Apr 20, 2020
Gov. Gavin Newsom California COVID-19 Briefing Transcript April 20
Governor Gavin Newsom held a press conference on coronavirus today, April 20. He said California is “not seeing that downward trend,” as the state death toll hits 1,200. Read the full transcript here.
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Gavin Newsom: (06:01)
Today, I want to talk to you about distance learning, talk to you about a package of educational investments and donations that we’ve been able to organize to help support our six plus million kids that are not physically in the classroom, but we hope and expect are learning every day. The issues of equity, the issues of access and availability of laptops and computers and screens, issues of connectivity as it relates to internet and broadband. All of those issues, vexing even on the natural, but particularly under the circumstances, made more acute and more foundational in terms of our ability to not just promote the promise of education during this time, but to actually deliver on it.
Gavin Newsom: (06:50)
I’ve been very proud of the work that many folks have done from the superintendent of public education to the president of the state school board, Linda Darling-Hammond, both which are on the phone today, but I’ve also been very blessed by someone that I know very well and that’s my wife, the first partner of the State of California. She in partnership with Tony Thurman, Linda Darling-Hammond, members of my team, Ben Chida and others have been working hard over the last few weeks to build on the announcement we made a few weeks ago about those 100,000 free WiFi hotspots that Google has committed to rolling out throughout the State of California and the 4,000 Chromebooks that they made available to build on the work that Apple has been doing in 800 school districts, 10,000 iPods that they have donated. And to do even more to meet the needs of millions of Californians that simply don’t have access.
Gavin Newsom: (07:55)
Jen has been working the phones, she’s had good days like some of us. Some days haven’t been as fruitful. Companies large and small, individuals that have made small contributions, some large and philanthropy and foundations, and a whole package that we wanted to roll out today that I think will shine a brighter light on our capacity to deliver. And moreover I think reinforce the need certainly to do more. So with that in mind, let me introduce the first partner of the state of California, Jen Siebel Newsom.
Jen Siebel-Newsom: (08:36)
I am excited to be here today to help announce some fabulous commitments from the business and philanthropic communities to support distance learning and help close the digital divide for California students. Like so many parents across the state, I had a pit in my stomach in March when I watched our governor stand here and share that he told daughter that she wouldn’t be going back to school this spring.
Jen Siebel-Newsom: (08:59)
With four little ones ages 10 and under at home, two with diagnosed learning differences, distance learning has been a real challenge to say the least. It can feel overwhelming every day to keep them on task and motivated to tackle their most daunting challenges while balancing the daily demands of my own work, taking conference calls and Zoom meetings in between lesson plans and meltdowns. Monitoring their progress and helping them work through math problems while trying to compose thoughtful emails or think through different work strategies given the new norm. Let’s just say some days have been a major struggle. I’m constantly having to remind myself to breathe, but every day there are lessons where I learn something about them as individuals and us as a family. Most of the time though, I’m having to remind myself to stay calm and carry on no matter the stress and anxiety that comes my way. But of course I know that as hard as this has been for me, it can only be that much harder for kids and families who do not have the same resources that we do. And I wouldn’t give up the opportunity for distance learning for anything.
Jen Siebel-Newsom: (10:06)
To that, our family has pretty good internet access at home despite my technical challenges. And we can access a treasure trove of free online resources available for our children’s use. We have laptops for my older children, albeit be one is on its last leg, and our home is a place where our kids can learn with full bellies and full hearts.
Jen Siebel-Newsom: (10:26)
But for too many California kids, this is simply not the case. In fact, one in five lack connectivity or an appropriate device for remote instruction. And as the first partner of California, I feel an incredible responsibility towards these kids and their parents who are doing everything that they can to keep their families housed and safe, and seeing too that they have food on the table all while ensuring their kids continue to learn. The fear these parents have that their children will fall behind without internet access and devices is very real. In fact, two weeks ago, a survey of parents found that 50% of low income families and 42% of families of color in California are worried about distance learning because they don’t have a personal device at home. So to all of these families, I want you to know that you’ve been on the governors and my mind every day since this crisis started. And I want you to know that we have your back and will continue to fight for you.
Jen Siebel-Newsom: (11:27)
A few weeks ago, as the governor mentioned, he issued a call to action for companies to meet this moment and help close the digital divide starting with a pledge from Google of 4,000 Chromebooks. IN the weeks since a few colleagues and have reached out to countless individuals and companies asking them to dive deep into their pockets and see what they can do for California’s most vulnerable students. I have been so moved by the generosity and the willingness to step up and help close the state’s digital divide, when some of them have already matched their giving across the country and around the world. Because of these commitments, hundreds of thousands of families will cross the digital divide, including 70,000 California students who will receive laptops, Chromebooks, and tablets starting this week. That means hundreds of thousands of California students can continue to learn online and become the leaders we know they are meant to be and that California needs them to be.
Jen Siebel-Newsom: (12:28)
So I want to give thanks to all of those who contributed to make this possible. And a special thanks to businesses like Sprint, T-Mobile, Amazon, HP, Verizon, and Zoom, along with tremendous gratitude for individual commitments from folks like Jack Dorsey Ann and John Doerr, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Aaron Levy, Signe Ostby and Scott Cook, Akiko and Jerry Yang and so many others. We all know that education is fundamental to opportunity. And so our mission will not end until every child in California has what they need to continue learning while physically distanced. This pandemic should not stand in the way of California students reaching their potential and realizing their dreams.
Jen Siebel-Newsom: (13:12)
So once again, thank you to all of you who have stepped up and helped us create a culture of me to we in California. And I especially want to thank Linda Darling-Hammond, president of California’s Board of Education and Tony Thurman, our superintendent, along with my chief of staff, Becky Beland, McNaught and chief deputy cabinet secretary for the governor Ben Chida for their incredible support on this. And finally, I want to thank the 40 million Californians who are stepping up in tremendous ways to meet this moment. We know this time is incredibly challenging, but we will get through this together. Onwards California. Thank you.
Gavin Newsom: (13:57)
Thank you Jen. And I want to again just thank the partnership and the teamwork that is-
Gavin Newsom: (14:03)
… partnership and the teamwork that is demonstrable in not only the work that the first partner has done, but the superintendent of public education and the state school board, all of those individuals, and there are many others that we could have listed, I want to also express gratitude. This was a two week sprint to create the opportunity to provide tens of thousands of additional units, laptops, Chromebooks, computers, iPods and the like. We continue to need to do much, much more. I’ll talk a little bit about what the Public Utilities Commission will be doing to that end, a little bit about some partnerships we have here in the city of Sacramento in a moment. But I wanted to express my deep gratitude, as Jen just did, to the superintendent of public education for all of his hard work and his staff’s diligence and focus to further this collective cause. And I’d like to ask the superintendent to say a few words here today.
Tony Thurmond: (15:08)
Thank you, Governor Newsom. Thank you to the first partner. Thank you all Californians. I want to start by thanking the governor for making this call to action and to all those who have responded to that call and to those who will continue to respond to that call even after today. I want to thank the first partner for her countless calls and her advocacy to reaching out to so many individuals and companies and others who can help and who you’ll hear about today who have in fact helped. And I appreciate the first partner’s comments about the importance of our parents who are standing in the gap and working alongside our educators in support of our students. I want to thank our state board of education president Linda Darling-Hammond, who also has been burning up the phones to individuals and to foundations and to others, who’s worked closely with us and the governor and the governor’s staff to really pull together in every sector help where we can.
Tony Thurmond: (16:13)
I do want to thank the governor’s staff. You heard reference to Ben Chida, who’s been a great partner, and many others. I want to thank the California Department of Education staff who’ve worked alongside the first partner and also our state board president to help make this happen. In particular, Mary Nicely from the California Department of Education, who’s been our point person, literally is fielding calls and emails day and night about how we move devices. And devices are now moving to get to school districts into the hands of our students. A grateful set of thanks to our foundations, our companies and individuals who you’ll hear from today, who have made contributions to get us started on this path.
Tony Thurmond: (16:54)
Again, just want to give a thanks to my entire team at the Department of Education who literally surveyed nearly every one of the 1000 school districts in this state. And that was done in partnership with our Association of Administrators and our County Superintendents Association and our California State School Boards Association to help us get that information. Many legislators are sending us the information about what the need is, to define the need, as you’ll hear it today. I want to thank my staff, who literally have been on the phone with school districts verifying those needs. And those calls was over a thousand school districts. Grateful to the California Public Utilities Commission. You’ll hear today about creative ways that the state of California is leading with public finances, with public dollars to make sure that students can have a laptop or a Chromebook or a tablet and to make sure that they can have access to a hotspot in their home. Very creative work on the part of the governor, the governor’s staff, the Department of Finance, and our staff at the PUC.
Tony Thurmond: (17:59)
We know that this is a great start, but our work must continue, and we’re committed to continuing to work with the governor and together with our staff and with our business and others in the state to do so. In that respect, many of you may have heard that we’ve created a task force on closing the digital divide. Simply put, we talk all the time about how we must meet the needs of our students during this pandemic. And having the tools to learn from a distance are critical. Nothing replaces the importance of a great teacher, but these tools connect our kids to teachers. And our kids have to have them. And our digital divide has happened, has gone on longer than this pandemic and it’s been something that we’ve dealt with for decades.
Tony Thurmond: (18:48)
And so I’m grateful to the leadership of our governor and our state board president and others who join me in believing that as we respond to the needs of our students to learn in this pandemic, that we must do so in a way where we once and for all close the digital divide and make sure that all of our students have the tools that enhance their success and that give them the best chances to be successful. I’m proud to be co-chairing that task force with Senator Connie Leyva. There’s several legislators who you’ll hear from today who have joined this task force who represent areas in the state that have major issues with connectivity. This task force will create a blueprint on how to close the divide in a timeline and continue the work going forward. And this task force will have his first meeting this afternoon at 4:00 PM. People can follow it on Facebook live.
Tony Thurmond: (19:41)
Again, great thanks to the governor for making this call to action and asking those who you’ll hear about today who are meeting the moment. We look forward to working with those who will continue to meet the moment. Anyone can help and we welcome your help with the task force or with more donations at email@example.com. I’m going to turn it back to our governor. And again, thank you for your leadership and for making this great call to action.
Gavin Newsom: (20:05)
Thank you, Mr. Superintendent. Thank you for all your hard work and your diligence and thank you for again extending an important part of the narrative today, is we’re not done. This is the beginning of a process. We have a lot more work to do and not just to close the digital divide in the context of this pandemic, but more broadly, decades in the making, weeks now of intensive focus and unprecedented private sector support. But we’re going to need to quadruple down on what we’re doing in order to get where we ultimately all need. We recognize where we need to go. And that includes, by the way, a lot of work this summer, Linda Darling-Hammond is available on the phone. We’ll take questions about thoughts around summer learning and opportunities that extend beyond the technical end of this school year.
Gavin Newsom: (20:58)
But we want to provide what we can in these hotspots and provide these supports so we can continue to extend that learning time, even though the schools are closed. Learning and education must continue. Distance learning can be operable in the state of California. It just needs to have an equity lens, rural small districts and those from a socioeconomic perspective that deserve our support.
Gavin Newsom: (21:21)
So, progress here today and also progress tomorrow and over the course of the next number of months. I referenced some of that progress being advanced because of the CPUC. Rob Osborne is also available for questions if people have them about a tele-connect effort through the PUC. We’re setting aside $25 million to advance that effort. That’s again, hotspots, Wi-Fi, addressing the issue of digital divide. They will supplement the work of Apple, rather Google, and others in that space. In addition to that, they’re putting $5 million total package, 30 million at the PUC, to procure additional Chromebooks, tablets, iPads, excuse me, not iPods, as I referenced a moment ago, as needed, tools to plug-in devices that will allow people to do the distance learning that we are promoting at this moment. And so, some progress we wanted to share with you in that space.
Gavin Newsom: (22:24)
Also progress as it relates to partnership at the city level. The city of Sacramento is looking at a proof of concept they’ll be rolling out in the next number of days. I think around right before May 1st they’re going to be converting seven school buses and making them mobile hotspots to provide access. If that proof of concept is successful, we’ll roll that out more broadly throughout the state of California. It’s also an expression of appreciation, not just to the CTA and our teachers, but to those out there that also deserve enormous amount of support at this moment, and those are our janitors, those are our bus drivers, those are the custodial staff. So many support staff that make our school system work. It’s so central and critical as well to make the distance learning work in addition to our extraordinary teachers. And so I just want to express that appreciation to all of you as well.
Gavin Newsom: (23:28)
So that’s broad strokes where we are. Happy to answer questions in a moment. Let me briefly just give you an update as we do on our daily briefings on the total number of lives tragically lost, issues related to hospitalization, ICUs, updates on a few other issues, and of course happily answer any questions. We sadly lost 42 additional lives last night. Over the weekend, we crossed that threshold of over 1000 people that have lost their lives. And now as of this moment, 1,208 human beings in the state of California have lost their lives due to COVID-19. And so again, expression of deep empathy and recognition that these again are not statistics. These are human beings, stories, journeys, each and every one of them precious and our heart goes out to their family and loved ones. As it relates to the broader issue of ICUs and issues related to our hospitals, we are at 1.9% above where we were yesterday in the total number of hospitalizations, about 2.8% above where we were yesterday in the number of ICU patients.
Gavin Newsom: (24:43)
Again, hospitalizations are beginning to flatten, but still growing. And we’re seeing the ICUs bouncing back and forth. Modest decreases, modest increases. So again, progress is being made. You are bending the curve. You’re beginning to flatten the curve, but it is still nonetheless rising. Deaths continue to rise. Hospitalization numbers modestly continue to rise and ICU numbers beginning to flatten, but we’re not seeing that downward trend we need to see in order to provide more clarity on that roadmap to recovery, which we rolled out last week. This Wednesday, we will roll out more details around those six categories in our roadmap to recovery, and you’ll start to see behind the curtain exactly where we believe we are in real time in terms of our ability to begin to toggle, again, not a light switch but more like a dimmer, to begin to move to adjust our stay at home orders, but they remain in effect for good reason. Those numbers bear out alone that reason, and also it bears consideration that the numbers again are an aggregate and don’t reflect the spread of this virus in almost every part of the state of California. And I say that to make this point. When you look at the top 15 counties impacted by the virus, they include Tulare County, they include Fresno County, they include Kern County, they include Orange County, they include Riverside County, they include every part of this state. And it’s just incumbent upon all of us to recognize that those are just in the top 15, many of those in the top 10 impacted by COVID-19, the incredible importance that we place on continuing our physical distancing orders. I know how impatient people are, but again, I just cannot express more gratitude for the incredible and heroic work all of you have done to soften the blow of this virus so far in the state of California.
Gavin Newsom: (26:48)
Again, let’s not dream of regretting and pulling the plug too early. We’re going to lean in. We are leaning in. I’m as eager as you to answer the question when. And on Wednesday, you’ll have more clarity. Again, when we start to look at all of those six areas that are part of that transformation, or rather part of that process to begin to transition into a new phase of this pandemic. I want to also just let folks know on Friday, we put out the list by facility. It’s not a complete list. We’ve got 80 plus percent, I think it’s 83%, of all of the facilities, 1,224 skilled nursing facilities. We’ll get the rest of that information out, but we provided them by facility. We are doing the same today to broaden the appropriate inquiries that we’re receiving for our other adult and senior care facilities. Remember, 1,224 skilled nursing facilities. In addition to that, we have 7,461 facilities in our adult and senior care centers. Some of them are just one or two people, others four, five or six-
Gavin Newsom: (28:03)
Them or just one or two people. There’s four, five or six. Those facilities with more than six will be the first information patients, that is, will be the first tranche of information that we provide, by facility and type. We’ll also include in that number the number of deaths, not just the number of facilities, number of staff, and number of patients impacted by COVID-19. As soon as we get that information, I want to make that information available to you. We’ve done it again for [sniffs 00:00:31], we want to do it more broadly for the rest of the system. The death data we’re working on, on the sniffs side, but we now have that data as it relates to these other facilities.
Gavin Newsom: (28:42)
So that is something forthcoming this afternoon that I wanted to preview, and also I want to just extend, again, a preview of sorts on the work that we are doing on Wednesday; that includes updating on tracing, on tracking, on isolation, on quarantine, and on testing as well. We’re still making progress in the testing space. We have a task force that many of, you know we convened week plus ago. We had goals. Very prescriptive goals to significantly increase from just 2000 tests a day at the end of March to get to 10,000 by April 14th. We’ve been able to exceed that April 14th number in terms of the daily total of tests conducted. Want to get to 25,000 by the end of this month, and then significantly increase those numbers by multiples in May and June.
Gavin Newsom: (29:40)
We’ll be updating you on Wednesday. Again, it’s part of the six categories, but we’ll be highlighting the category of testing, tracing, tracking, isolating, and quarantine in that Wednesday briefing so that you will be able to get a sense of where we are, get some confidence in our capacity on the [Tracy 00:30:01] to build that army, not just of volunteers, but of the professionals at the county level that are currently employed in that space, and build off that workforce and their unique expertise and complement their work by scaling it by thousands and thousands of others that will be necessary to ultimately advance the goals that we set forth just in that one category of the six, again on that roadmap to recovery.
Gavin Newsom: (30:31)
So with that, we’re happy to answer any questions and just remind you as we open up to questions that we have Linda Darling-Hammond, president of the state school board on the line to answer them in addition to the superintendent of public education. My wife has always available to answer questions in addition to Rob Osborne who’s also available on the line at the CPUC. Talk more about his program. We have Dr. Galley here as well, as always, available at a moment’s to answer any questions you may have as well.
Speaker 1: (31:02)
Yamira Lopez, Univision Sacramento.
Yamira Lopez: (31:06)
Governor, last week you mentioned that undocumented workers are going to get financial help, and we’re getting a lot of calls from viewers wondering which organizations are going to give up this money, how they’re going to give it out and when.
Gavin Newsom: (31:19)
So we are contracting with CBOs throughout the state of California. Each will receive a minimum of $5 million. Others will receive substantially more resources because of the partnership, not only with the state but the partnership with philanthropy that we announced. We put out a frequently asked question list that’s available on the covid19.ca.gov website, which is also available in Spanish, not just English.
Gavin Newsom: (31:48)
We will be putting that process together on an active basis, meaning updating, rather, that site on an active basis as the distribution of those funds are made real. But all of that should be happening in real time. There’s disaster assistance funds. We set out to get out as quickly as possible, $500 for an individual, up to $1,000 per household, distributed through the organized network of community based organizations. So no privacy concerns are breached as it relates to providing personal information to the State of California in the fear people have, as it relates to the public charge of which this will not impact or affect and more broadly about deportation.
Gavin Newsom: (32:35)
So that’s the framework, that information is available on that site, and we will update it in real time, more specifically about which CBOs and points of access to make it easier for individuals, and we look forward to your partnership in helping us get that information out there.
Speaker 1: (32:53)
Karma Dickerson, Fox 40.
Karma Dickenson: (32:57)
Hi, Governor. Thank you. A couple of questions. First with respect to the information about a COVID-19 along racial lines. I believe it was late last week, we first started to see those disparities that weren’t yet apparent, but showing that African Americans disproportionately affected, also some data with regards to Pacific Islanders. So given that the numbers are now starting to reflect the national trends, what specifically is being done to address the disparities within those groups? Additionally, with regards to testing, I heard what you said about just working to expand testing across California. But can you address just disparities just between different municipalities? For example, it’s much easier to qualify to get a test in Los Angeles than it is in Sacramento County where some people, even with all the symptoms and preexisting conditions are still being denied because they don’t fit criteria.
Gavin Newsom: (33:55)
Yeah, so we’re working aggressively to address the disparities. It’s one of the core principles of the task force is a focus on disparities. Disparities as they manifest in different forms. Let me be specific about what I mean. There are racial and ethnic disparities, there’s socioeconomic disparities. But there are also geographic disparities that must be addressed as it relates to the needs of rural communities and as it relates to the needs across parts of the state, even within urban centers that are historically underserved. So the purpose of this task force is to define those areas. In fact, today they provided me a heat map with every one of these areas where what I would refer to is a testing desert in this state, and then strategies around that to address those issues. We do it by time. Meaning, is it a 30 minute commute? Is it a 60 minute commute? How can we break this down?
Gavin Newsom: (34:56)
You’ll be hearing on Wednesday new announcements specifically targeted at our diverse communities from a socioeconomic and geographic lens on how we’re going to get more testing sites out there to address these issues. That substantively leads into the first part of your last question. Now, here are the newest numbers, and the numbers haven’t radically changed from when we put them out a number of weeks ago. Those disparities were even present then. For the Latino community, 40% of those that have tested positive are within the Latino community. 39% of the deaths. Rather, it’s 31%, forgive me, 31% of the deaths. 40% tested positive, 31% have sadly died.
Gavin Newsom: (35:45)
As it relates to the Asian community, it’s roughly along the lines that we have seen from day one, 13 and 16%. 13% of the population being impacted, 16% passing away, sadly. As it relates to the African American population, 6% a little over 6% of the population, State of California. 6.8% have tested positive for a COVID-19, but this is the area where you are correct, and it fairly mirrors the 10, 11% we’ve seen of the deaths in the past. It’s now 11+%, closer to 12%. so 6.8, let’s round it up to 7%. 12% of the deaths. That’s the area of particular concern that is being highlighted, and Dr. Angel is here, can talk more about what we are doing, not just to track those numbers but to address those numbers. I told you on the framework as it relates to testing the work we’re doing, but she and I’ve had long conversations about this. She better prepared to explain it in language that’s less political, and I think more from a health frame, and she’s right here. I think to amplify exactly what we’re doing about those disparities.
Dr. Angel: (37:06)
Thank you, Governor, and also thank you so much for this question. This is an incredibly important area. We know that any time we have an emergency or some very impactful health issue, that those communities who have had the hardest time with the burden of poor health are uniquely affected by it. This COVID-19 response is exactly the same with that. These numbers are what we’re seeing right now.
Dr. Angel: (37:41)
So to speak to it specifically, we know that communities of color, those numbers that were just related. We know that these communities have a higher burden of illness. That’s a reflection of poverty and racism and other things that we know have resulted in an unequitable distribution of disease. We know that COVID also uniquely increases the risk for death in populations that have higher rates of asthma, of diabetes, of cardiovascular disease. We know that these diseases are more prevalent in these communities.
Dr. Angel: (38:10)
The responses that we need to have are the kinds of responses that help to support those communities that are unequitably effected by things that affect the economy and other social conditions. This state and the governor has laid out since the beginning, a number of interventions from the beginning that would address these communities and make sure that they’re receiving resources that help them take time off if they are ill, and be able to also support their families at the time of greatest need.
Dr. Angel: (38:38)
We’re working closely with our urban areas in particular where we know some of these populations are more highly concentrated to also understand the impact of it. But let me just say that it’s not just about the end point of death. The inequities that these communities experience start much earlier. They start from challenges in seeking care and seeking care early and getting the care that they need, and we have policies that are directly related to this. It also relates to inequities that exist when people do seek care. It relates to issues that are related to testing and every step along the way. We’re looking very carefully at these issues to make sure that we help address these inequities and take on these inequities that we’re seeing in health outcomes as well when it comes to COVID-19.
Gavin Newsom: (39:21)
So these are the deeper systemic issues that this state has been really leaning in on pre-COVID-19. Committed to doing more as it relates to racial justice issues, economic justice issues. That foundationally are the answers to why. But beyond that I think it’s also important to note particularly with black population in the State of California, how many younger members of the community have been impacted and ultimately have lost their lives. That’s also a subset of this that we are deeply concerned about and deeply focused on as well. I’ll be meeting with the black caucus in a zoom conference call this afternoon. I have an African American advisory committee that I will be meeting with after that. This is the top agenda item, and we will continue to advance more prescriptive strategies above and beyond what we were doing pre-COVID-19 crisis, that extend into this crisis, and obviously need to be highlighted as we move out of this crisis as well.
Speaker 1: (40:25)
Theo Douglas, Tech Wire.
Theo Douglas: (40:29)
Good afternoon, Governor. Thanks very much for your time today. Appreciate it. Wanted to ask about the students who will be receiving laptops and Chromebooks starting this week. Any additional details you can provide on that rollout and the numbers of devices, and will those also include wifi hotspots?
Gavin Newsom: (40:50)
Yeah. So as you know, we announced a partnership with Google for 100,000 hotspots. Those will start rolling out the first week of May. That’s a massive procurement and a massive logistics effort. First week of may, specifically as it relates to Google’s announcement. Google has already distributed their Chromebooks, and now they’re being distributed from our regional centers into over 79 rural and small, what we referred to, L-E-E-S, and so those books are being distributed, Chromebooks, in real time.
Gavin Newsom: (41:31)
I referenced the iPads from Apple, the 10,000. They’ve worked directly with 800 school districts on that logistics effort. I think they’ve made public where specifically those have gone. As it relates to the broader procurement that my wife and others have advanced today, it’s over 70,000 units of laptops, Chromebooks, and the like. Some Surface Pros that are part of Microsoft’s contribution, Lenovo that wasn’t mentioned, Chromebooks. So each in-
Gavin Newsom: (42:03)
… Lenovo that wasn’t mentioned, Chromebooks. Each and every one of those individuals and groups have provided and procured different units, different equipment. All of those we will make public. All of them will be part of this press release that we’ll put out right after the conclusion of this press conference.
Speaker 2: (42:22)
Samantha Solomon, ABC10.
Samantha Solomon: (42:27)
Hi, Governor. I have two questions. First, hundreds of people are gathered outside the Capitol right now to protest the state’s lockdown and demand California reopen for business soon. This is frustration by personal economic hardship and job loss for lots of these people. What do you want to say to these protesters, specifically? Second, the CHP granted a permit for this gathering outside the Capitol with the original applicants stating there’d be 500 participants. Why would the CHP grant a permit for the gathering of 500 people during this time of social distancing when law enforcement agencies said they’re forcing those public health orders?
Gavin Newsom: (43:07)
I’ll leave that to CHP to answer and we’ll get back to you specifically on that. My understanding is the protest that CHP has supported has social distancing, physical distancing that was allowable on the basis of people being in their vehicles and not congregating as a group. But I’ll ask our CHP spokesperson to get back to you on the details of whatever it is they may have provided in terms of authorization.
Gavin Newsom: (43:35)
As it relates to the issue of protest, I’ll say what I said on Saturday. I’ll say what I said last week in anticipation of protests. If you’re going to protest, practice physical distancing. If you’re going to protest and express your right of free speech, do so in a way that protects not only your health but the health of others. I deeply understand people’s anxieties. I led today’s remarks by acknowledging not only the anxieties of people that may be actively protesting, but I imagine the anxieties of 40 million Californians that are actively participating and advancing our stay at home orders that save lives and has made California a healthier place than some of our original models had projected. But we must have a health first focus if we’re ultimately going to come back economically.
Gavin Newsom: (44:27)
The worst mistake we can make is making a precipitous decision based on politics and frustration that puts people’s lives at risk and ultimately sets back the cause of economic growth and economic recovery. Let me be specific and this, I hope, can be shared with the protesters as well. There are many other parts of the globe that precipitously did move forward by opening up their economies again because of that frustration and that angst only to see that they had to pull back again. Singapore being an example of that. Components of what China has opened up, they have now closed again for that reason. Look, we are eager. We share exactly the same desires and goals to reopen the economy and address all of these systemic challenges and help support those that are struggling, those most at need. But the way we do that, the way we know to do that is primarily based upon where the virus is at any given point and whether or not it is being transmitted and whether or not we’re seeing a reduction in transmissions, a reduction in hospitalization, a reduction in the number of ICUs.
Gavin Newsom: (45:39)
Those are the determinants. Science, health will be the determination. But the reason last week we socialized, made public, this roadmap to recovery is to let folks know we are deeply focused on what that reopening looks like. We just want to do it in a very deliberative and thoughtful way to keep those protesters safe and to keep their families and the broader community of California safe.
Speaker 2: (46:09)
Josh Haskell, ABC7.
Josh Haskell: (46:13)
Yeah. Hey, Governor. Quick question for you. Some of Ventura County, for example, neighboring to L.A. County, they have relaxed some of their restrictions when it comes to the stay at home order. They’ve opened some parks, golf courses. I’m wondering, on those decisions that counties make, are you consulted at all on that? What are your thoughts on some counties starting to relax the stay at home orders? Are you concerned that it may affect a neighboring county, like L.A. County which has much stricter restrictions, folks from L.A. County going to play golf and flood other areas in a neighboring county?
Gavin Newsom: (46:48)
Yeah, you can’t build walls. This virus knows no jurisdiction, knows no boundaries. Not only state boundaries or county boundaries, city boundaries, but national boundaries as well. The answer to the latter part of your question is, yes, we are concerned about that. The answer to the first part of the question is also, yes, we were consulted. I want to just express appreciation to the Ventura team that did reach out to my team over the weekend. But here, and this is really important, is something to understand. None of these local health directives can go further or rather go farther backwards than the state guidance. There is a cap in terms of the loosening at the local level. There’s a strengthening that has happened at the local level and that could be loosened but, again, the cap is an expectation that they do not go beyond those state orders. That’s in the letter of the law and that’s the thrust of the conversations and communication we had with the county health officials.
Gavin Newsom: (47:53)
I deeply appreciate their work to increase enforcement in certain areas and desire to move and begin to address loosening in other areas. But we, as I expressed more broadly, want to see that done in concert with the state of California, legally and otherwise, in the spirit of collaboration and cooperation. How we got into this and save lives, I want to get out of this with that same spirit at hand. We are grateful for their outreach and we are working closely with others throughout the state of California on similar conversations.
Speaker 2: (48:31)
Final question, Phil Willon, L.A. Times.
Phil Willon: (48:35)
Hey, Governor. Along those same lines, my understanding is that a bipartisan group of elected officials in San Louis Obispo sent your office a letter asking permission to have them open up their local economy in a science, health-based way with testing and everything like that. I’m just curious about if you’re going to allow counties to present their own plans for reopening their economy and, on Ventura, did Ventura want to go … Did they pull back from what they wanted to do? Was this a negotiation that your administration had with him? What, exactly, and how did that go down?
Gavin Newsom: (49:13)
Yeah. I don’t want to get too much into the weeds of the conversation, but we talked about parameters, we talked about expectation, we talked about our guidance, we talked about what we think conflicts with that. They pointed out things that didn’t conflict with that and we found those areas as ones that needed to be adjudicated, discussed, and were discussed over the course of the weekend. Look, the answer to your question about San Luis Obispo is, yes, localism. As I said, we recognize 58 counties, 480 cities, different parts of this state impacted differently, but also the fact that we are one state and the impact and the collective responsibility we have to one another, neighboring counties, neighboring cities, also must be considered.
Gavin Newsom: (50:01)
All of that is exactly why last week we put out those terms, those six areas of categories where we are advancing those conversations at the local level, incorporating their thoughts and advice at the state level. As I said, every Wednesday we’ll be updating you on those categories. I think the local letter, I haven’t seen their letter, I’ve seen many letters that stacked up around these conversations, but we expect many more coming in and we have a process to adjudicate those and to begin to dialogue with our team and their local health teams to make sure it’s a health based decision, not any other type of decision making. Health first, science and data. Everything else follows from that.
Gavin Newsom: (50:56)
With that, let me just extend my appreciation to Linda Darling-Hammond for her patience, for being on the phone. Linda, sorry. No direct questions. I think that may be good news. Rob, extend the same. Tony Thurmond, Superintendent of Public Education, thank you for all your hard work. All of you, thank you for your partnership and your collaboration. I thank my wife, again, for all her incredible work over the last few weeks. Very proud of their efforts today and the announcement that we’re making today. Again, all of us sobered by the need to do so, so much more to address these inequities and address these disparities, not just on education but as it relates to public health and to continue to do what we can to close these gaps in real time across the spectrum of this economy.
Gavin Newsom: (51:43)
I recognize, in closing, the deep desire people have to begin the process of more robust conversations about reopening. Know that we are committed to sharing in a transparent way those conversations as they present themselves. As I said formally on Wednesday we’ll be laying out an update on those six key categories, six key areas, give you a sense of where we think we are and then begin to break down geographic discussions and considerations along the lines of the questions and the queries that came in so that people can more fully understand where they, as individuals, not just we, as a state, are in relationship to the progress made.
Gavin Newsom: (52:27)
I continue to express gratitude to all of you for the progress you’ve made on continuing to bend the curve. Stay at home orders are still in effect. A deep desire to continue our physical distancing give us the opportunity to truly bend down this curve, not just see it slow down and flatten. We, of course, will be back updating you on a daily basis, including tomorrow at noon. Take care everybody. Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay connected to your loved ones, but physically distanced. Thank you so much.