Apr 13, 2020
Gov. Gavin Newsom California COVID-19 Briefing Transcript April 13
Governor Gavin Newsom of California held a press conference today on coronavirus. Newsom announced a “West Coast reopen pact” between California, Washington, and Oregon. Read the full transcript here.
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Gavin Newsom: (00:10)
There’s an old African proverb that says, if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together. That’s the spirit of regionalism that’s defined our approach to addressing this pandemic. That regionalism extends throughout the state of California and beyond.
Gavin Newsom: (00:29)
We have had the deep collaborative spirit advanced now in states, large and small all across the United States, but none stronger than the relationships we have formed in Washington state and the state of Oregon.
Gavin Newsom: (00:43)
We just sent out a joint statement of a shared vision for a process and protocol, a framework we refer to it, for reopening not just within our states but more broadly as a region. I don’t want to overstate this vision. I don’t want to overstate this framework and I don’t want to understate the imperative of meeting this moment by continuing to practice appropriate social distancing and practicing physical distancing so we can continue to bend the curve.
Gavin Newsom: (01:17)
But we are at a point of time, we’re not dissimilar to the announcement that was made an hour or so ago on the East coast, that we’re beginning to socialize conversations. We’ve been having over the course of many days, in the case of the Oregon and Washington governor, into the beginning of last week, where we began a process of establishing more formally what it would look like and how we could begin the process of the kind of incremental release of the stay at home orders that advanced the fundamental principle of keeping people healthy, keeping people safe, using science to guide our decision making and not political pressure and continuing to do what we can to share our best practices and share our resolve and ultimately advance the kind of results that everybody is expecting.
Gavin Newsom: (02:08)
We look forward to collaborating further with other governors along the Western states but we look forward in addition to that, to continuing the collaborative spirit that extends well beyond just the West Coast of the United States, forming perspectives and opinions, sharing best practices and ultimately advancing the cause that unite all of us and that is the cause of reopening our economy and doing so in a safe and strategic and responsible way.
Gavin Newsom: (02:37)
To that end I want to be very specific. Tomorrow we will lay out our California based thinking on that effort. For weeks now, I’ve been previewing that the state of California is putting together a bottom up plan, a framework for targeted interventions and easing of restrictions in the state to allow us to toggle between approaching issues on the population basis versus on an individual basis. We’re going to lay that out, as I say, as detailed a plan as we can at this stage tomorrow at the noon press conference but I just want to acknowledge and thank the governors of Washington, governors of Oregon, Governor Brown and Governor Inslee for their ongoing partnership, their incredible support and the collaborative spirit that by the way goes well beyond just this moment.
Gavin Newsom: (03:33)
I want to just extend that spirit was on display at scale last year with the forest fires that we had, particularly in Northern California, where they brought down mutual aid engines from Oregon and into Washington State, allowed us to concentrate our resources in some of the hot spots in Southern California to address last year’s wildfire season.
Gavin Newsom: (03:58)
So again it’s the spirit of collaboration, spirit of partnership, a recognition that this pandemic, the virus knows no boundaries, knows no borders, you can’t build walls around it and you can’t deny basic fundamental facts and again before I transition, we will be driven by facts, will be driven by evidence, will be driven by science, we will be driven by our public health advisors and we will be driven by the collaborative spirit that defines the best of us at this incredibly important moment.
Gavin Newsom: (04:32)
What also defines I think the best of us at this incredibly important moment is to recognize that disparities persist, that disparities need to be addressed in real time, that are highlighted and that are exacerbated in moments like this. One of those areas is the wellbeing of our children.
Gavin Newsom: (04:53)
So much has been discussed about physical health issues and mental health issues. We were very pleased by the outstanding leadership and partnerships that we were able to form last week where we socialized the details through our surgeon general of resources that are made available to address the stresses and the travails many of us are feeling and providing resource guides and a very culturally competent way on the basis of age and geography throughout the state of California.
Gavin Newsom: (05:23)
But the persistent issue of our children, particularly children in our welfare system, particularly children that are “at risk,” remains a vexing challenge, particularly at a time when we have stay at home orders, which reduce and significantly limit the number of in-person visits as it relates to our child protective services, what they’re providing in terms of case work in real time, in person, that is so important to address vulnerable communities.
Gavin Newsom: (05:56)
When the schools are closed that’s another point of contact where people are able to make referrals based upon the interaction of children they interact in to school nurses to one another. Interactions with our caregivers, not least of which obviously our teachers. Those referrals are down. Those in-home visits are down as a consequence of the virus but what is not down is our guard and our commitment and resolve to work around that and work through that.
Gavin Newsom: (06:27)
So today we’re announcing $42 million effort, substantially supported by the state of California. 40.6 million of the $42 million direct statewide support coming from the leadership, the assembly and the Senate that have afforded us these resources to invest in building supports all throughout the state of California.
Gavin Newsom: (06:50)
What I mean by building supports is along the following. We’re tracking about 86,500 children within our system, about 59, 000 specific to the foster care system. We want to extend supports, small and large along these lines. Resource referrals, more amplification of our 211 system, more connection with the 211 call center to family resource centers, more support for our frontline employees, county based employees, our partnership with our labor leaders at SCIU a perfect example of the incredible work that’s done on a daily basis, health and human service all throughout the state of California to provide them more resources, more support and more capacity to continue to do what we can.
Gavin Newsom: (07:42)
We’re not just knocking on every door. To knock on those doors of those that are most vulnerable and to continue the kind of telehealth engagement and virtual outreach, as well as phone calls to those case loads and to make sure that they have the support to meet the magnitude and the scale of our challenges.
Gavin Newsom: (08:04)
One of the magnitude and scale concerns we have is a number of our foster kids that are emancipated on a monthly basis. Roughly 200 young children are emancipated every month in the state of California. At this moment, we think we should extend the emancipation process and we’re providing resources, millions of dollars to do just that, to extend the time where people can stay with their current caregivers, get the kind of support and food that they deserve. That’s number one.
Gavin Newsom: (08:36)
Number two, we are providing an additional $200 a month for families that are most at risk. Thousands and thousands of families will get the benefit of that contribution to help with food and to help with other incidentals at a time, again, of deep, deep need.
Gavin Newsom: (08:55)
We’re blessed in the state of California to have incredible director of our Department of Social Services, Kim Johnson. She’s been helping put together this plan, working with our county partners, over the course of the last a number of weeks, just reminding everybody we’re not giving up on our focus and our oversight and our legal responsibility to protect our children at this very difficult period of time.
Gavin Newsom: (09:21)
I will ask the Director Johnson to come up and fill in the blanks on other specific things we’re doing but I just want to extend a deep appreciation and compliment her outstanding work in putting together this package that goes out immediately, effective today.
Kim Johnson: (09:39)
Thank you governor and it absolutely is an investment on a continuum to support both families at risk in our system, as well as those who are currently serving as resource families for our foster youth across our state.
Kim Johnson: (09:51)
As the governor mentioned, we have $6.8 million to support additional social worker outreach across communities. This is ensuring that that touch point is occurring. That overtime that we recognize we are asking for from you, to ensure the health and safety and wellbeing of children across the state, is occurring.
Kim Johnson: (10:09)
In addition, there’s a $3 million investment to family resource centers who are not only helping with those connections to resources for at risk families but also providing direct material goods and communities and making those connections to counties and other community resources.
Kim Johnson: (10:24)
We are also expanding our help lines. So this is the 211 system that you’ve heard us talk about before, providing some additional resources to keep our resources the most up to date for families across our state. We’ll also be providing resources through Parents Anonymous, who is providing hotlines and connections and support groups for all of the families across the state in need.
Kim Johnson: (10:47)
There is a $313,000 investment in providing laptops and cell phones. So as we have been talking about in our Department of Education, superintendent have been leading on new ways with distance learning. We want to ensure all of the foster youth across our state have that cell phone access but also that laptop, that helps them and connects them to the resources and education that they need to be successful.
Kim Johnson: (11:13)
We are also, as the governor mentioned, a $27.8 million investment to support that $200 per month need at at-risk families. These are our families that are in emergency response and family reunification. Well over 25, 000 families will be served in this capacity and support.
Kim Johnson: (11:34)
Finally, I’ll mention that we are also providing the $1.7 million dollars to provide additional rates to those caring for foster youth. We recognize that some of our youth have additional complex needs and certainly those needs have intensified in the course of COVID, so those resources will be flowing as well.
Kim Johnson: (11:52)
The Department of Social Services continues to be a partner across the state with you in this effort. We have issued a number of guidelines, the monthly visitation component that the governor spoke to is critical.
Kim Johnson: (12:03)
The only time a caseworker may conduct visits remotely is if the social worker has determined based on that individual assessment that it is appropriate to do so in an individual specific circumstance for a child. So we really do recognize that that means getting out that PPE and getting out those resources to you in the field. We are working on that in real time and providing those resources to ensure everyone across the state can do their job. We look forward to continuing partnering with you across this effort.
Gavin Newsom: (12:34)
Thank you Director Johnson and, again, compliment to your outstanding team and the good work they’re doing. I also want to extend a point of personal privilege, a former pro tem, the state of California, John Burton. His foster care advocacy organization has already procured 2,565 laptops as well. In the spirit of this kind of partnership and collaboration, working with DSS, and others to provide those most at need, particularly in the foster care system, the supports so they could continue to practice their distance learning, continue to extend their educational opportunities, and continue to stay connected despite the fact that we continue to extend the stay at home order and need to practice physical distancing. So to everybody that has really stepped in and helped support this collective cause, public, private, the County level, the state level, I want to just thank you.
Gavin Newsom: (13:29)
And for me, this also is a point of personal privilege. We’re a foster family. Growing up myself, some of the most intense and extraordinary moments of my life were defined by the experiences that were brought into our household by a foster brother, particularly Steven Ashby, who really enlivened our family and really, I think, brought home the power and the potency of people that are helping support our foster children and letting our foster kids know they’re not alone, that you matter, and we care. And as a community we have a responsibility to do more and do better on your behalf. And so no, this announcement is not just an intellectual one. We’re not just throwing this out there and then moving onto the next announcement. Know that we are committed to doing more and doing better, and we’re here for a long haul to continue to reform our foster care system and to reform our child welfare efforts that even before this pandemic needed to substantially improve and, of course beyond this pandemic, will substantially need to be improved even more still.
Gavin Newsom: (14:41)
In that light, let me do what we do every Tuesday, Monday rather. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at noon and that is update you on all the numbers, the trend lines before they become headlines. Give you a sense of areas of optimism, areas of concern. The two numbers that I again wake up every morning focused on, it’s the number of people that are hospitalized. The number of people in our ICUs, the number of hospitalizations. Last night was 3015. The number of people on ICOs was 1,178. Both showed just a modest increase. ICU increase of 2.9%. Remember few days back Thursday, Friday, we actually had a decline in the number of ICU. Then we saw a number that was flat, modest increase this weekend and modest again on Monday. So again, these are just proof points that things seem to be stabilizing from a hospitalization and an ICU perspective.
Gavin Newsom: (15:43)
But the total number of cases continues to grow. 22,348 that’s our official count, the number of people that have been tested positive. So again, growing, but in a moderate way, the curve is being bent because of you and because of your willingness to continue to stay at home, including this weekend. Easter weekend, where we did not see the kind of surge that some people are predicted in our beaches and our parks and playgrounds. We saw certainly increased activity, but it just again reinforces why we are so grateful to each and every one of you that are responsible for those numbers not being larger. You’re responsible for those numbers not growing exponentially and I want to continue to remind you of the importance of maintaining this work, continuing to advance the resolve that is required as we, again, all of us have a little cabin fever and look forward to coming back into some sense of normalcy.
Gavin Newsom: (16:46)
687 sadly, 687 families will not be going back to normalcy. Those are loved ones, not statistics, not a stat, not 687 numerically, but families, lives, stories, journeys that people have been on together that have been radically changed because of this virus. Those are the numbers that have lost their lives so far to this virus. And again, our heart goes out to each and every one of those family members and we certainly hope those numbers do not continue to climb, but nonetheless, those numbers continue to grow. And it’s just a reminder, despite the optimism around our being able to advance broad strokes frameworks on collaborative efforts with other states and our broad stroke commitment to advance specific strategies or at least lay out specific strategies and frameworks tomorrow about state of California and some strategies to get back to work into some semblance of normalcy, we continue to have to track the reality of today and that is we’ve got to tame this virus. We’ve got to continue to practice physical distancing, social distancing, and safe practices that have helped us bend this curve and mitigate what some had thought would be a surge that was exponentially worse than so far it has been.
Gavin Newsom: (18:13)
So that’s the broad strokes on the announcements today. I want to continue to thank everybody that is contributing their time and energy to our food banks. Continuing to serve those in need. Remember our website serve.ca.gov. That’s the website that provides resources for Cal volunteers. You want to help in our food banks. You want to donate blood, you want to volunteer, you work with other social media partners to volunteer to make phone calls to our seniors to make sure that people’s physical and mental health needs are met. I want to remind everybody of the importance of continuing to work collaboratively. Listen to your local health directors that pay an outsized role at this moment and continue to advance the spirit of collaboration and cooperation that we’ve all had over the course of the last few months. We want to maintain that status of collaboration and cooperation as well.
Gavin Newsom: (19:11)
So with that, of course, we’re happy to answer any questions.
Speaker 1: (19:15)
Jill Cowan, New York Times.
Jill Cowan: (19:19)
Hi, governor. Thank you so much for your time. I’m hoping you could clarify a bit what you mean when you use the term nation state. For instance, if you see California as a nation state, how is that premise shaping the collaboration you just mentioned with the other west coast states and their governors, is that somehow separate from work with the federal government? And also I’ll just have to ask, you mentioned at one point, Disneyland as a nation state, so would you still describe Disneyland that way?
Gavin Newsom: (19:45)
Yeah, I don’t recall Disneyland. I guess it’s a choice of words that sort of gives you a sense of the scale and scope. When you have a state that’s larger than the populations of 21 plus states combined, it gives you a sense of the magnitude and scale of the nation’s largest state, the world’s fifth largest economy, the most diverse state in the world’s most diverse democracy, over 27% of us foreign born. Our purchasing power allows us to do things, so it’s in that spirit. I think people have taken a little liberty of being a little literal and trying to create wedges. There’s a little bit of politics being played on all sides in that frame, but it’s a point of pride and spirit that California has, for decades, seen itself and that light as again, our nation’s largest state with all the power and potential that it has, all the resources that reside within it.
Gavin Newsom: (20:44)
More scientists, more researchers, more Nobel laureates, more patents, more venture capital than any other part of the globe to find a system of higher education, public higher education anywhere in the world, higher education, more broadly. Define it’s again, points of pride, but it also a point of principle that we collaborate. That’s in our DNA. That’s part of our spirit and that we recognize, one size does not fit all. You can’t manage a state this large, this diverse in every way, shape or form, ethnically, racially, religiously on the basis of geography without recognizing a bottom up construct. Localism so often is determinative and we extend that consideration to the partnerships we form to seek in other states, large and small, but with humbleness always in our heart, but with an eye always on the future where we are always or have long always been pointed.
Speaker 1: (21:44)
Carla Marinucci, Politico.
Carla Marinucci: (21:47)
Hi governor. As you know, the president tweeted over the weekend, “Let it be fully understood that the decision to open the states is his.” He said he’s working closely with the governors. Did you get any warning from President Trump or has he talked to you about this tweet and what’s your specific response to him that his decision would supersede the governors? And just one more thing. He also retweeted a California Republican who called her firing Anthony Fauci. [inaudible 00:22:14] reaction to that move?
Gavin Newsom: (22:16)
Yeah, well unpack all of it. I think Dr. Fauci, again, who we’re very familiar with out here on the west coast, particularly those of us from Northern California in the Bay area because of his heroic work during the HIV and AIDS crisis. He was a man of integrity, remarkable character then, and continues to be today.
Gavin Newsom: (22:38)
Number two, on the issue of collaboration and coordination, cooperation with the federal government. I’ve been crystal clear that that’s been afforded us and I have all the confidence in the world moving forward that we’ll maintain that collaborative spirit in terms of the decision making that we make here within the state of California as it relates to a roadmap for recovery, a roadmap to get back to some semblance of normalcy. And so that’s where we are this moment and I’m confident we’ll maintain that status.
Speaker 1: (23:10)
Alexei Koseff, SF Chronicle.
Alexei Koseff: (23:14)
Hi governor. So looking at this statement that you just put out with your fellow governors, it seems like more of a statement of principles than a actual plan for getting the economy back open. So is what coming tomorrow, something that, a more detailed kind of a plan that you expect to lay out for how we’re doing that? And is there anything specific, any particular data that you saw that made you feel we’ve reached the point where we can start having this discussion now about emerging from the social distancing?
Gavin Newsom: (23:55)
Yeah, so the answer is absolutely yes. The first part of your question. The second part of the question is about the data, and I think you’ve seen with our-
Gavin Newsom: (24:03)
… modeling that because of the extraordinary work, 40 million Californians have done abiding by the stay at home orders, practicing physical distancing that we’ve been able to significantly bend that curve. And that’s a proof point of the data that has allowed us to feel more confident in terms of socializing conversations we’ve been having for weeks and weeks and weeks. Conversations we’ve had for about a week specifically with the governors of those two respective States.
Gavin Newsom: (24:36)
And again back to your first part of the question tomorrow, yes, we will be laying out California’s specific strategy and framework. So you can get a sense of the questions that we are looking to ask and get answered at every level of government. The dynamic nature of this where there is no pinpointed date where we’ll do X and Y without having all of those questions answered in advanced wide, scientifically based, why it’s based on public health data and why it’s a vexing prospect for every governor across this country, including the president himself. To figure out a way of doing this where we don’t invite a second wave or we don’t let down our guard and we don’t put ourselves in a position where we regret moving too quickly.
Gavin Newsom: (25:25)
And so you’ll see that laid out in detailed terms. You’ll by definition through that process I imagine many, many questions and that’s expected. Because again, this is an intra process; moving from containment to mitigation, to surge, next phase suppression and ultimately that herd immunity vaccine. And so that’s how we will be categorizing that framework and that presentation tomorrow.
Speaker 2: (25:54)
Speaker 3: (25:59)
Hi, Governor, I’m wondering if you can give us an update on the big equipment announcement you made last week? Have you indeed been able to move forward with those contracts with the collaboration of lawmakers? And are you still expecting that those supplies will start coming in on the timeline that you laid out last week?
Gavin Newsom: (26:21)
Yeah, nothing suggests they won’t. Let me give you some broad strokes and to the extent that they may be insufficient to answer the detailed question. I’ll ask Director Gilladucci to come up, but here are the broad strokes. We have teams on the ground, two facilities in China doing audits, doing factory visits. We’re not the only ones. As you know, this was a collaborative partnership with our federal partners. They’re doing the same.
Gavin Newsom: (26:50)
We are looking to make sure we do not procure what is not authorized and ultimately is not validated. We have confidence in that. We have people on the ground this week. Not only federal partners, not only our own efforts, but we have the partnerships of some of the largest healthcare distributors in the world. McKesson, Cardinal, a few others that are doing the same as their procurement requires the same considerations.
Gavin Newsom: (27:23)
The FDA components and the NIOSH certification and then testing lab that we are working with to make sure that the supplies that are sent are tested for and validated in Utah. So that gives you a sort of broad strokes. Forgive me, that’s off the top of my head of where we are in that contract. Perhaps the director can be a little bit more prescriptive and answer any more of those concerns.
Director Gilladucci: (27:53)
All right. Thanks Governor. Look, on this particular contract, the big contract that we entered into with BOYD America, the focus has been and continues to be on being able to provide and obtain that necessary PPE. Predominantly the N95 mask and surgical mask that we need to support our first line health care workers and other first responders.
Director Gilladucci: (28:21)
Through that process we have done a number of things to ensure for the commodities that we’re going to get in the timelines that we’ve set forth. We engaged directly with a California based company, which is really something that gave us that opportunity to have a direct connection day to day without having to worry about time frames and different parts of the world. And we focused their ability in being able to, to provide the PPE that we were looking for.
Director Gilladucci: (28:52)
That company had an extensive vetting that was done. Not only by us but have been done by companies that the Governor had mentioned; McKessons, the Cardinals, the Medlines, these are all large US-based firms that are also going to be sourcing out of this particular manufacturer.
Director Gilladucci: (29:12)
We made sure by putting provisions in our contract language that protect California taxpayers in the state and have firm delivery metrics that are all necessary to meet the timelines that we’ve set forth. And the contingencies in the contract that ensure that all the products that we get meet testing standards, including FDA and NIOSH certifications.
Director Gilladucci: (29:35)
And lastly, we’ve been working through this jointly with our partners at the federal government, specifically FEMA throughout the procurement process. And then we will be partnering with them as the commodities come in to not only supply all of us in California but to also support the federal government, particularly FEMA in the FEMA region and supporting some of their needs as well. So there’s been a lot of very intensive, very cross coordinated efforts to ensure that these materials will come in, in the timeframe and get the certifications that they’re required. And if they don’t, then we have provisions to address that accordingly.
Gavin Newsom: (30:20)
Sorry, I should have just answered. Yes. So far we feel like we’re well within that timeline, a plus or minus a few days, but process as we had anticipated is going exactly as we had anticipated. Next question.
Speaker 2: (30:33)
Terry Muna LA Times.
Terry Muna: (30:35)
Governor, can you provide more information about what key metric you guys are watching to determine when you can begin that transition back to normalcy?
Gavin Newsom: (30:44)
Terry Muna: (30:44)
And we’re also curious if you guys have a new peak date given that we’re seeing numbers below estimate?
Gavin Newsom: (30:53)
Yeah, I know. So look, tomorrow we will make those metrics, the guidelines, the interventions, the protocols and what that may look like. We’ll give those to you in detail and that will frame both parts of your question. And so just know we look forward to engaging you at this time tomorrow and making a presentation that I think will do justice to my constant effort to preview it.
Gavin Newsom: (31:21)
So we want to make sure you know this is a process that we’ve been underway for some time working to now socialize it with you publicly and be able to answer those questions tomorrow.
Speaker 2: (31:33)
Kathleen Rodane AP.
Kathleen Rodane: (31:37)
Hi Governor. So the head of OES just spoke a little bit about some of the kind of quality control measures we’ve done in our contract related to this new procurement of masks. But Vice news did an article over the weekend about some kind of longterm quality issues with the company, BYD on their buses and other things that they have made.
Kathleen Rodane: (31:59)
So, were you aware of the history of quality issues with this company before we sign the contract? And two, your administration so far has refused to release the contract publicly. I know the AP has made that request. I understand lawmakers have as well. Do you have plans to publicly release that? So that the public can see the details and verify these quality control measures that your administration is asserting had been put in place?
Gavin Newsom: (32:28)
I’ll let the director come back up and talk specifically about the contract.
Director Gilladucci: (32:37)
Thanks governor. I think the question that you have is, is whether or not we plan to release the contract yet? The answer is yes, we do. We were still in the final negotiation phases and there were still some issues associated with ensuring that language that needed to be placed in was done so. Shortly after that, that contract will be released.
Director Gilladucci: (33:03)
The other thing is that I think the other part of your question had to do with the quality control mechanisms that were put in place and those quality control mechanisms really are being done through a series of onsite. Audits by not only that we’ll be doing, but audits that are being done by the large pharmaceutical medical supply companies that are also sourcing from this company and then also by the federal government.
Director Gilladucci: (33:33)
Ultimately what the objective of getting the NIOSH FDA certifications of these products. The issues around the company and its work in the electric bus area really is separate to what we’re focusing in on here and their ability to deliver and manufacturer N95 masks in the timeframe and the scale and the and the scope that we and the federal government need them as well as these large US based companies. And so far there has been nothing that we have been able to find in that effort that would indicate or suggest otherwise that they cannot deliver.
Gavin Newsom: (34:20)
All right. Next question.
Speaker 2: (34:21)
Andrea Laheart, Kaiser Health News.
Andrea Laheart: (34:25)
Thank you governor. This is a followup question to what we discussed briefly on Friday. Do you believe that California could have achieved the gains that you are seeing that it has made so far without that early and aggressive action that we saw from the Bay Area? And then I wonder if looking back at lessons learned, if you feel the state could have been a little more aggressive in it’s action’s out the gate?
Gavin Newsom: (34:52)
I’m very proud of the work that’s been done across the spectrum from counties, large and small, elected leaders of all political parties that have really done their best and to the extent we’ll have that opportunity to really review and get a better sense of what we could have done better, more appropriately and when.
Gavin Newsom: (35:13)
I will certainly have time to do that. But right now I’m just very proud of the state of California for leading. The state was the first, the stay at home order. This is the state was first to request that all seniors 65 and over a stay at home. We were very aggressive on mass gatherings that counties led. Those counties are not only familiar to me. I had the privilege of being for over two decades a member of a city and county that certainly has demonstrably led San Francisco as a County supervisor and as a mayor, not surprising the Bay Area leading in this respect and it goes to the point I made about Dr Fauci. There’s acuity and sensitivity and recognition around health care and health care crises that has really been shaped since ’70s and ’80s with HIV and AIDS, and we’re proud-
Gavin Newsom: (36:03)
… of that and that’s sort of part of the DNA. And so that’s how those of us that grew up in and around that region, those of us had the privilege of participating as elected officials and public servants representing those areas. It’s part of the package, we all are expected to consider and advance and I think it’s because we’ve been highly sensitized to them. And so I’ll say it for the third time, I said it last week, I said in response to your question, I’ll repeat the response. Couldn’t be more proud of those counties for their leadership.
Speaker 4: (36:41)
Sharon Bernstein, Reuters.
Sharon Bernstein: (36:44)
Hi governor. Thank you so much for taking my question. I was wondering if you could address the question of where in the state we’re seeing cases still continue to grow a little more quickly and where it’s leveling off. It does seem like the statewide, if you look just at the statewide numbers, it may be masking some areas such as the Sacramento area where the number of cases is still rising.
Gavin Newsom: (37:10)
Yeah, well in the aggregate, the case numbers are rising, the number of positives, the number of hospitalizations, the number of patients in our ICUs. And I want to remind people of that. That’s why it’s incredibly important to continue to do what we’ve done to help mitigate that until these lines turn in the opposite direction. But to your point and your question, let me ask Dr. Angel to come up because you’re right, we don’t live in the aggregate and the experience we have is very different depending on what part of the state we reside in. Dr Angel.
Dr. Angel: (37:45)
Thank you governor and thank you also for your question. I think it’s a very important one because it really leads to us thinking about where our resources need to go and where our communities are really stepping up and we should be so proud of them for that. You’re right in that there is variation across our state and it varies based upon urban density, absolutely. And there are some counties that we know have been kind of hotspots earlier in the movement and the transmission of a COVID-19 and many of them continue to be. Although many have taken very aggressive action and like the state at large should be very proud of their capacity really to push down the numbers.
Dr. Angel: (38:24)
I would also suggest caution in interpreting the numbers too specifically because we know that testing is something that we are still ramping up. Testing is not uniform across the state, it is still being prioritized for those places where we know individuals need that information because they’re hospitalized in order to make the best medical decisions or because their case may be of great concern because of underlying comorbidities. And also testing is being ramped up in areas where there may have been transmission in spaces that we need to be very cautious and aggressive about. That includes in our congregate settings, in our jails and prisons, and amongst other areas like for the homeless population where we have shelters.
Dr. Angel: (39:09)
So again, very important to understand where those areas are. We are following them very closely and working with our locals to make sure that when those cases pop up and need additional assistance we’re there. And we are following and expanding testing as we’ve discussed to make sure that we understand the movement of disease and we’ll be ramping that up very specifically over the next couple of weeks in particular as we understand and plan for future movement around opening up and thinking about transitions in our policies.
Gavin Newsom: (39:43)
Thank you, doctor. Next question.
Speaker 4: (39:45)
Nicole Nixon, Capital Public Radio.
Nicole Nixon: (39:49)
Hi governor, you have said that you need to craft a completely new budget. I’m just wondering if you have a timeline for that and if you have a ballpark estimate for how much coronavirus will eat up.
Gavin Newsom: (40:01)
We are still putting that together. We do have a ballpark estimate but we’re still working via the details of that. We have legislative oversight hearings later this week, so a lot of this information will be made very public I think on Thursday. We are putting together our presentations. Our teams have been working collaboratively with legislative counterparts to begin the process of really looking at the economic toll the virus has taken from a general fund perspective and then from a support structure need, and how we can do both at once, and that is address a shortfall in revenue from what we projected.
Gavin Newsom: (40:39)
At the same time we need to increase our investments and not only addressing the pandemic head on to your question, but also the impact that pandemic has had from a socioeconomic lens on those that are most vulnerable, which are always top of mind in terms of our area of focus. So later this week you’ll be hearing more specifics, but the May revise is forthcoming. That’s constitutionally required of our administration to present that to the legislature and we are working very collaborative with them to get a budget that is balanced as we’re constitutionally obliged.
Speaker 4: (41:13)
Final question, Laurel Rosenhall CalMatters.
Lauren Rosenhall: (41:14)
Thanks so much. Just to follow up on the question that was raised about the concerns of the quality of past products that BYD has made, why did you go ahead and make this enormous contract with this company given their track record of problematic products?
Gavin Newsom: (41:38)
Well, we’re confident we will not be procuring any products that don’t meet FDA approval, NIOSH approval, that do not meet our contractual approval. We have a contract that I’ll put up against any other in terms of our capacity to make those assessments in real time. I mentioned the partnerships that we had formed with some of the largest distributors in the world, from McKesson to Cardinal, among many others, and of course our partnership with FEMA. All of this was done in concert and in collaboration.
Gavin Newsom: (42:12)
In addition to that, as you know, I referenced just a moment ago testing a product that must be done for certification purposes. Some of that testing is already being done on the product for purposes of approval from the FDA and NIOSH. That’s a lab in Utah and we have the capacity to cancel if they do not meet the needs and our specs. So we’re confident in that respect.
Gavin Newsom: (42:36)
Let me also just express confidence in all of you to continue to practice physical distancing, to continue to stay the course, the stay at home order, to continue the good work that has allowed us the opportunity to now begin within the next day to present to you a framework of interventions and strategies to address the next iteration and phase as we move through this process around surge to the issues of suppression, ultimately through treatment and the herd immunity that will get us around time of a vaccine. And so that will be forthcoming tomorrow.
Gavin Newsom: (43:16)
You’ll hear more about our economic development strategies as well later in the week and the teams that we have put together to break down every segment of our economy to really start looking at how we could jumpstart our economic engine in the state of California. And for the purposes of just updating, you want folks to know, and I couldn’t be more proud of Julie Su, folks over at EDD. Those are the folks that distribute those unemployment insurance checks. Some 224,000 went out yesterday with $1,200 attached from the federal government, and they’re $600 a week contributions. Again, these go out on a bimonthly basis of $1,200. I think we’re one of the first States to get those checks processed and transferred. Hundreds of thousands, millions more will get out as quickly as humanly possible, but I want to just acknowledge their team for a job well done.
Gavin Newsom: (44:10)
So let’s continue the good work and I look forward tomorrow talking about some of our new strategies and new information around transitioning and getting this economy and getting this state back on its feet. Thank you everybody.