Apr 16, 2020

Gov. Gavin Newsom California COVID-19 Briefing Transcript April 16

Gavin Newsom Briefing April 16
RevBlogTranscriptsCalifornia Governor Gavin Newsom TranscriptsGov. Gavin Newsom California COVID-19 Briefing Transcript April 16

Governor Gavin Newsom held a press conference on coronavirus today, April 16. Read the full transcript here.


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Governor Gavin Newsom: (00:05)
Well, good afternoon. Forgive us for starting a little bit later today. I wanted to respect a phone call that we just had with the President of United States, the Vice-President, Dr. Fauci and others with governors all across this country as they began to socialize the guidelines that will be made public later this evening at six o’clock East Coast time related to guidelines for a phased reopening of the American economy.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (00:32)
Without getting into any details, the booklet is being sent out in real time to states large and small across this country. We haven’t had time to review the booklet and the guidelines in detail, but I do want to extend just in broad strokes, appreciation for what I heard from the President as it relates to recognizing the differentiation that exists and persist in terms of conditions in counties, not just in states, across this nation. And a willingness to recognize and extend that very directly to governors of the need for a phased approach, a thoughtful and judicious approach, based upon conditions and based upon the need to act with the kind of specificity at a state by state level that is required.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:22)
So broad strokes I just want to acknowledge the words, the President and the Vice-President and their presentation. It’s ongoing. Forgive me for having to step away, but I do want to provide our own announcements today and we have a few people on the phone and didn’t want to delay them away from their business any longer as well. Yesterday we announced specific strategies to address the needs for unemployed Californians and to do more and do better to quickly turn around unemployment insurance checks. To set up a new PUA program, pandemic uninsured, a new system in this state for individual contractors and small individual owners of businesses. We also laid out strategies to help those that otherwise fell through the cracks in terms of the federal stimulus programs.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (02:13)
Today, I want to talk about those essential workers that are not unemployed, that are every single day waking up and putting on their uniforms of sorts to take care of you and me and that’s the folks on the front lines of our food delivery system. I want to talk about work we’re doing to support that sector and to support specifically the food chain in the state of California. When I speak of the food sector and when I think of terms of the food chain, I think about the people that grow our food, the people that pick our food, the people that pack our food, deliver our food, cook, serve and sell our food. That’s the food chain in the state of California, broadly defined.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (03:01)
And that sector by definition is essential to our livelihoods and our capacity to meet just basic needs through this pandemic. And that sector in particular has been hard hit by strife, by challenges in terms of health and safety, by concerns around what is happening within food processing plants, meat packing plants. Not just, by the way, in the state of California, but you’ve seen headlines all across America to clean South Dakota related to the same. This is a serious issue and it requires a serious response and a much more comprehensive response then we have currently offered. And so today, just an hour or so ago, I signed a statewide executive order impacting the entire food chain, an entire sector that will allow for two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave for workers that have contracted COVID-19 been exposed to it or have been exposed to isolation or quarantine orders by local health officials, federal and or state health officials.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (04:11)
I hope this will significantly address some of the anxiety our farm workers have, anxiety our fast food workers have anxiety around the delivery of our food and those workers have about their own health. We don’t want you going to work if you’re sick. And we want to make sure that you know that if you’re sick, it’s okay to acknowledge it and it’s okay to let your employer know and still know that you’re going to get a supplemental paycheck for a minimum of two weeks.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (04:41)
And so I want to just thank the grocer industry broadly. I want to thank UFCW, unions large and small all across the state of California for working with us and many leaders across the spectrum, including a wonderful conversation I had yesterday with the Latino Caucus that really brought up the importance of focusing on those that pick and pack our food as essential workers. And the dignity of that work and the importance of protecting them at this time of crisis and need.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (05:14)
But there are two people in particular I want to thank individually representing the California Grocers Association and representing UFCW. And that is Ron Fong and John Grant. They’re both on the phone and they have done something very important and that is they’ve worked across differences. They’ve worked together in a collaborative spirit to address some of the needs of some of the largest grocery store chains in America that happened to be here in the state of California. And one of the largest grocer unions, commercial and food workers unions in America as well. And they really started to on the needs for sanitation, for hand-washing, for breaks to do the same, to address the cleanliness of bathrooms for their workforce and to make sure that you’re protected, but those workers are protected.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (06:10)
John Grant has been an extraordinary leader of his union and John reminded me, and I made this point a few weeks back, that the grocery lines are also the front lines of this pandemic. The essential needs all of us have of going to the grocery store and knowing those stores are stocked and knowing what is essential is made available in real time. When this pandemic began to take shape, all of us were struggling to respond to a little bit of binge buying, particularly toilet paper and certain types of breads and meats. That raised some supply chain concerns, some logistic warehousing concerns, not just concerns from grocery workers themselves.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (06:52)
We reached out to the California grocers association. We talked about what their needs were. We reached out to the union to talk about what their needs were and they collectively have worked out a framework to agree to a framework to support supplemental paid sick leave and also to address the sanitation issues. But no one better to describe what they have advanced and what they have done to help me guiding the larger sector wide executive order than the two people I’ll introduce to you briefly. And I’ll start with the head of the California Grocers Association who’s on the phone and make a comment or two and turn it over to John representing the unions. And then talk a little bit more specifically about their leadership after they have a chance to talk more about what advances they’ve made in terms of an accord. John, are we going to start with you?

John Grant: (07:57)

Governor Gavin Newsom: (07:57)
Great. John Grant.

John Grant: (08:00)
Thank you. Yes, thank you Governor Newsom for everything and for especially today recognizing the importance and the value of all the workers in the food chain and the incredible role that they’re playing in keeping our communities fed. It’s the public safety and the safety of all workers in our food chain, from the fields to the grocery store checkout stands, that’s of critical importance. We have been proud and are proud to work collaboratively with your office and with Ron and the California Grocers Association to keep people fed and the community safe during this unprecedented crisis. Thank you again for listening to frontline workers and for granting paid sick leave to all of our food chain workers.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (08:49)
I appreciate that John and thank you for your leadership. I’ll talk a little bit more about that in a moment. I would like to ask now, Mr. Fong, if he’s on the line to say a few words as well.

Ron Fong: (09:01)
Thank you, Governor. First of all, we applaud your action, which provides some clarity and some added comfort really to our valued employees and customers that are a consistent set of best practices being followed for all essential retail stores in California. The top priority of every grocery store has always been the health and safety of our employees and our shoppers, which has taken on obviously an increased importance during this public health crisis. We really welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with you, your administration, industry partners, and our organized labor friends to ensure consistent standards in all essential retail stores, including grocery which will protect employees and shoppers, and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thank you again, Governor, for your leadership and this opportunity.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (09:53)
No, again, to both you, Ron and John, we just really extend our heartfelt thanks for all that you’ve done to keep those supply chains-

Governor Gavin Newsom: (10:03)
… thanks for all that you’ve done to keep those supply chains open, to continue to keep your minds open to the needs of one another. You deal at a scale unlike any other state because the size and scope of this state and your industry is just foundational to our capacity to deliver the basic needs and necessities for 40 million Californians. Again, I cannot impress upon you more and others more our gratitude to both of you for advancing that collective cause and helping again guide our larger sector-wide commitment through this executive order, again, impacting not just grocery stores but the sector-wide executive order providing the two weeks supplemental sick leave also extends to delivery services to those larger fast-food chains as well as agricultural workers among others. Thank you both. I’m very, again, grateful to our entire team including Julie Su who we introduced yesterday on unemployment insurance for all their work as well. There’s an OSHA component to this as it relates to health and safety guidelines that we collectively as a group worked on together to make sure that those front-line workers are protected and healthy.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (11:19)
Let me just make one final point about our grocery workers and our pharmacists as well and food workers. A lot of folks could easily dial it in, file for unemployment insurance, call it a day, wait for this thing to pass, but there’s dignity with work and no one that I know of in this essential workforce has done that. With dignity comes respect and admiration because you’ve not only dignified yourselves as front-line grocer workers, but you’ve done it at a great cost. You put your personal health on the line every single day.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (11:57)
I’ll confess, myself included, sometimes we go to a grocery store, we’re not always our best selves because of the stress all of us are bringing to bear in those lines, some large, some short, long and short. I just want to compliment you for holding that line and continuing to help us reduce our own stresses.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (12:23)
You’re not spending as much time with your kids and your families and I just want you to know, I heard a few grocery workers say this, we’re called essential workers, but increasingly we feel like we’re disposable. I want you to know you’re not disposable. You are essential and you’re valued and I want from the bottom of my heart to extend my deep admiration and appreciation to you, those farm workers and everybody else that every day are unsung heroes that need to be called out at this moment for, yes, meeting this moment.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (12:56)
Let me give you a brief update, we transition here to our daily briefing, in terms of the total number of lives that are lost, families torn asunder. Yesterday, I noted 63 deaths, that it was among the highest number of deaths total that we had recorded over a 24-hour period. Today’s numbers are 69 individuals that passed away over the last 24 hours. 890 souls have been lost since the beginning of this pandemic.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (13:25)
It’s a reminder, a very sober reminder, particularly in relationship to the announcement we made a few days ago about the conditions we’re looking for for a phased approach to begin to pull back on our stay-at-home order and the announcement the president will be making later this afternoon in Washington DC, that we’re not out of the woods, that we need to continue to be vigilant. We need to continue to practice physical distancing. We need to continue to not just bend the curve but flatten the curve and then see these trend lines begin to decline substantially so that we can begin the process of toggling back and forth in terms of looser and in some cases more restrictive protocols to get back to some sense of normalcy.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (14:13)
In that regard, let me update you on the two numbers again, in addition to the death rate, that are the most important for us in terms of guiding those decision making, or that decision making, and that’s the total number of people in the ICUs and the total number of people that are hospitalized. 1,191 individuals are in our ICU as of yesterday. It represents a 1.4% increase day to day. You saw there was a modest decrease yesterday in ICUs, we’re seeing a modest increase today in the number of people in our ICUs. 3,141 individuals, 3,141 individuals currently hospitalized. This is encouraging. We saw a modest decline in the total number of hospitalizations, 0.9% versus yesterday.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (15:05)
Hospitalization numbers as we’ve seen have begun to flatten. The growth has begun to come down, but the growth has been coming down. Now we’re seeing for one of the first days since this pandemic a modest decrease in hospitalizations. That’s good news, but again, I caution everybody, one day’s data point does not make a trend. A trend needs not make a headline until we have some certainty over the course of a larger period and longer period of time.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (15:34)
Speaking of a period of time, I want to extend great appreciation for those of you that have joined our core of volunteers over the period of the last number of weeks. It is remarkable the number of people that have gone to the serv.ca.gov website, serve.ca.gov website, to sign up Cal volunteers and others to help support our food banks which are also essential, from farm to food bank, essential at this time of need. We continue to encourage and hope for more volunteers and just want to encourage you and hope that if you are interested, you go to that website, serve.ca.gov, and learn more about how you could contribute not just in terms of volunteering at a food bank but also ways of giving blood and also ways of giving your time and energy and attention to those most in need and most vulnerable at this moment of crisis.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (16:33)
That’s it in broad strokes where we are today. I’m very grateful for the incredible work and partnership in the food sector and very honored to make the announcement we did today on paid supplemental sick leave. Again, this is something for those, just final point on this, for those that were not part of the federal supports. These are for the larger sector employers, so we are dealing with the gap in that system. It’s a quite profound gap, but we believe we have closed that significantly with this executive order today.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (17:12)
Happy now to take any questions.

Speaker 1: (17:13)
Katie Orr, KQED.

Katie Orr: (17:17)
Governor, you’ve said that your goal by the end of the month is to have 25,000 tests done a day, and in your roadmap you say that we need the ability to monitor and protect communities through testing. Is that the same number? Are you looking for 25,000 tests a day to fulfill that requirement or is there a different number you’re looking for?

Governor Gavin Newsom: (17:40)
Yeah. No, that came from our task force report. By the way, 18,800 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours. We’ve been able to substantially address the backlog in terms of the test results, so we are indeed making progress pursuant to that task force and their specific recommendations and the metrics that were inherent in that announcement. You’re correct, the goal and the expectation that I have is north of 25,000; 25,000 being a baseline. But to answer your question more specifically, no, we’ll need to broaden still our testing capacity, broaden still our ability to do community surveillance in this state.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (18:21)
Interestingly, again, I am cautious, I don’t like talking out of school about a private conversation the president was just having, perhaps it’s still having with governors across this country, but he led with a focus and an appreciation the need to do more testing and maintained that the federal government will be doing much more still in that space, which will only further help our efforts. We are certainly not attaching ourselves to the federal efforts, but we’re encouraged to hear more in that space.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (18:54)
But this, clearly, is to your point and it’s one of our six frameworks for reintroducing a new statewide recommendations and guidelines is a predicate testing, the ability to trace, again, isolate and quarantine. We today talked, our first order of business, our early morning meeting about all of these new divisions of labor related to those six work groups that we have convened. As I committed to you yesterday, I’ll reinforce it again today, on a weekly basis, I’ll be updating you on every task force and where they are pursuant to those guidelines we put out earlier in the week so everybody is up to speed in real time in terms of where we are across the panoply of guidelines that we put out, not just testing.

Speaker 1: (19:48)
Carla Rico, Univision Fresno.

Carla Rico: (19:51)
Governor, thank you. I thank you and all those who are thinking about the undocumented in California. We want to ask you, how soon will we know the means or those organizations that will be getting the money and how soon can people-

Speaker 2: (20:03)
Those are the stations that will be getting the money, and how soon can people that are going to need the help will start to be able to get the money? Also, you said yesterday that there will be no need of personal information, and we were wondering, so if there’s no need of personal information, how can you keep track of who is getting the money or how many people will be getting the money? Who’s going to oversee the money that’s going to get from the state to organizations and from the organizations out to those who really need it? Finally, I wanted to confirm with you, this money, either the $500 or a $1,000 that people will be getting, they will not have to pay it back?

Governor Gavin Newsom: (20:40)
No, it is direct disaster relief. Direct disaster assistance will not have to be paid back. $500 per individual up to $1,000 per household, and you are correct. We’re working with community-based organizations, and we have oversight through the Department of Social Services led by Kim Johnson. That’s the answer to the question of who. That’s the individual, her team. That’s the agency, and their departments will be responsible and accountable for organizing the distribution of these funds and responsible and accountable for making sure that none of the personal information is brought in to the state government, so we can protect people’s privacy. However, at the distribution front, we have the CBOs that we’ll be processing individuals and will be responsible for tracking those distributions and those dollars.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (21:36)
Again, we begin by providing a minimum of $5 million for CBOs whose names will appear on our covid19.ca.gov website. Covid19.ca.gov website very shortly. I was told as early as this afternoon, but I was told that a few hours ago and did not get a followup to my question exactly what we’re putting up, but they they’ve told me they’re putting out the guidelines and providing a Q&A of frequently asked questions so we can anticipate not only the questions you just asked, but anticipate the questions. Hundreds of thousands of Californians will be asking about this program. Expect to see that up in a culturally competent way. It will be translated into seven different languages and has already been translated into Spanish.

Speaker 3: (22:29)
Amanda Carroll, KSBK.

Amanda Carroll: (22:35)
Thank you for taking my question. I’m curious about the homeless. You said that they are a priority in protecting our homeless, yet I’ve discovered there’s such a delay in getting them to the trailers at Cal Expo. As of Monday they were still empty, and there’s reports of San Francisco shelters being empty. Were you aware of this, and what do you think about how long this is taking protect our homeless and what could we do better?

Governor Gavin Newsom: (23:02)
Yeah. Look, at the end of the day, we are providing resources and I mean resources at historic levels. $800 million to cities and counties and what we refer to as COCs, and we are providing not just trailers but thousands and thousands and thousands of hotel rooms, of which the state working with FEMA through Project Roomkey specifically is targeting reimbursements that will allow us to provide for an unprecedented number of isolated spaces for our most vulnerable Californians.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (23:37)
Let me be very specific with you. On Saturday, we will be making a very specific announcement of where we are with project Roomkey, what the total occupancy is by region in the state, not only for hotel rooms but also for the trailers themselves. To answer to your question, I deeply recognize the disparities within cities and counties about how quickly some people are utilizing the resources the state has been making available and how others are still struggling to do that and how we can help support those that aren’t able to quickly amass their resources to match our resources, so expect that coming up on Saturday.

Speaker 3: (24:22)
Rachel Bluth, Kaiser Health News.

Rachel Bluth: (24:26)
Hi, governor. You said that you wanted to broaden the state’s test capacity. I was hoping that you could walk us through specifically where you think California’s testing shortfalls are and where you think California needs to do better.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (24:45)
I think primarily this has been a mantra of ours, and we’ve said it, I think, yesterday, day before, last week, week prior. The most important I think we can attach to the testing is equity. That’s the lens through which we see the world. It is foundational, and that’s where we must do better. We need to be much bolder in that space to provide communities that so often are left out of the opportunity, allow them to avail themselves of the opportunity of not only being tested but treated as well. This remains a major issue. Those with means, those with resources, those with contacts and relationships traditionally across the spectrum, not just on testing but across the spectrum find opportunities of support often ahead of the line of others, so it’s incumbent upon government to be there protecting the most vulnerable. That remains the top priority of our task force and top priority of Dr. Ghaly, who’s leading those task force efforts.

Speaker 3: (25:49)
Doug Sovern, KCBS.

Doug Sovern: (25:52)
Governor, I’m wondering, we’re told that the president told you today that the governors can call their own shots, and that while he wants everyone opened May 1st, if you can open sooner, great. If you need to open later, that’s fine. It’s up to you. Given that, what practical impact, if any, is his guidance and whatever he’s going to say later today publicly going to have on when and how California reopens and how you proceed? Does it really matter? It sounds like he is leaving it essentially up to you. And one other question. As you know, Bernie Sanders, President Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Adam Schiff, many people have endorsed Joe Biden this week more than a month ago. Your preferred candidate, Kamala Harris did. Are you intending to endorse Joe Biden some time soon, and if so, when?

Governor Gavin Newsom: (26:38)
You’ve just reminded me of politics.

Doug Sovern: (26:40)
[inaudible 00:00:26:43].

Governor Gavin Newsom: (26:40)
Candidly, I’ve been so focused on COVID-19, I haven’t been asked. I appreciate that question, and I certainly look forward to. But in relationship to the more pressing question in terms of the immediate needs of 40 million Californians, you are correct. Glad you said it. I didn’t say it. Having participated in that phone call for the first 40 minutes, unfortunately had to engage with you. Not unfortunately, but my responsibility was to engage with you, so I had to pull away from the conference call. I heard the same words from the president, and that was, as they said, encouraging. I don’t know what will be said tonight, and I also caution, as I said just in the outset of this, this briefing that we haven’t yet received the booklet, so when we do, we’ll have a better sense of how it aligns with the protocols, procedures, the processes that we laid out a number of days ago. But based upon the early input or at least early discussion we had on that phone call, it certainly was in line with what we were hoping to hear.

Speaker 3: (27:49)
Taryn Luna, LA Times.

Taryn Luna: (27:49)
Governor, you’ve acknowledged the economic toll the shuts by the stay home order, from mass employment, a recession that’s going to take a long time to dig out of, other unrelated health issues, students losing access to education, and at the same time you’ve also talked a lot about the goal of the order to prevent hospitals from being overrun with sick patients and prevent Californians from potentially dying. Can you explain how you weigh the risks posed by the virus versus the consequences of the shutdown?

Governor Gavin Newsom: (28:19)
Well, we make those adjustments. We do that analysis every single morning, every single day. We’re constantly iterating, constantly toggling, as I said, back and forth in terms of our approach on this. Look, the reason we put out the guidelines, the reason we socialized those a number of days ago, the reason we brought you into that conversation and unveiled the six core areas was to example more prescriptively how we will go about making decisions as we balance those issues. You’re right. Those are the issues we’re all struggling with and all trying to balance.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (28:56)
That said, let me just give you an update on the conversation we had this first thing this morning. I gave you the death numbers. I gave you a sense of our anxiety still around the hospitalization numbers, with the exception of today, not having yet gone down. Just the rate of growth beginning to slow down, but we’re still seeing hotspots throughout the state of California. In Tulare, another skilled nursing facility. We get updated on a daily basis on what’s happening in real time all across the state, so I remind everybody we talk so often as states, as a nation in the aggregate. We talk about numbers in the aggregate. Those ICU numbers are the aggregate. The hospitalization numbers, aggregate, but none of us live in the aggregate. Our experience is completely unique. We live with our own set of eyes on the basis of what’s happening in our diverse communities, county by county, census track by census track, neighborhood by neighborhood, and while some of our hospitals have a substantial capacity, others … I got a few calls …

Governor Gavin Newsom: (30:03)
… have a substantial capacity. Others, I got few calls from hospitals yesterday that were using up to 80% of their ventilators. Despite the fact we have over 9,357 ventilators that are not being used in our entire hospital system. It just gives you a sense of how we have to manage through this with nuance and precision and specificity and not lose sight of our status as the nation’s largest state. Many parts, one body,

Speaker 4: (30:34)
Jeremy White, Politico.

Jeremy White: (30:36)
Hey governor, my question about your conversation with the president has kind of already been covered, so I wanted to talk to you about Elon Musk asking you to correct the record about whether or not those ventilators you promised were supplied to hospitals. Your administration had said that it has not gotten information they were received. Elon Musk claims that they work. Can you clarify what’s going on here?

Governor Gavin Newsom: (30:59)
Yeah, no. First of all, I appreciate Elon, I appreciate others that have really stepped up and lent their support and offered even more support beyond what has been made public. That list he put out again today. Apparently there was a list that came in yesterday of a number of the hospitals. I was not personally aware of that list. I’m very encouraged that he put out that list and those specific hospitals. That’s where he had been sending those resources and I look forward to learning more about where they went and I’m grateful for his support.

Speaker 4: (31:33)
Sharon Bernstein, Reuters.

Sharon Bernstein: (31:37)
Thank you for taking my question. New York recently revised the number of deaths upward quite dramatically because they started adding cases where people had not been tested for COVID, but their doctors felt that they had probably passed away from it. I was wondering if there was any consideration in California of doing something similar to that and if so, when that might happen and how you anticipated that might affect the numbers here?

Governor Gavin Newsom: (32:08)
No, a very thoughtful question and let me offer you a very thoughtful response through the expertise and lens of Dr. Ghaly.

Dr. Ghaly: (32:25)
Thanks again for the question. We absolutely are looking closely at that number of deaths in California and as we reported out every single day, we’re aware that there’s a number of other people in California that are dying in our hospitals and our healthcare delivery system and understanding how that will contribute to our overall COVID death toll number in the state of California is important. We are still working hard with our hospitals, our morgues, our coroners to manage that issue for us and unlike New York, we haven’t been adjusting that number up but we’re very aware that is something in the next weeks to come that we will be working on to make sure that A) we communicate clearly to the public what that death toll number is in California as it relates to COVID-19 but it’s also very important as we plan in the future and we look not just at hospitalizations and ICU numbers but that total death number to understand how it’s impacting our communities and our readiness to modify the stay-at-home order and other initiatives that the state has taken.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (33:40)
Thank you, doctor. Next question.

Speaker 4: (33:41)
Final question. Jim Roope, Westwood One News.

Jim Roope: (33:46)
Hi, good afternoon, governor. I was hoping to get some clarification on this new thing you announced today. The supplemental, I guess the extra two week sick leave to fill in the gap for the people who don’t qualify for the stimulus or whatever that is, and I think you referenced the meatpacking plant in South Dakota. The main issue there that was, at least the union there believes that the owners of the meatpacking plant a little bit late in imposing some health measures there or some safety measures there, and then subsequently when these employees became ill and had to take off work, they wanted to rush to get back to work because they had to help support their families and so on and so forth. So, I’m guessing that’s the idea here.

Jim Roope: (34:39)
If that is the case, those who are, I guess, don’t fall in that gap, they too, would just have two weeks sick leave and they would want to get back to work to start making money if their sick leave runs out. So, how do we clarify or justify, or do I have this wrong? I guess I’m just trying to get some clarification on the whole idea of this year particular program. Not that I don’t like it, I just want to get some clarification.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (35:08)
No, I appreciate it and I think you’ve got the spirit of what we are advancing. The brothers and sisters at UFCW obviously impacted greatly by what happens in other states with their members and that was just an expression of anxiety. By the way, it would be unfair of me just to point out to that example in another state, we have example in San Joaquin Valley right now at a very large food distribution center where we have 51 positives. One individual has passed away in a facility that has over 1700 workers. It just reinforces the anxiety people have that may not have basic care, basic sick leave. And so, what this is, is supplemental. It does not negate any existing benefits that are afforded, nor does it negate the work that’s done that have also put an overlay of support with their sick leave and nor is it exclusive.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (36:09)
We have childcare provisions where we made available $100 million of childcare funds and included grocery workers as a prioritization to access those childcare facilities. I announced on April 2nd, $17.8 million for workforce development grants to match our workforce that is specifically targeted to backfill any loss of labor in the grocery industry among other industries that we deem essential, so that we can quickly mobilize individuals as they pull off the line because of their health concerns. We can bring people on the line that are otherwise healthier. We just want folks to know, they don’t have to work when they’re sick, if they’ve been exposed, quarantined, been told to isolate, or have a positive test of COVID- 19, and I think all of us would agree that people delivering the food, people picking the food, people that are cooking the food and serving the food, all of us would prefer they’re safe and healthy as well. So it’s an all of our interests that we prioritize the interests of these critical and essential workers.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (37:20)
Let me thank everybody as always for time and attention. Forgive us for being past the time that we normally allot for this because the call with the president. Look forward tomorrow to talking more about economic development and as I said on Saturday, more broadly or rather more specifically, about some of the work we’re doing on homelessness throughout the state of California as well. I’ll just remind everybody a stay-at-home order is currently still in effect. You have successfully bent and arguably flattened the curve in the state of California. We continue to need to maintain our vigilance guided not by political decision making, guided by data, guided by facts, guided by science, guided by health professionals all throughout the state of California, in consultation and partnership with health officials all across the nation. We still have a stay at home order and it is incumbent upon all of us to continue to practice appropriate physical distancing so that we can get back to a sense of normalcy sooner than we would otherwise, if we pull back too soon. Keep up the great work and stay healthy.

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