Thanks for the important question. We have had a travel advisory since really a little bit before the Thanksgiving holiday leading up to these important weeks when people expect to move around and travel either by air by car. We’re asking people then to consider canceling their travel plans now, as part of the regional stay-at-home order. When a region does cross the threshold and the order is in place, we’re actually asking you to restrict that travel, cancel plans, make sure that you stay at home. That’s what we’re asking you to do. We’re asking people to be at home and not mix and move.
Dr. Ghaly: (50:41)
We know that part of what has happened in California is that a number of people who have traveled outside of our state, visited our state, come, not beknownst to them, infected, able to transmit COVID to others. That is a common way that viruses, respiratory viruses in particular, transmit. This is one important tool to keep transmission low and make sure that our travel restriction makes sense. It’s part of the regional stay-at-home order as well.
Dr. Ghaly: (51:16)
As far as it relates to quarantine, we are asking people who did travel, even over the Thanksgiving break or a break now coming back to California, that they do quarantine appropriately based on current guidance. As the governor mentioned, the Center for Disease Control is updating their guidance on quarantine, giving a little bit more flexibility, allowing it to be shorter than it had been originally at 14 days. We are working at the state level with our county partners to determine exactly how that will be implemented in California and we’ll be updating very soon the exact changes to that quarantine instruction so that we can implement it, in hopes that by making it shorter, more Californians will consider doing it. We know it’s a burden and it’s a toll, but this is exactly a tool that helps us reduce transmission. By shortening it, we hope to increase compliance and make sure that we do use this as an important tool to reduce transmission. Stay tuned on that. A lot of work with our county partners on it and very soon we’ll be updating that.
Gavin Newsom: (52:26)
Yeah, and Dr. Ghaly means the next couple of days, just so people have a sense of preparation in terms of when to expect that announcement.
Dr. Ghaly: (52:35)
Speaker 3: (52:38)
John Myers, LA Times.
John Myers: (52:41)
Yeah, thank you. Governor, I know you may want Dr. Ghaly to take a crack at this as well, but first from your perspective, there is a continuing criticism I’m sure you’re aware of, that people don’t seem to understand some of the data, some of the science behind why you might close my local neighborhood hair salon, which has great distancing procedures, but you would leave a lot of these other stores open, where we’re closed and where we’re not. I know you have said that some of it’s based on transmission, but there’s this sense that there’s not enough data, that there’s not enough transparency of the data by your administration. Is there anything else you can do to provide more information to address these criticisms that people don’t understand what sectors are closed, what ones are left open?
Gavin Newsom: (53:24)
No, it’s a fair question and I appreciate it. You’re right, I do want Dr. Ghaly to speak more to that because it’s fundamental in terms of the work we’ve been doing with local health officers, with our advisory committees, with some of our national partners and advisors as well, not just the conversations we’re having internally. But the bottom line, John, is we want to mitigate mixing, period, full stop. We want to diminish the amount of mixing and we really need to send that message broadly. We need to create less opportunities the kind of contact and extended period and extended time of contact that occurs in many of these establishments. That’s why we are moving forward.
Gavin Newsom: (54:03)
We want to encourage activities outdoors, not indoors, and that’s the foundational frame. That’s the value proposition, so to speak, that we are advancing in terms of these guidelines. It’s also very consistent with what you’ll see around the world, as Dr. Ghaly said a moment ago, and as it relates to very effective strategies we’ve seen previous here in this state, as well as across this country. But with that, let me ask Dr. Ghaly to talk more specifically about the thinking as well.
Dr. Ghaly: (54:33)
Yeah. John, thank you for the question and another chance to reiterate what we’re doing today. Rather than getting to each specific sector and what data we have on each of those, which I’m happy to talk about in a moment, today’s message is not about how do we mix safely, it’s about how we reduce our mixing altogether, staying at home unless it’s absolutely essential for you to leave your home. We talked about spending some times outdoors. We think that that’s a great way to stay healthy, have an emotional relief valve, if you will, and that is consistent with the guidance we’ve given before.
Dr. Ghaly: (55:15)
But really, the message of the day is, as much as you can, be at home, reduce your interactions so that we can really get this transmission rate down and do it swiftly, quickly, have the impact in our hospitals, make sure that they’re available not just for COVID care and taking care of individuals who are quite sick with COVID, but for our neighbors and family members who have needs around other emergency care or other important healthcare services. That is certainly the message of the day.
Dr. Ghaly: (55:50)
Many of the industries that you spoke about, John, I think it’s simple. What we know is that where you are not able to mask entirely or consistently, where they are indoors rather than outdoors, where physical distance is difficult to maintain, that each of those activities, which we’ve been talking about for months as relatively lower risk when you can do all of the things that we’ve discussed, but today, they’re all a little more risky than they were a month ago. That’s just because we have more COVID in our communities and it’s able to transmit not necessarily more easily, but because we have more of it is circulating in our communities, more people will meet someone who’s COVID positive, unbeknownst to them, and then having a high chance for transmission.
Speaker 3: (56:43)
Ashley Zavala, Nexstar Media Group.
Gavin Newsom: (56:44)
Are you there, Ashley?
Speaker 3: (56:44)
Ashley Zavala, Nexstar Media Group.
Ashley Zavala: (56:53)
Whoops, sorry. It was on mute. I just wanted to follow up on Maricela’s question about the travel advisory, which I understand is just an advisory for now, but I’m wondering if your administration is considering adding more teeth to that, given that the holidays are coming up and I know you’re really just leaving it up to the public to make the decision to quarantine.
Gavin Newsom: (57:18)
Yeah, look. Well, Dr. Ghaly, why don’t you speak to that once again.
Dr. Ghaly: (57:22)
Yeah, sure. You’re right, the advisory is really us telling our communities and asking our communities to consider canceling their plans and not traveling. We think it made a difference around the Thanksgiving. We anticipate that we’ll still see a number of cases as a result of gatherings and travel around the Thanksgiving holiday. We know though that many people did modify their plans, decide not to travel far because of the advisory. Just really a deep thanks to all of the Californians who made that decision, helped us do better than we would have otherwise done with COVID transmission.
Dr. Ghaly: (58:06)
Now, as we move into the regional stay-at-home order, this advisory moves to not just an advisory, but something that we’re really requiring people to do. I know people will say, “Well, how can you enforce that? Your ground troops are spread thin.” That’s indeed true, but we believe that really emphasizing that this is what we hope our citizens will do because their communities are at particular high risk, their hospitals are having difficulty keeping available ICU beds open, that people will restrict their travel statewide.
Gavin Newsom: (58:42)
Dr. Ghaly, I’m putting up a slide here that I presented a moment ago, just to reinforce this. All non-essential travel we are ordering to be temporarily restricted and accordingly, based on our sectorial guidelines that we put out. I’ll remind everybody, if you want to look at the details of all of this, covid19.ca.gov, covid19.ca.gov. As it relates to the hospitality industry, particularly lodging and hotels, the restrictions are for just essential workers, essential guests. This travel advisory is rather firm. The spirit of your question I certainly respect, and Dr. Ghaly, thank you for your response.
Speaker 3: (59:27)
Scott Rodd, Capital Public Radio.
Scott Rod: (59:30)
Hi, Governor Newsom. Can you hear me?
Gavin Newsom: (59:32)
Scott Rod: (59:34)
Great, thanks for taking questions. First, I have a question about clarity in a release that was sent from your office. It says regions will remain on the stay-at-home order list for three weeks once it’s triggered, but that counties are eligible to come off after those three weeks if their ICU capacity reaches 15%. Do I have this right, that the regions go onto the list, but coming off the list is based on counties? If so, why is it structured that way? Why does it make sense to have counties come off individually? Just one follow-up to that is if ICU capacity dips below 15% again, can regions go back onto the list afterwards?
Gavin Newsom: (01:00:18)
Yeah, no, I appreciate it. Thank you for the opportunity to clarify this. It’s very easily clarified. This is opportunity Dr. Ghaly will speak very specifically. We talk about this three- week period. We also will be talking, and you’ll hear from Dr. Ghaly in a moment ago, that he’ll also be looking four weeks forward and making determinations after three weeks of where the trend lines are and what our expectations are. Dr. Ghaly, now we’ll turn it over to him to talk about how one gets off this stay-at-home order regional list and one ends up back on. Doctor?
Dr. Ghaly: (01:00:58)
Yeah. Thank you for a chance to clarify this. This is an important point, I hope that all listeners can understand it. We are using a regional approach in part because that is how hospitals and healthcare delivery systems work. When capacity can’t be met within a specific county, we lean on neighboring counties and their hospital delivery systems to care for a number of individuals. Going in as a region, looking at the regional capacity as, if you will, the trigger to have the regional stay-at-home order implemented is the way that a region enters.
Dr. Ghaly: (01:01:42)
The exit, we’re looking three weeks at the soonest. We will look three weeks from whenever a region passes that initial less than 15% ICU capacity remaining trigger. At three weeks, we will look at transmission rates at that moment and the projections for what will be happening in that region’s ICU system, hospital system about four weeks after that. You might ask why four weeks, because we know that cases today will end up in the hospital two weeks from the time that we register those cases at about 12%, and then within about a week, week and a half, we start to see individuals who were hospitalized go into the intensive care unit. We want to be able to use transmission rates at the time three weeks from now to look at projections of ICU capacity down the road.
Dr. Ghaly: (01:02:40)
We know that by seeing that transmission rate come down three weeks after putting the order in place that we should see projections of our ICU capacity improve, increase above 15%, which allows us to lift that regional stay-at-home order effectively. Why do we say it’s by counties? Because each county will then go back-
Dr. Ghaly: (01:03:03)
It’s by counties, because each county will then go back to the appropriate tier based on their independent data, individual data, not regional data, but their county data, into a tier within our blueprint. So as we said, the Governor explained it, this is part of our emergency brake. It’s being done regionally, but the intention is upon lifting the order, they will enter into their tier appropriate to their data within the blueprint.
Gavin Newsom: (01:03:30)
Hope that made sense, and when you follow it through, it does make sense. But I appreciate the opportunity. Thank you, Dr. Ghaly for clarifying that, but it was a very helpful question. Thank you.
Speaker 4: (01:03:44)
Ana Ibarra, CalMatters.
Ana Ibarra: (01:03:48)
Hi, Governor. I’m wondering how will this by region system for the new Stay-At-Home Order effect the transfer of patients? So we know sometimes hospitals transfer patients outside of their region. For example, if Imperial County is already transferring patients to Bay Area hospitals, could this make the Bay Area region less likely to take Imperials or any other county’s patients if this means more restrictions for them? Can you talk a bit about that?
Gavin Newsom: (01:04:13)
Love it. Great question. This is perfect one. This is, as they say, a fast ball down the middle for Dr. Ghaly.
Dr. Ghaly: (01:04:20)
Yeah, thanks. So look, we’ve been working very closely with California Hospital Association on exactly this, making sure that we have plans to transfer patients, and following the rule that we want to keep patients as close as we can to their home, their loved ones. So using the regional approach, looking at regional capacity first, but, of course, we behave and work together as a state and if needed the patients in one region may be asked to have another hospital to accept that patient. And as we’ve done before, we will come together. We are mindful about the impact on the ICU capacity, keeping that into account. But as we said, unlike in the spring and certainly in the summer when it was really focused counties that were experiencing the highest surge, we’re seeing this transmission throughout the state at high levels and anticipate many of the counties, many of the regions having challenges.
Dr. Ghaly: (01:05:22)
So we do expect that many patients will be staying closer to their region, and that’s why we looked at the regional capacity of ICU and anticipate. Hospitals largely work together to deal with patient transfer challenges and we will lean on those same systems to make sure Californians get the care they need in the most immediate and proximate way possible.
Gavin Newsom: (01:05:50)
And just for saying a reminder, if I could just go back to the slide on the facilities ready to receive patients outside of the healthcare delivery system. I just want to remind you of what we’re doing additive. You’ll see that first slide of the two that I presented in the 11 search facilities outside our traditional healthcare delivery system, the Imperial Valley College FMS site that’s already prepared to receive patients. So this is a supplement to that traditional, and the second slide here, the nine facilities in warm status, a supplement that will also provide additional resources by region, by county in this case, but also within these regions to provide additional capacity to take care of patients in need. So forgive me for belaboring that, but just want to remind you of this important additional resource that we are adding.
Speaker 4: (01:06:49)
David Baker, Bloomberg News.
David Baker: (01:06:52)
Governor, I wanted to go back to vaccines for a moment. Dow Jones is reporting this morning that Pfizer is now warning that it may only be able to produce about half as many doses this year as it anticipated. So when we talk about the 327,000 doses that are due to be coming to California in the next two weeks, first of all, is that information coming directly from Pfizer or from, say, the White House Task Force? Has Pfizer warned you that they may not be able to fill that entire order? And finally, if they are able to meet that, do we have all the freezer units already stationed where we need them in order to receive these?
Gavin Newsom: (01:07:34)
Yeah, we’re prepared to receive and that’s where those orders will go out tomorrow directly to Pfizer, and we have all the confidence the 727,600 doses will be made available. You’re absolutely right and it shouldn’t surprise you to hear this from me. I think I implied it a moment ago, and thank you for this opportunity to be even more clear so it’s not just an implication. I have never, we have never gone under the presumption that what we hear nationally and what we hear from others will actually materialize. We have been part of this vaccine conversation as long or longer than almost any other state in America. You’ll recall we were one of the five jurisdictions working with the CDC and working with the Department of Defense doing micro-planing. And as a consequence, we were working off many assumptions that have not materialized. Rather than belaboring that, rather than being critical of that, it’s just something we’ve come to expect, and so we’ve always had approximate numbers, approximate dates for our planning purposes.
Gavin Newsom: (01:08:43)
However, that said, I have absolute confidence in the 327,000 specific doses, and we are working off that number as an actual number and we are organizing these three tiers and are ordering on that basis directly with the assurance. From Pfizer that said, I want to extend opportunity for Dr. Ghaly to amplify his confidence or perhaps a different point of view as it relates to the first traunch of doses and maybe reflect upon, doctor, this 40 million figure that we’ve been hearing bandied about and whether or not we’re just assuming that number or whether or not we are being cautious in terms of how we plan around that.
Dr. Ghaly: (01:09:31)
Yeah. Thanks for the question, and Governor, I think you’re exactly right. The 327, we’ve heard directly working on that number, sharing that with our regional county partners, anticipating ordering that almost immediately and getting those doses sometime in the middle of the month. We believe that those are going to be available. It seems like most of it is ready and produced already. Down the road, there may be some limitations. As the Governor said, we were prepared for that, frankly, expect some of that, that the estimates would shift and transition throughout the weeks to come. But we expect to be hearing from our Operation Warp Speed partners at the federal government, working with the various manufacturers to ensure that we get all the vaccine as soon as it’s available, whether it’s 40 million doses by the end of the year or 25, and 15 more come early in January.
Dr. Ghaly: (01:10:26)
We’re not exactly sure, but we’re in constant communication trying to build up confidence like we do have in that 327 number so that we can anticipate and build all of the strategies that we need. To your question about how prepared are we for this first 327 with the freezer capacity at the local level, we have confidence at that volume that we have plenty of capacity to store it, and that’s part of the conversation that we have today with those regional partners, those county partners, and the counties having with their own health facilities that will ultimately administer the vaccine.
Gavin Newsom: (01:11:07)
And I remind you, David, two points. One is you may recall the days where there was a lot of promotion that vaccines were going to magically become available before the national election. Again, one learns to be sober about what is often announced from a national prism. That said, we do have confidence in not just Pfizer in the veracity of this first available traunch of doses, but the conversations, the advanced conversation with Moderna. We are putting together plans that would have more realistic numbers in the short term. Look, the issue of storage extends certainly in the immediate, and in the immediate, Dr. Ghaly is absolutely right in terms of the available capacity for ultra cold storage and our ability to administer and distribute this vaccine. There are limitations. There are issues once these cold storage boxes are open how quickly you have to administer and distribute the vaccine and how quickly you can lose available doses of vaccine.
Gavin Newsom: (01:12:16)
That is going to be a challenge. That is a struggle with these ultra low vaccines in terms of the storage requirements. Easier with Moderna, and we hope easier still with some of the vaccines that are on the horizon. But we have ordered, and I mentioned this maybe a week or so ago, we have already procured ultra low storage and cold storage, distinguished the two units, and many of them will be arriving at the end of the month, many more in January in preparation of the broader distribution. So we have existing capacity with our existing providers and the network that’s well-established. Remember, we provide over 19 million flu shots typically on an annual basis. Well-established vaccine network. We’re not reinventing the wheel. They do have remarkable capacity within that system, but we look to supplement that capacity, and that’s what we’re doing as a state. And we have already procured, we’re just writing for the actual delivery of those additional units, again, expecting them within the month, month and a half or so.
Speaker 4: (01:13:26)
Doug Sovern, KCBS Radio.
Doug Sovern: (01:13:29)
Hi, Governor. Since you instituted the overnight curfew two weeks ago, obviously the numbers have gotten a lot worse. Is there any evidence that, that order had any positive effect? And then second, I know you’ve acknowledged that you’ve lost some moral authority because of the French Laundry situation, do you believe that the damage done to your credibility is fatal? And I’m not just speaking figuratively, because as you know, that erosion of trust could literally cost lives if people don’t follow directives and get sick and spread this virus. What do you have to do to win back those people who just aren’t listening to you anymore? Or is it too late?
Gavin Newsom: (01:14:06)
I’m doing my job. I’ll continue to do my job. That’s what I have to do. As it relates to the first part of your question, Dr. Ghaly, as it relates to the curfew, we’ve been able to assess based upon any specific data the efficacy. Obviously, we’re moving with this announcement today because we recognize we need to do much more. But based upon what you have received back from the health officers, what data have you received in that base?
Dr. Ghaly: (01:14:35)
Yeah, we actually track. There is some ability, and it’s rudimentary, but we depend on it nonetheless, of seeing how movement’s actually happening. You can tell just based on the streets and how busy they are sometimes, and we can track that. And we’ve seen slight reductions, but nothing too significant. We, of course had hoped and wanted to see more from that already, but we haven’t, and I think that’s in part why we need to make sure that we take all the actions we can to make sure that reduced mixing is what we achieve. We know that it’s not going to be easy, even with this new regional Stay-At-Home Order.
Dr. Ghaly: (01:15:21)
But they are the tools that we’ve seen be effective and we trust, especially given the state of hospitals and where we are, that Californians will take this new order, this regional Stay-At-Home Order to heart and follow it as well as they can so that we can actually get through the next many weeks and months, as the Governor said, to the hope of vaccine and the partnership we have with those providers of the vaccination in our counties and getting that job done and done well.
Speaker 4: (01:15:57)
Andria Borba, KPIX. Final question.
Andria Borba: (01:16:01)
Hi, Governor Newsom. As we approach this new series of regional Stay-At-Home Orders, we expect, as you said, four or five regions to slide into that relatively soon. What is the situation with EDD? Frankly, it is still a bit of a mess. More Stay-At-Home Orders likely need more layoffs. We already have frozen payments. There are people still waiting for money. Claims are going up. What are you going to do to make sure that these people who may lose their jobs once again get some relief?
Gavin Newsom: (01:16:32)
Well, we made a lot of progress at EDD. We put together a new system you may recall in October after a reset, an important reset, so that we can address not only the veracity of the claims and address some of the front door issues as it relates to fraud. That ID.me system is in place. It’s been very, very effective at addressing some of the fraud issues again on the front door. We also were able to substantially address the backlog through that reset, and we’ve made tremendous progress on the backlog. You may recall, and I encourage you to reflect back on, multiple presentations where we actually put a timeline in terms of our own internal expectations to clear out that backlog. We have five new people working in the department. We’ve worked with other departments to improve, not just the IT protocols and processes, but also the business processes.
Gavin Newsom: (01:17:26)
We have a medium and longterm solution, meaning longterm IT strategy, to finally address this challenging system. And by the way, we are not unique. This is not an excuse, it’s just a fact. We’re not unique in this country with these antiquated unemployment insurance systems. They never were designed for the magnitude of a pandemic, and that is a lesson learned and we are actively pursuing those longer term strategies. On a medium term strategy, we’ll continue to improve upon the ID. me System. We’ll also improve upon the timeliness to distribution, not just unemployment insurance claims, which I think you’re referring to, but also the PUA claims. But the PUA is a stubborn issue, because the PUA is where we’ve seen most of the fraud, because there’s a presumption of eligibility in that space. And that’s the dialectic, and I think that goes to your question.
Gavin Newsom: (01:18:23)
People want things in a timely manner, but they also want the veracity in terms of the distribution of those funds. As taxpayers, we should expect nothing less against, well, the malfeasance of some and the fraud those individuals are intent on perpetuating. So that’s the constant balancing act and we are I think moving in a much more enlightened direction than those difficult, difficult months in the mid-summer, than certainly we were during that period of time. So with that, I think our time with you has come to an end for this session. I look forward to subsequent sessions. You heard from Dr. Ghaly and myself a preview on some updates from quarantine, previews and updates on issues related to schools we look forward to advancing. We will be active in providing information in real time, updating based upon not just the epidemiology and the transmission rates, case rates, and positivity rates as relates to this disease, but also now monitoring very closely the ICU numbers in our healthcare delivery system by region, posting that data on a consistent basis.
Gavin Newsom: (01:19:40)
I encourage you to go to COVID19.ca.gov website to get constant updates and that information, learn more about what we put out here today. And again, deep respect, deep empathy for all Californians in this very challenging and critical moment. We have light at the end of the tunnel. This is not a marathon any longer. This is a sprint. We are not asking for any of what we are proposing today to be permanent. We are asking for everyone’s indulgence to minimize the mixing, to continue to focus our outdoor activities in a safe and thoughtful way, and encourage you to get the exercise, to have the mindfulness that is needed at this moment. I encourage you to spend time outdoors safely, but again, do what we can to avoid congregate mixing, indoor mixing, and abide by these new regional Stay-At-Home Orders, get us through the next month, maybe month and a half to two months.
Gavin Newsom: (01:20:40)
And we will get to that vaccine and we will get back to not only normalcy but the resiliency and vibrancy that we’ve come to expect and what we were enjoying before this pandemic for many, many years prior to 2020. Take care, everybody. And thank you for the privilege of your time.