Apr 8, 2020
Gov. Gavin Newsom CA Coronavirus Briefing Transcript April 8: California Securing 200 Million Masks
Gavin Newsom held his California COVID-19 press conference on April 8. He laid out a plan for California to buy millions of masks for the state, almost 200 million masks per month. Read the full transcript with all the details here.
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Gavin Newsom: (00:00)
Bet on a new strategy, and it is bearing fruit. I’m going to ask the director of the Office of Emergency Service to walk through a little bit more of the details and how we’re going about this, what our supply chains look like, the consortia of nonprofits that are part of this, a private company here in the state of California that really stepped up with strong relationships in China to help us with those direct supply chains. It’s a logistics operation that is quite extraordinary in its magnitude in terms of the number of flights that have to come into the United States, the partnerships that have been formed, not just with nonprofits but organizations like the Asia Society that have been helpful, other private sector partners, both here in the United States but substantively overseas, and, of course FEMA, and their incredible work that they’ve done in collaboration with the State of California to get these contracts procured and to get the commitments of roughly 200 million masks alone.
Gavin Newsom: (01:01)
And I specifically point to the masks, the PPE. It’s broader than that, but the masks, of course, being so topical, roughly 150 million N95s on a monthly basis and 50 million surgical masks on a monthly basis that we believe, with these contracts, multiple contracts and multiple sources, we’ll be able to bring in to the state of California and procure and begin to distribute at a scale that we haven’t been able to, to date.
Gavin Newsom: (01:31)
So with that, I want to ask the director of the Office of Emergency Service to come up. He’ll fill in the blanks on some of the details of that strategy. I just want to note a deep respect and gratitude to our partners as well in the legislature. We submitted a $495-million formal request for the first traunch of payments on the over $1.4 billion of procurement for these efforts. That is not an insignificant amount of money. But we’re dealing at a time where we need to go boldly, and we need to meet this moment without playing small ball any longer. And we need to coordinate and organize our nation state status as we can only in California with our procurement capacity that, quite literally, is second only to the United States itself.
Gavin Newsom: (02:22)
California is in a position, not only to leverage those supply chains, leverage our investment, but do so in a way that protects the taxpayers as well. And so with that, let me ask the director to come up, fill in the blanks. And of course, we’ll have ample opportunity to answer specific questions. But after he speaks, I’ll go into a series of other issues that I know are topical and important to everybody that may be watching. Thank you.
Mark Ghilarducci: (02:52)
Great. Thanks, Governor. Good morning. Mark Ghilarducci, the director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Let me provide some contextualness to this effort. The governor has mentioned the challenges that we’ve faced with getting the PPE and the competition that had existed. What we tried to do is really step back and look at this in a much more strategic way, and we really leaned on the way we actually manage major events that happen in California, like when we have wildfires or earthquakes, when we’ve got limited kinds of resources.
Mark Ghilarducci: (03:25)
We leaned back on that, those procedures and those protocols, to be able to build a more sustainable pipeline of resources coming into the state. And so really, this has been an effort of building a multi-pronged approach to achieving the objective of getting to the multimillion number of masks that the governor has mentioned. Let me kind of break that down for you a little bit, the different prongs and different approaches.
Mark Ghilarducci: (03:53)
The first is engagement with a number of very, very powerful and very, very helpful non-governmental and community- based organizations. We’ve really engaged with organizations like Direct Relief, Americares, Philanthropy California, and The California Endowment and Front Line. These are NGOs that have reached back. They have relationships in Asia. They’ve been doing work in different spaces, may not necessarily be exclusively PPE but, for example, in the climate adaptation and resiliency space or in the public health space. We’ve leveraged all of those partnerships and relationships to build into using their pipelines to leverage those to help us. So that has been a source of ongoing PPE, particularly masks, but it’s also shields and gowns and other kinds of commodities, both in real-time and in our effort to build in the out weeks and the out months additional PPE.
Mark Ghilarducci: (04:59)
The second prong has been through working with direct contracts. We’ve established a number of contracts with large vendors that have been able to provide the PPE that the governor mentioned already, 41 million masks that we’ve already distributed. We continue to get the commodities from companies like Bear Mountain Development and JR Resources. These are examples of some of the larger firms.
Mark Ghilarducci: (05:26)
We’ve also been able to get from our national health providers, like McKesson and Cardinal, some of the kinds of commodities we need. And yesterday, we were able to establish a agreement with a company, California-based company, called BYD America, which really has a direct reach back into China to be able to build a pipeline, a sustainable amount of monthly masks that will be coming in to assist us here in California. This is an organization that has a manufacturing capability that is specifically designed to meet this need. And this is a great partnership because it is a California-based company, and it’s also one that we have been working with again in the area in the climate space.
Mark Ghilarducci: (06:20)
The third prong that we’re approaching and have been working with is closely with our partners at FEMA, and this has been in three different areas. The first is that FEMA has worked hard to establish partnerships with six of the nation’s largest medical distributors, including McKesson and Cardinal and United Health and Owens to be able to go to Asia and procure huge quantities of PPE. And these flights are coming into the United States now regularly. Some of them are coming into California. And as part of that effort in setting up that air bridge and as part of the national effort to prioritize counties with high probability and/or high hotspots that are occurring across the country, in the top national 100 counties, there were a number of counties that had been identified here in California for immediate supply of PPE, and I can tell you.
Mark Ghilarducci: (07:22)
They include Los Angeles County and Santa Clara, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Joaquin, San Francisco, Alameda, Sacramento, and San Mateo. And it’s not just random. This is closely coordinated with where we’re seeing the greatest number of cases that we have to manage. And that doesn’t mean that the rest of our counties in the state are not going to get PPE. That means that, through the process of the national program, through the leveraging of these big pharmaceutical corporations, hospitals that normally procure through those particular entities will be able to get PPE. That will be available, and they will use their normal process within those counties as prioritized counties.
Mark Ghilarducci: (08:09)
The last piece that we’ve been working with FEMA on is leveraging a new piece of technology. This is a technology that was manufactured by Patel, a defense contracting company in the United States. It’s a technology that is designed to get on the ground and actually bring in used N95 masks and do a sterilization and cleaning process that makes them basically new again. And this is new technology that has been certified by the FDA and CDC, and it will be here in California here within the next week. This capability will have the ability to clean up to 80,000 masks per day. So what this does is that we will work a coordinated effort with our hospitals and first responders in being able to utilize the PPE that has been used that meets the criteria. We’ll bring it to this center. The center will then sterilize these masks, and we’ll be able to repurpose them again back in the field again.
Mark Ghilarducci: (09:22)
So to close out, there are a number of different efforts that are happening simultaneously. These are all sustainable. They will meet our needs in the short, medium, and long term. And it is, as the governor said, it’s leveraging the power of California’s buying capability. It’s leveraging the great relationships we have with many organizations and agencies to build the capacity that we need. And as the weeks go on, we’ll provide additional updates on how all of this continues to progress. This is not a silver bullet. There are always challenges in anything that we are attempting of this scale and scope, but we believe by putting in the various checks and balances that we have and the great partnerships that we have in place, this will be successful moving forward. Thank you.
Gavin Newsom: (10:20)
Thank you, Director. So it’s about sustainable pipeline of commodities, and we think we are in a very different place than we were just a week or so ago. And I congratulate the director and his remarkable team for organizing a new construct and a new approach to getting adequate PPE. And as I said, it can’t come sooner, particularly now with new mandates across the state as it relates to face coverings, employer mandates, not just consumer mandates as it relates to those that may be purchasing food or essential supplies and their need to also have appropriate face coverings.
Gavin Newsom: (11:02)
The big concern has always been a run on masks that would impact our healthcare delivery system and our first responders. Over the course of the next few weeks, we believe that will substantially be addressed. But again, one should be very cautious in this space. We have been sober, I think, about the last few months, what appeared promising and didn’t necessarily materialize. But we, I think, are in a very different place. And the size and the totality of these new contracts and the $495-million first distribution of resources gives you, I think, a sense of the magnitude of this approach and how comprehensive we believe we are.
Gavin Newsom: (11:46)
As always, and we’ve made this point from the outset here today, when the State of California has excess capacity, working with our federal partners, working through the SNS, the Strategic National Stockpile, we will avail ourselves to others in need. And that includes not just ventilators but certainly would include issues related to PPE. So as we scale up, as these supplies arrive, as we see more certainty, we’ll be in a much better position to help support the efforts of others in partnership, again, with FEMA and those doing procurement and appropriately resourcing that procurement on an as-needed basis to parts of this country that are most in need.
Gavin Newsom: (12:37)
So that’s broad strokes where we are on the PPE side. Very good progress. And it cannot, again, come soon enough. Also, wanted to give you an update, a progress report, on the total numbers of positive COVID-19 cases in the state of California, the ICU numbers, the hospitalization numbers, update you on the number of deaths, but also to update you on the disaggregation of data that we are finally getting and receiving and organizing as it relates to the issues of race and ethnicity. And I’ll give you a progress report on that in just a minute.
Gavin Newsom: (13:16)
But let me give you the numbers first, in the aggregate. 16,957 individuals that have been tested positive for COVID- 19. 1,154 in our ICUs. That represents a 4.2% increase from the previous day. 2,714 individuals that are hospitalized in our system. That represents a 3.9% increase from the previous day. Sadly, we had one of our highest death rates in the state so far. That was 68 individuals that passed away over the last 24 hours. We now have 442 individual-
Gavin Newsom: (14:03)
24 hours. We now have 442 individuals that have lost their lives tragically. 442 families torn asunder since this virus that hit the state of California. Our hearts go out to all of them, particularly on today, Passover, and so I want to just extend our deep sympathies and empathy for all of those struggling and suffering from not only this moment, but then the deep impact losing a loved one is having on families large and small all throughout the state of California.
Gavin Newsom: (14:35)
Now as it relates to disaggregation of data, a lot of attention is appropriately being placed as it always must be placed on the issue of disparities. It’s the cause, again, I said this yesterday, that unites many of the folks that work here in the state of California. They come to public service because of a deep desire to right wrongs and deal with systemic issues. Nothing more frustrating than the systemic challenges, the disparities that manifest in relationship to public health. And those issues preceded this crisis and they continue to persist even within this crisis. I made the point yesterday as it relates to access to testing, I made a prospective point looking into the future about access to treatment and vaccines and how we must always have a lens of addressing equity in that context and I assure you, we are having very deliberative conversations in that space.
Gavin Newsom: (15:35)
But here are the new numbers I mentioned, 16,957 individuals in the state of California that have currently tested positive, that’s 16,957. Within that as a subset that we’ve been able to disaggregate, we’re only at 37.2% of that number that have reported in. And I can assure you we have 10 people, no less than 10 people, that are calling coroner’s offices, calling hospitals, double checking data. Not every city, not every county is providing that data in real time, but we’re trying to work with those that have, make sure that we scrub that data. I said yesterday I wanted to wait to all that data was presented, but understandably, people are eager for transparency in real time. So as I said, what I said to my daughter a month before we formalized some of the announcements around public schools that I needed to be honest with all of you as I am with my own children. Let me tell you what we know based on the 37% of the data that we’ve been able to disaggregate and confirm.
Gavin Newsom: (16:41)
We have 6,306 cases that we’ve been able to analyze on the basis of race. Looking from the total number of positive cases from a racial and ethnic lens and the total number of deaths. They track so far, and again, I caution those that are going to write about this, those who are going to talk about it, report about this please, I caution it’s less than 40% of all of that data back in and every day, we’re scrubbing to get 100% as quickly as we can. As soon as we can, we’ll get that information to you. But the current data bears the following statistics out. Currently, 30% of those within that data set of 6,306, 30% are identified as Hispanic, Latino, Latina. 30%. Number of positives, 6% within the black community and six… Or excuse me, 14% within the Asian community. It tracks modestly so along the lines of total population. Deaths, not dissimilarly track, so 30% positives Latino community, 29% of the deaths so far within the Latino community based upon that sample size, 6% blacks positive, 3% of the deaths currently based on that data set. And as I said, 14% Asians tested positive, 16% of the deaths within the Asian community. So those are the big broad strokes of where we are.
Gavin Newsom: (18:23)
I’ve seen headlines, you’ve all seen headlines. What many of you have written those same headlines about those disparities being magnified in terms of deaths and total number of positives in other states. Based upon the 37% of our data that’s in, we are not seeing that. But I caution you, the data is limited to that current sample size. We will get more of that information in. It’s one thing to have that data, it’s another to do something with it, to make the data actionable and that is absolutely essential. And in every category, we are doing more to be culturally competent in terms of our testing, our outreach, our communication and our capacity to deliver care to individuals that do get tested, to make sure that that care is compensated so that they don’t have to come out of pocket.
Gavin Newsom: (19:14)
And on that front, let me give you a specific what we just did. We have a presumption of eligibility regardless of your immigration status across this country. Substantively, in the state of California, if you end up in the emergency room. You go to a hospital, you could be tested for the novel coronavirus and treatment is compensated in those hospital acute care, emergency department settings. That’s not the case if you go to a community clinic. Our community clinics do extraordinary work and many other doing this work without the compensation of the federal government or the state government. That’s now just changed. We are providing presumptive eligibility regardless of your immigration status at our community clinics and we’re not waiting for a waiver that we have already requested of the federal government. We did request that waiver and what we refer to as I think 1135 waiver. We are not waiting for response. The urgency of this moment dictates that we need to create some clarity within the community health care delivery system and so that’s just an example of the state trying to do more to advance not just rhetorical frame around this data and identifying what is the obvious that there are disparities, but to do something about it and we’ll continue to advance more efforts and continue to update you on what those efforts look like.
Gavin Newsom: (20:42)
Speaking of updates, let me make two additional announcements. I was asked yesterday and I was very grateful for the prompt and the question about our OnwardCA website. This OnwardCA website that was put together through a partnership, a collaboration of a Bitwise and Salesforce and LinkedIn. They currently have as a data set, 110,000 job openings on that site. OnwardCA.gov, please, if you are looking for work, go to that site and we have broken out by geography, by wage packages, benefits packages, all those job listings and made them available on that site. We’ve had 170,000 people participate and engage on that site so far and we hope to see many more because we recognize millions and millions of people have lost their jobs and let me be specific on that, 2.4 million, now, Californians have applied for unemployment insurance just since March 12th. And so we encourage people to go to that site and we’re very grateful. That site was just put up a few days ago and we’re already seeing that kind of activity. Speaking of activity, let me update you on another announcement we made a week or so ago and that was related to the issue of supplies. We talked today about procurement of PPE. We’re not limiting our PPE efforts just to the announcement we made today. Quite the contrary, we’re still looking for people that can meet this moment on hand sanitizers, do more to help us with testing, media testing reagents. All kinds of manufacturing needs that exist and persist within the state of California. So we created this COVID19supplies.ca.gov website, COVIDsupplies.ca.gov website to match people. You may recall a few days ago we talked about that matching effort for individuals as well as philanthropy and companies themselves to provide CAD information, to provide FDA approval information. I don’t want to go back into the details except to say this. 2300 individuals and companies have already accessed filled out applications on that site and I just want to thank everybody that did that, that filled out the application. Those are people that want to contribute. Those are manufacturers, philanthropy and individuals that want to provide a support and resources at this critical moment. And so we’re very, very grateful to all of them.
Gavin Newsom: (23:28)
As I said, Father Coz, Well I didn’t say this, but Father Coz who helped raise me, reminding me the Bible teaches us we’re many parts but one body. We’re many parts, but one body, and when one part suffers, we all suffer. I’m not exaggerating. Father Coz was my econ teacher at Santa Clara university and he began every single lecture by reminding us of our web of mutuality. That was a more Dr. King phrase, but certainly it’s a time for many to celebrate and reflect on a day like this Passover. And so I just want to extend that appreciation to those of faith that are also struggling because it is not a time to congregate. It is a time to pray. It’s a time to reflect, it’s time to practice our faith, but not in these congregate settings where we at this moment in time need to continue to practice physical distancing.
Gavin Newsom: (24:32)
And I will end as I always end by reminding everybody, while the curve is bent, been bending in the state of California, it’s also stretching and at any moment if we pull back, you can see that curve go back up, that slope go back up and I know everybody’s tempted with Easter Sunday, the weather’s starting to improve. We’re already trying to get more messages out there to everybody that’s likely to say, well maybe honey, this is the weekend. We can take a nice stroll and walk in a park or go up on a trail head. I just want to remind folks, if you do that, you must practice safe, physical distancing. And if you’re on a single trail head going up and folks are coming down, you can’t do that. So please go check out our parks website.
Gavin Newsom: (25:19)
See which parks and beaches are open, not just the county level, the city level, but also at the state level. And know that we shut down the parking lots for a reason. There are soft closures in many of these places, but there’s also hard closures where you simply cannot go any longer because of our desire to work through this moment and do so in a thoughtful and safe way. And so I just encourage everybody as you’re thinking about your plans this weekend, let’s not step back. Let’s continue to move forward as we have as a state in ways that should make all of us proud. 40 million strong meeting this moment doing more than many thought was possible to bend that curve, keep those ICU numbers down, keep those hospitalization numbers down and just reflect that the deaths did go up yesterday. But we could continue to bend that statistic by doing more individually as it relates to practicing appropriate physical distancing and appropriate utilization of face coverings if you can’t practice that in public.
Gavin Newsom: (26:26)
With that, we’re happy to take any questions you have.
Speaker 2: (26:29)
Jackie Botts, CalMatters.
Jackie Botts: (26:33)
Hi, thank you governor. So health facilities in seven states have had supplies seized by FEMA in the past week according to multiple media reports. Could these masks that California plans to acquire be common tier and do you have a plan to prevent that? And then my second question is, should your administration’s decision to play the role of quote unquote central procure here of masks and other PPE be taken as an implicit criticism of the federal government’s lack of leadership or coordination on the issue of procuring and distributing supplies?
Gavin Newsom: (27:06)
On that point, quite the contrary. We’ve been working extraordinarily well and collaboratively with our federal partners and this is an opportunity for me to thank our federal partners, thank the administration, the task force, FEMA, credible work of Bob Fenton and entire FEMA team up the chain of command. The President of the United States himself. We thank them for their collaborative spirit and we continue to work hand in glove with the administration. So the answer to that question is no, it should not. This is not political. This is not any way, shape or form, usurping or undermining. This is all in the spirit of all of us stepping into this moment and doing what we can. And again, California is just uniquely resourced. Where we’re able to utilize the account at the kind of scale that few other states, few other countries can even resource. And so we’re pleased to do that. And it’s our responsibility to do more than…
Gavin Newsom: (28:03)
And it’s our responsibility to do more than we even imagined as we move forward in this process. As it relates to the issue of commandeering and issue of that I’ll let director Ghilarducci talk more about that. But we’ve just simply had a really outstanding relationship with FEMA and we haven’t had those issues. That said, we’re always cautious about what we’re reading and what we’re seeing and the director can make some comments about that.
Great, thanks governor. I guess I would just accentuate the governor’s point. This has been an all hands on deck approach and our partnership with FEMA has been in lockstep right from the beginning. This effort of getting PPE it’s a collateral effort and so we don’t think there’s going to be any commandeering. This is something that we coordinate every step of the way. FEMA is having flights come in to California airports. We’re going to be having flights come into California airports. The FEMA has been great with helping us to negotiate through customs and other kinds of regulatory issues. So the bottom line is it is a one team, one fight effort and we all are on the same page as we continue to move forward.
Gavin Newsom: (29:27)
And forgive me for reminding yet again, one team, one fight that goes back to January when we engage the federal government, CDC, ASPR through HSS. And we began a partnership sorts building trust with the federal government on those repatriation flight, six of them that came into the state of California. We furthered those relationships of trust through the repatriation of that Grand Princess cruise line into Northern California into the Bay area. And so we have been working in that spirit and we’re going to stay in that space as long as we can. Next question?
Speaker 4: (30:06)
Jeremy White, Politico.
Jeremy White: (30:09)
Hi governor, thanks as always, I have a similar question to the prior one. You’ve spoken a few times including today about sort of competition between states. How does a purchase of this size and scale not force other states to compete with California? And do you see a role for California in sort of taking a role as a central procure or a clearing house for other states as well?
Gavin Newsom: (30:33)
Well, we continue to look. The ventilators is a proof point, isn’t it? Of the collaborative spirit that’s alive across this country. I want to thank Washington state and Oregon for their generosity in that space as well. So we’re all in this together. Again, if other cause was right where many parts in one body that extends even beyond the state of California as it relates to the United States itself. And we want to be there for our fellow governors that we want to collaborate. I’ve said this on a number of occasions, we reached out to a number of governors and we’re working office emergency services working Mark and his team with his counterparts and other states. We have procurement officers in other states working with our procurement teams in the state of California as efforts to start to row in the same direction.
Gavin Newsom: (31:18)
It’s not perfect, I don’t want to be pollyannish about it and overstate that it’s a well oiled machine of collaboration. But specifically Jeremy to your understandable and appropriate question, we are not just looking at supplies in a scarce marketplace where it’s a zero sum game. We are being additive. We’re looking when I have abundancy in this respect increasing supply and how California in this case has been a catalyst to increase supply that will not only avail itself to the state of California but more broadly across this country and potentially in other parts of the globe. And so that’s how we perceive our role more as a catalyst, not try to drive up more competition but advancing a framework of collaboration.
Speaker 4: (32:10)
[inaudible 00:32:10] Mercury news.
Speaker 5: (32:14)
Thank you. Nursing homes and senior residences in the Bay area and around the state are experiencing an alarming number of outbreaks and some deaths. Just this morning, a staff at a Riverside nursing home walked out to protest safety concerns. Is the state going to form a task force or issue any orders to address these issues similar to what San Bernardino County has done? Are those cases being traced to find the source of the outbreaks and when will the state release some comprehensive numbers on outbreaks at those facilities?
Gavin Newsom: (32:44)
Well, we’ve been in the last few days and press conferences like this, been talking specifically about what’s happening in San Bernardino County to Larry County, San Diego County, not just the Riverside example that you advance. As you know, we put out guidelines early on in this crisis. Some of the first guidelines we put out were for senior facilities, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities. I referenced just three days ago, over 8,832 sites that we’re monitoring and we’ve sent out teams to help support the efforts on the ground at those sites. Specifically as it relates to San Bernardino County, we are in partnership with CDC. They’ve actually sent out personnel to help support the efforts there. I made this point two days ago that this, the issue of homelessness remained my top concerns in terms of vulnerable populations. Full disclosure give you a broader sense of our thinking, we’re working with our federal partners, USNS mercy on how we can utilize that asset differently than we have to date.
Gavin Newsom: (33:50)
As you know, New York went through exactly the same process. We are in a different place than New York, so it’s allowed us to have a collaborative process to really think about how we can decompress our entire system and how to prioritize that decompression. Full disclosure, one of the areas of discussion, this is not concrete, but it is one of the areas of discussion is how we can help support our skilled nursing facilities and their patients at this time. And that goes specifically to your question. So we recognize the imperative, we recognize what is reflected in that data and those deaths disproportionately are exampled in what’s happening or not happening in our skilled nursing facilities. And I can assure you, Mark Galli and his team, this is their top priority in this state to provide as much in terms of support, resources and alternative facilities so that we can isolate and quarantine individuals and help support the staffing anxiety and staffing needs as staff become infected and staff obviously extend real anxiety about their lack of personal protective gear and their capacity to continue to do their job safely.
Speaker 4: (35:05)
Doug Sovern, KCBS.
Doug Sovern: (35:10)
Hi governor. If you can hear me, I’m wondering about the death count. We believe it’s under reported significantly, we’re aware of quite a few cases of people who died at home and were never tested or people who did go to hospitals then went home weren’t tested and I’m wondering if you could talk about what steps the state is taking to count those people or to go back and test people posthumously or what the protocol is now to try to get a more accurate count of the true impact and death toll of this disease.
Gavin Newsom: (35:41)
Yeah, I appreciate that. Let me ask Dr. Angel, who’s responsible for this she’ll come up right now and answer that question.
Dr. Angel: (35:53)
Thank you for this question. It’s incredibly important that we understand the impact of covid-19 on our communities and that includes understanding and having good data on the health impact. That also relates to the issue that was raised earlier about race, ethnicity and really understanding the demographics of the populations that are affected. We look at every single case individually and refer and investigate it to understand more. Cases like the ones that you’re describing when they come to our attention, we review them with our team, we reach out to coroners in the communities and follow up to get that information. As that becomes available we’ll be sharing more of that with you going forward.
Gavin Newsom: (36:30)
And just to note Doug, for everybody I know there’s different data that comes out because people update data during the course of the day. We have always been very specific about the data we use, so the 442 individuals, the 68 people lost their lives was based on a point in time count that we do on a daily basis. You can attach my announcements based upon the certification at the state department of public health. Counties are doing theirs a little bit differently, but this data tracks day to day in a very consistent way.
Speaker 4: (37:08)
Tanu Henry, California black media.
Tanu Henry: (37:12)
Thank you governor for following up on this aggregation of the data and outlining a plan of action. I have a two part question. We’ve spoken to a lot of business owners, very small business owners, I’m probably the smallest of the small businesses in California and that’s under 50 employees. Very little money in the bank, well under $25 million in revenue and a lot of them are worried that they might not be eligible for the federal SBA loans. But they also are concerned that they may not qualify for the [inaudible 00:09:47]. Are there any steps being taken to put some criteria around it or just to make sure that process is inclusive and equitable for those smaller small businesses?
Gavin Newsom: (37:58)
So let me answer you in two parts. Number one, speaker Nancy Pelosi is deeply concerned about the exact issue you just brought up and the accessibility of these loans, particularly on the grant program PPE that has generated so much attention. And she specifically is focusing on businesses in those categories that you just described. So any additional support as it relates to additional money also must come with additional language to provide points of access. So that’s on the federal side and the federal advocacy and we could not ask for more than what we have in our leader Nancy Pelosi in terms of pinpointing that concern and orienting a strategy to address it.
Gavin Newsom: (38:46)
Number two, as it relates to the $50 million we put up and thank you for recognizing what we’re doing with our Ibank. We’re in the process of putting that rulemaking together and so I appreciate people’s concerns about what it is and what it isn’t, but as we process this, these are exactly the kinds of businesses that we have in mind with these micro loans. People that are falling through the cracks and we will consider those examples and many others as we process this. Let me just make one final point on this subject. As someone that used to manage small businesses had the privilege of being involved in the creation of a number of businesses in the state of California, I am well aware from the multitudes of people that are contacting me about the incredible difficulty they’re having getting to their banks to get this $249 million that has been appropriated to get a portion of that into the state and into their bank accounts so that they can rehire people and they can continue to operate essential services.
Gavin Newsom: (39:51)
This must be addressed in real time. I cannot press upon the federal government more the urgency of this moment. Every day the prospect of someone’s entire life being torn apart, someone to put everything on the line who opened up the business has 100% personal guarantee on that business, their dreams being shattered because of bureaucratic morass and delays. This has to be addressed in real time and so I just want to extend a deep level of personal appreciation, not just intellectual appreciation. As I’m inspired by entrepreneurs of every stripe and what they do to take risks every day and to create opportunities every day for people all across this state how we have to have their back at this moment as well.
Speaker 4: (40:42)
Taryn Luna, L.A. Times
Taryn Luna: (40:46)
Governor can you provide more details on the indicators you’re watching beyond just generally whether we’re bending the curve to determine when you could possibly be able to call off the stay at home order. And then along those lines, I’m curious if you have any better sense of an end date than when you were last asked this a couple of weeks ago.
Gavin Newsom: (41:04)
Well we talked about those end dates being stretched yesterday as it relates to our models and we are monitoring that in real time. And that’s again the answer to that question is easy, depends on you, it depends on 40 million others in the state of California and their commitment to following through on the stay at home orders, their commitment to have appropriate face coverings if they cannot practice physical distancing and their commitment to physical distancing over the course of the next number of weeks so that we can get through this very difficult time and continue to bend that curve. Buy more time so we can prepare and then begin to answer that question on the basis of science. The second part of that question and what is happening and what we know in terms of treatments and what we know in terms of spread. And that is ultimately advanced as well by our capacity to continue to expand our tests and we are expanding our tests.
Governor Newsom: (42:03)
… continue to expand our tests. We are expanding our tests, getting serology done and the serum tests, continuing to do more in terms of capacity building, in terms of broader community surveillance to understand the spread, to be able to do the appropriate tracing and then get into a detailed protocol in terms of how we get back to a new normalcy but, at the same time, recognizing we have to be vigilant as we do that. Know this, just so I can be clear on this, we have a team of people working on this 24/7. There’s no question on this that we haven’t asked ourselves on dozens and dozens of occasions. Everybody, not least of which myself as governor of the state of California, wants to be able to affirmatively answer that question by giving you a specific date and time and, in detail, tell you how people are going to go back to work, back into their community. When we are closer to that point in time, when we have clarity, I assure you, I look forward to making those announcements and doing so with the kind of clarity that you deserve.
Speaker 6: (43:12)
Sophia Bollag, Sac Bee.
Sophia Bollag: (43:17)
Hi, Governor. I’m wondering if you can clarify what you meant earlier when you said that California’s recent purchases of millions of masks are additive. Do you mean that the factories that are producing these masks were previously not producing masks and that this is a new type of equipment for them to be making?
Governor Newsom: (43:38)
Let me break it down. The director talked about this nonprofit consortium. A lot of that is getting existing supply chain. Some of that is accessing new supplies that are being made available around the world. The director also specifically talked about Battelle. That is a system, six units, that allows us to reuse N95 masks by basically creating a process where we sterilize these masks so we can utilize them upwards of 20 times, 80,000 masks a day. We already are working with the hospital system to create the protocols so they’re not throwing all these masks out so that we begin the process of reusing them. That’s certainly additive in terms of stretching existing resources. In addition to that, these supply chains we’re getting from other parts of the globe, those are supply chains that ultimately will increase the total supply, again, in a framework where we’re not just looking at a static number and then we’re just buying more than anybody else, driving other people out or driving costs up. But we’re creating the impetus where more supply is made available, not just to the state but for everybody.
Speaker 6: (44:56)
Carla Marinucci, Politico.
Carla M.: (44:59)
Hi, Governor. I know you had some words earlier about the cooperation with FEMA and the federal government, but you did have some tough words last night on Maddow. You were talking about competing with other states and, “Enough is enough. We’re not waiting around any longer.” I just wanted to ask, have you heard from President Trump or the White House with regard to this proposal? Have you heard from other governors? Are they worried that maybe their purchasing power could be decreased, that California could maybe disrupt the market for other states and decrease supplies for everyone else? Those are the two questions.
Governor Newsom: (45:36)
Yeah, we have heard from other governors and it has been quite favorable because they understand we are helping increase supply. We are not taking away a limited number of supplies. That’s number one. Number two, we have been working very collaboratively with the federal government in terms of these efforts. Those continue and that has been the frame of our engagement, again, since the beginning of this crisis. Enough’s enough, it was reference to just going in the direction we were going in and that was one offs. What I mean by that is just the overwhelming number of people coming in saying, “I got 500,000 masks, I got a million masks, I’ve got 250,000 masks,” and we’re running and chasing all these things. That’s when we were running into walls or running into each other in terms of competition.
Governor Newsom: (46:28)
California, we decided to step back from all of that and say, “Look, as a nation state with the capacity to write a check for hundreds of millions, no, billions of dollars, we’re in a position to do something bold and big that could be a catalyst to increase supply and ultimately increase the capacity to procure with more certainty.” That, ultimately, was the direction we chose to go. That’s the direction we have gone. That’s why that specific request of the legislature to move those dollars or at least announcement to the legislature that we are moving those dollars was announced yesterday.
Speaker 6: (47:07)
Final question. Anna Maria Barry-Jester, Kaiser Health News.
Anna Maria: (47:11)
Hi, Governor. Thank you. Understandably, there’s been a lot of focus in recent weeks on testing, PPE, hospitals, but I wanted to ask about public health departments. Some California county health departments have said they stopped doing core work like contact tracing weeks ago due to testing and staffing shortages while in other states they’re still doing massive contact tracing of every case of Covid-19. My questions are, do you understand having the ability to do that kind of mass contact tracing as essential to reopening the economy here? If so, are there any plans in place to help out the county health departments, particularly the smaller or more rural counties with fewer resources?
Governor Newsom: (47:48)
I’m going to ask Dr. Ghaly to come up because he and I had been having these conversations. He’s got a team that’s focused exactly on this and he can answer it with the kind of specificity you deserve.
Dr. Ghaly: (48:02)
Thank you governor and thank you for the question. Absolutely, we are looking closely at this idea of testing, tracking, and tracing as an important vehicle to looking forward to, as people say, reopening parts of our communities. We know that many of our local public health departments did that early on because of the enormous numbers of individuals who were coming in from commercial flights, who maybe needed to be tested, tracked, and traced that we didn’t do that for as long as some states where the case loads are lower than they have been in California.
Dr. Ghaly: (48:42)
But we absolutely are preparing as we look forward, as the governor mentioned, to what are those metrics that we need to achieve to be able to open up parts of our community again in a thoughtful, responsible way. Stay tuned as we build those teams, build that capacity, attach it to our expanded testing across the state, focusing not just on those communities that have increased numbers of tests already, but all communities across California, making sure we target communities, lower income communities, communities on the coastal side, the inland side, northern, southern, so that we can do this statewide rather than in certain pockets as we have done traditionally with other outbreaks or early in the Covid-19 response.
Governor Newsom: (49:34)
Thank you doctor. Again, thank everybody for all the great work that you’ve done in California to, again, do what we can to bend this curve, give us the time to prepare, and continue to procure at a scale that only California can. I want to thank everybody that has participated and contributed their time and energy to our serve.gov website. California continues to request more volunteers. Cal Volunteers is looking for more and more people to help support our efforts and our food banks, continue to do what we can to reach out to our neighbors and friends.
Governor Newsom: (50:12)
I want to, again, thank the Surgeon General for all her wonderful work and what was announced yesterday and all the new guidance that now is available on that covid19.ca.gov website. For those that have teenagers that they’re concerned about, teen crisis lines, for those that are struggling with anxiety, depression, the hotlines and resources available to all of you. Those that are just trying to cope through this moment, need a little bit of direction on how best to cope or be reminded on how best to cope. We’ve got that all available for you on those sites. Again, just want to thank everybody for staying safe, staying at home, and practicing physical distancing. Don’t be socially isolated from one another. Connect with one another, but do so by practicing physical distancing. Thank you, everybody.