Apr 21, 2020

Gov. Gavin Newsom California COVID-19 Briefing Transcript April 21

California Gavin Newsom Briefing April 13
RevBlogTranscriptsPolitical TranscriptsGov. Gavin Newsom California COVID-19 Briefing Transcript April 21

Governor Gavin Newsom of California held a press conference today, April 21, on coronavirus. Newsom announced a new California volunteer initiative and website. Read the full transcript here.

 

Follow Rev Transcripts

Transcribe Your Own Content

Try Rev for free and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (05:41)
Well good afternoon, everybody. The late Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once remarked, “That his life is action and passion. It’s required of all of us to share the action and passion of our time at parallel being judged not to have lived.” It’s been that each of us will be judged, but moreover ultimately judge ourselves to the extent we contribute to the life of our city, our county, our state, our nation, and the world we’re trying to build.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (06:09)
That’s the spirit of today’s announcement, the spirit that defines Californians for all. A new website that we’re launching to initiate a much more comprehensive approach to capturing that spirit of generosity, the spirit of contribution, the spirit of service that resides in millions and millions of Californians to organize this in a deliberative way so people can share their action and passion in a more deliberative and ultimately a more impactful way.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (06:44)
We’ve developed partnerships with non-profits throughout the state of California. We’ve organized agencies within the state of California in a much more prescriptive way and we’ve launched this initiative in order to launch an army of volunteers to express themselves day in and day out as only Californians can. Not only to meet this moment but to prepare to meet subsequent moments, to organize a volunteer corps in a way that is much more deliberative than we have in the past.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (07:17)
There is so much inside of us in terms of our capacity to give and to serve. Not just sacrifice in this moment, to do a little bit more to perhaps deliver a meal. Do a little bit more to reach out to late neighbors or loved ones to check in on seniors, to help disabled individuals with groceries. Our other essential needs to provide hygiene kits, not just to donate blood though to donate blood, to participate in volunteer at the food bank, which by the way has lost roughly 70% of its volunteers since the beginning of this pandemic.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (07:58)
We are trying to organize this site in a way that’s more robust, more interactive, and do so in a way where we can maintain a two-way conversation. Rather than you initiating your interest in participating in volunteering, we want to make sure we stay engaged with you regardless of your time of life. It’s all about a state of mind from our Zoomers to our boomers, regardless of your age or stage in life, we want you to volunteer. We want you to participate and we want to match those efforts in a way that gives meaning and purpose to this endeavor.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (08:37)
I love to say this because it’s always true. The happiest people I know are the people that volunteer. And I have long believed that no one stands taller than when he or she bends down on one knee to help lift other people up. So this is a spirit of communitarianism, individuals contributing to their community. It’s the spirit of recognition that we’re all in this together. It’s the spirit that has allowed California to bend the curve because it’s a spirit that demonstrably is at scale in the state of California with tens of millions of Californians that are practicing physical distancing.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (09:17)
That regardless of their political stripe or where they are geographically, overwhelmingly are staying at home and have allowed us the opportunity to be at this point in time where just tomorrow we’ll start laying out some more prescriptive guidelines and update you on the next phase as it relates to iterations in terms of our capacity to begin to loosen up our stay at home orders in a very phased and appropriate way.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (09:47)
But as we walked into this together, we want to begin to walk out of this together as well. Meeting this moment with that same spirit, that generosity of spirit, and we have just the right person to lead that endeavor. Our Chief Service Officer in the state of California, former Lieutenant in the Navy, former council member and mayor. And someone I’ve gotten to know and admire the course of many, many years who leads our volunteer efforts in the state of California and will lead this new initiative californians.ca.gov, californiansforall.ca.gov initiative through this pandemic and into the future. Josh Fryday.

Josh Fryday: (10:38)
Thank you, Governor. Thank you for your leadership and commitment to service. Thank you to your wife, the first partner Jen Siebel Newsom and the chair of our commission California Volunteers for being a champion of creating a culture of me to we here in California. And thank you to the incredible team at California Volunteers who has worked so hard to protect our communities and inspire all of us and to all the volunteers who have made a difference throughout the last several weeks. Thank you for what you’ve done.

Josh Fryday: (11:06)
I’m here today excited as Chief Service Officer for the state of California to launch a new initiative, Californians for All. Where we are asking all Californians who are healthy to stand up, to step up and to help connect and make a difference in your community. Here’s how it’s going to work. We want every Californian that can and is healthy and unable to visit californiansforall.ca.gov and when you go to this site, we’ve made it very easy for you to make a difference in your community.

Josh Fryday: (11:40)
We want you to sign up and tell us when you sign up, what interests you? What issues do you want to work on in your community? Where would you like to make a difference? And once you sign up, we are going to be communicating with you regularly, weekly emails to make sure that you’re connected to not just state priorities, but to local priorities and opportunities. You could sign …

Josh Fryday: (12:03)
But to local priorities and opportunities. You could sign up for food banks, for delivering meals, for tutoring, for helping at shelter facilities and many other activities.

Josh Fryday: (12:11)
We will also be sharing other content that you can use to make a difference no matter where you are and where you want to connect. We are also asking everyone to please follow the guidance that has been given to us by the department of public health and we provide this on this website Californiansforall.ca. gov, so that you can volunteer safely and make a difference safely in your community.

Josh Fryday: (12:37)
We are working with a new statewide coalition of nonprofits, incredible groups like the Red Cross United Ways, the California Food Banks Association, volunteer centers around the state to connect you after you sign up at californiansforallofthatca.gov to local opportunities. So please go to our website and join us today. If you’re healthy and you can make a difference in your community, we need you at food banks, we need you giving blood, we need you to delivering meals and we need you joining us. If you want to stay at home to be safe, you can still make an enormous difference in our state, in communities everywhere by signing up to be a 211 operator or signing up to help with EITC outreach or checking on a neighbor. We’re going to be challenging young people throughout the state to check on neighbors and check on a loved one and share a video online to challenge your fellow peers to do the same.

Josh Fryday: (13:33)
So as the governor said, we are going to defeat COVID apart, but we are going to emerge from this stronger because we do it together. We need you and we need each other. So thank you for joining us at Californiansforall.ca.gov.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (13:53)
Thank you Josh. And it’s wonderful to have a Chief Service Officer in the state of California, and again, that’s the spirit of building a framework, the architecture for a civic infrastructure that ultimately again will outlast this moment and allow us to rebuild our economy at the same time we rebuild the spirit of California that defines, I think, the best in us.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (14:18)
So this is a real opportunity for those that may have not necessarily been ready to jump in yet and volunteer, just didn’t necessarily know how this is a dynamic website that allows you to connect with your prescriptive passions and connect them to specific needs in your community. It’s a bottom up framework not top down. So we want to meet you where you are and help you meet others so ultimately we can create the kind of dynamic sense of commonality that ultimately will get us through this moment. So thank you to Josh, thank you to his team and thank you all Californians that are willing to participate their time and energy at this moment.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (15:06)
Let me speak in terms of what moment we are in as it relates to the current pandemic as we do every day, update you on a number of issues related to the pandemic, not least of which the number of new positives, number of deaths, ICU numbers and hospitalizations. We saw a 7.4% increase in the total number of positive cases yesterday in the state of California, we saw a 5% increase in the number of deaths, 60 human beings, again, not statistics, not just the number, lives torn apart, torn asunder because of this virus, but 5% increase, the total number of deaths in the state of California.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (15:49)
While we’ve been experiencing some pretty good news as it relates to the total number of people in ICUs, yesterday’s number one up slightly 3.8%. As you’ve seen, that number has been bouncing around 1%, 2%, declined a few days here and there. It’s certainly stabilizing, but yesterday we saw an increase of 3.8%. Accordingly, we saw a 3.3% increase in the total number of hospitalizations in the state of California. And by the way, those hospitalizations are born all throughout the state of California.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (16:26)
When you look at the 16 counties most impacted through those hospitalization rates, they’re not just Los Angeles County and Santa Clara County. They include Fresno County and they include Kern, they include San Joaquin, San Bernardino County, they include Orange and Riverside, San Diego. It’s a way of just emphasizing this COVID-19 and hospitalizations, COVID-19 and the total number of positives impact the entire state of California. So if you’re living in a community where you think, well, we’re immune, we’re okay, we’ve got this, we’re not LA, we’re not some of these other counties in the state of California, I hope you’ll disabuse yourself of that and you’ll consider the fact that some of the most challenging parts of the state remain in some of our rural parts of our state, particularly as it relates to skilled nursing facilities, adult and senior homes, which we continue to track.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (17:26)
I should note that we have in our portfolio, I laid out on April 10th, our new strategies and plans to protect our seniors and redoubling our efforts. Remember, one of the first executive orders we put out in this state was around guidelines in our skilled nursing facilities, assisted living homes, nursing homes broadly. We followed up with that on April 10th by talking about an army of people that we had retrained, 600 nurses, these new strike teams, infectious disease teams that we were sending out across the state of California. We talked about the daily calls we’re making a to all of these institutions, every single day calling all 1,224 of our skilled nursing facilities, how we’re working with temporary staffing agencies to address staffing needs and building partnerships with CDC, not only our own health and human service agencies.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (18:22)
We talked about partnerships with the USNS Mercy and how some of the personnel off the Mercy are coming in to the state to help support our seniors, and then new decompression strategies to get those that have tested positive or been exposed to COVID-19 to get them into new facilities.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (18:41)
A lot of that has been occurring, but the totality, it’s a rather remarkable number of facilities that are licensed go well in excess of just the skilled nursing facilities. It’s over 8,685 licensed facilities that we are monitoring in the state of California and over a 300,000 patient capacity, that doesn’t even include the staff. Gives you a sense of the breadth and depth of the responsibilities in that space.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (19:11)
I only bring this up again as we do every other day because it remains one of our top priorities, the most vulnerable population being our seniors. We talked a lot about some of the progress we’re making with project RoomKey in addressing the needs of our homeless across the state of California. But again, we are not out of the woods yet and in these senior facilities, these assisted living facilities, we are still seeing spikes. We’re still seeing people tragically lose their lives. We’re still seeing concentration of positives, not only impacting patients but also impacting staff.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (19:49)
I should know we were blessed to have the support of $25 million of philanthropy for stipends to soften the stress a little bit for our caregivers at these facilities. Over 44,000 people now have signed up to get $500 stipends. And I just want again, extend my appreciation to those in philanthropy, in this case, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg for their contributions specifically in this space, but it’s one example of what we’re doing to take care of the caregivers including providing these hotel reservations, which we announced about a week or so ago. Over 2,634 reservations have been made to provide no cost hotel rooms to allow these caregivers the ability to take a shower, to change, to decompress themselves, maybe spend the night no longer in their car, as was an example of many, many that were just scared to come home and potentially impact infect their own family members. It’s a way of just expressing appreciation, deep admiration and respect for those caregivers throughout our senior system, and also let you know that we’re doing everything in our power to make this our top priority and top focus as well. And it’s again a reminder to continue to practice physical distancing and to maintain the directives that have allowed us to flatten this curve, but now we need to see those numbers go down.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (21:27)
I again previewed a moment ago and we’ll do so right now, that is tomorrow, we will lay out our update as we have promised on a weekly basis in those six key areas as part of our roadmap to recovery. We have teams that we’ve assembled in each area and we’ll do a deep dive in one of those areas on testing, tracking, tracing, isolation and quarantine tomorrow and then we’ll highlight those other five areas.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (21:56)
This will go to the obvious questions and queries that all of us are asking, when. When do we see these state home orders augmented? When do you see a little bit of a release in the valve so that we can let out some little pressure that I know are all feeling around the stay at home order and the like, that’s manifested by protests but also query, appropriate queries like Ventura County asking what can we do to begin to collaborate with you on making some adjustments? What can we do in San Louis Obispo to do the same? Placerville to do the same. We’re getting calls, we’re in contact, and we have to continue to be vigilant. 58 counties after all 480 cities, local jurisdictions, local governance, local leadership, local electeds, all wanting to do the right thing. And everybody has a different timeline. So that’s a challenge. Many parts, one body of a state as large as ours. And tomorrow we will lay out, I think, in ways that will do justice to not only acknowledging that challenge, but do justice to how we’re processing those timelines and how we’re working in a collaborative spirit with our local partners all throughout the state of California to advance the same.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (23:11)
So again, we’re making progress in this state, you have made progress in this state, but there was a spirit that defined that progress and that was community, the Commonwealth, the recognition that there’s no leak on your side of our boat, that we truly are all in this together. And so the spirit of what we announced today, or announcing today with the Californiansforall.ca.gov website, is also about pulling ourselves out of this with that same spirit that we walked into it, and that is the spirit of going together so we can go far as a state.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (23:55)
And so I thank you as always for that spirit of generosity and attention, and we hope people will…

Governor Gavin Newsom: (24:03)
Spirit of generosity and attention and we hope people will come quickly to that website, fill out their particular areas of interest and we’ll make sure we match those areas of interest to need in real time and again, keep in touch so we can continue to build this army of volunteers and build capacity so that we can get to this next phase sooner than we otherwise would. So with that, of course we’re happy to answer any questions.

Speaker 2: (24:28)
Adam Beam, Associated Press.

Adam Beam: (24:34)
Angeles County has an estimated 60,000 homeless, but so far only about 47 have tested positive for the virus. And at San Francisco more than 90 residents of a single shelter tested positive there. I think that’s about one of the few shelters where widespread testing has been done. So more than a month into the crisis, does the state have a good handle of how widespread the infection is among this vulnerable population? And since this is a priority population, should more tests be available for this?

Governor Gavin Newsom: (25:03)
Yes, more tests should be available, more tests will be made available. We are seeing a significant increase in our testing capacity, I’ll remind you. And we’ll go into this in great detail tomorrow and be much more prescriptive in terms of subpopulations and geographic distribution of tests and test sites. Also, we’ll talk more specifically about different types of tests, be it the serosurveillance. We’ll be talking about issues around serology in blood-based tests as well as the traditional PCR tests, both point of care as well as just higher throughput tests and efforts to address those disparities, those you speak of and those that others speak of and to on an almost hourly basis. We want to do more in that space. You are correct, we need to do more testing. None of us have walked away from that recognition. In fact, we walked right in to it by creating a task force just a few weeks ago and when that task force was created on testing, we were averaging 2,000 tests a day.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (26:11)
Today we’re averaging over 14,500 tests a day. That task force put a marker out there. They said by April 14th they wanted to average 10,000 tests a day. They’ve exceeded that. They put a second marker out and that was to get to 25,000 tests a day by the end of the month and I hope and expect they will exceed that. Still, that number is still inadequate to ultimately get to where we need to go. The question many of you may be asking, what is that number? And that number is very dynamic and depending on who you talk to, people will suggest we need to be doing a minimum of 1% of our population every week. Others say it needs to be every day. Some people say, well, you’re asking the wrong question. Testing is not one off. We want to test and retest and then retest again. All of those things are going to not only be considered, are being actively reviewed and considered.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (27:06)
Just today we signed a new contract, we’ll talk about it tomorrow. I’m tempted to do so now as it relates to getting more of these testing sites up and operational even by the end of this week in rural parts of the state. But that would include prioritizing homeless shelters, prioritizing even more than we have because as you may recall on April 10th, we announced the prioritization of testing in our skilled nursing facilities and our licensed senior centers as well as prioritizing our diverse communities, particularly the African American community. I can go across the panoply of our prioritization but always active and prioritized support for those with symptoms, those that are most likely to be hospitalized with compromised immune systems, seniors that are most at risk. And of course all our frontline caregivers, particularly our hospital staff and nurses. So the totality of the need is great. The spirit of your question is spot on. You’re absolutely right, we need to do more and know all of that is underway and it will be made more visible tomorrow when it is the topic that we will be presenting to you in a very transparent way.

Speaker 2: (28:21)
Sophia Belouge, [inaudible 00:28:22].

Sophia Belouge: (28:28)
Hi governor, I’m wondering if you can weigh in on some comments that lawmakers have made in recent days. They’ve been saying that your administration has not been responsive to them and have not been including them in decision and at least one lawmaker yesterday suggested that he doesn’t think or he thinks you’ve over stripped or outstripped the authority that lawmakers gave you when they left [inaudible 00:04:56]. So can you respond to those comments and explain if you’re going to do anything differently to include lawmakers in your decision making moving forward?

Governor Gavin Newsom: (29:07)
Well, twice a week I have scheduled calls with a speaker in pro tem including having had those meetings again today. By the last count this morning, I have talked to 63 legislators, there’s 120, personally in the last four days. We’ve been having caucus Zoom conferences. We’ve been having one on one conversations. I’ve been back and forth with not only the leaders but many other members of the legislature. We have our teams assembled on a consistent basis, making themselves available in real time to caucus conference calls and we continue to do everything in our power with Anthony Williams and our legislative teams to meet the needs and desires of the legislature. I have deep respect and deep understanding of the anxiety many members of the legislature feel particularly not being back in session as they traditionally are and I get, they get overwhelmed with questions on a daily basis and they need answers and we’re trying to do everything in our power to be responsive and to the extent we can even be more responsive, we’re committed to doing that.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (30:12)
Good enough never is and I recognize my need to be available to 40 million Americans including 120 legislators. The legislature is a second of three branches that is a co equal branch and I recognize my unique responsibility to them but also to you members of the press with these daily press conferences and the totality of outreach we do on a daily basis to make sure we are truly connecting with Californians of every conceivable Stripe. So it’s all inclusive, all hand approach and it certainly can improve and they certainly made, a few of them but not all, made those points yesterday.

Speaker 2: (30:55)
Patrick Healy, NBCLA.

Patrick Healy: (30:59)
Thank you so much governor for taking my call. You’d mentioned the inquiries you’re receiving from some counties and local governments. Some of them have actually already taken action. Riverside County for example opened up its golf courses today, Port Hueneme has opened up its beach. Can you clarify the process for how this is happening? Do those counties and local governments need the state’s permission first? Do they consult with you first? How is this happening?

Governor Gavin Newsom: (31:25)
Well, they have the ability to make those decisions as long as they don’t contravene or conflict with the state guidance. If they do, they do not have the authority to do that. As it relates to conversations we’ve had with many local elected officials yesterday we talked at length about the conversations over the weekend and Ventura County as a specific proof point of that. We are engaged with our public health department and those local health directors, sheriffs in some of those counties as well. We are trying to organize this in a more deliberative manner. Again, the magnitude of this state, 480 plus cities, again, 58 counties and the need and desire for local officials to be responsive to the anxieties of their constituents obviously requires us to further that dialogue and to organize it in a deliberative way. It is exactly what the purpose of tomorrow’s update is all about and was the purpose of last week’s announcement around our roadmap to reopening.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (32:26)
Remember, just last week we put out that roadmap, perhaps the first state to do so in a comprehensive way. We committed to you and others that we will update you minimum on a weekly basis in detail in terms of the status of those six key factors that ultimately make the determination of the time, manner and place of those reopenings. And as I said, we are in contact but I imagine there’ll be some examples of people just getting ahead of that collaborative spirit and we may have to dial a little bit of that back. But again, it’s in the spirit of understanding, spirit of recognition that there is a lot of anxiety and a lot of need to know and we’re trying to provide that with clarity.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (33:14)
But I’ll remind you what you don’t need to know because I just made it clear, deaths went up 5% yesterday. Hospitalizations went up 3.3% yesterday. ICU numbers went up 3.8% yesterday. Total number of positives went up 7.4% yesterday. Those numbers went up, they didn’t go down. So I caution those including local elected officials that practicing physical distancing has worked to keep those numbers relatively modest in terms of growth. But if we pull back too quickly, those numbers will go through the roof. And I don’t think any of the people in their goodwill and the spirit, which they are wanting to loosen things up, want to see those numbers increase and spike because of those decisions. And I know that they’re cautious about that and they’re considered of that. And to the extent they get a little further than our guidance, we’ll try to encourage them to pull back.

Speaker 2: (34:13)
Jim Roope, Westwood One News.

Jim Roope: (34:19)
Governor, thank you very much for taking our calls. Truly appreciate it. Just circling back a little bit on the legislature, the assembly of public or assembly subcommittee on the budget meant yesterday and there was a lot of questions on both sides of the aisle about the money. And as I understand it, the money that’s been spent, the $2 billion so far is what they were talking about. And you’re looking for 5 billion more or you anticipate the possibility. They really grilled Theresa Calvert yesterday. You got to give her a lot of credit for how she took all of that. But my question is, is this coming from the $19 billion reserve fund, or is this coming from another place? Where’s this money coming from? I think that was some of the confusion yesterday too. And you’re right, law makers are getting a lot of questions they tell us. So what is your response to them about where the money is coming from, where it’s going, what are the resources that have been purchased and where are those resources going? I guess those are the questions that they talked about yesterday.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (35:22)
All right. So every dollar that we spent we’re accountable for, and we’re very grateful for their oversight and their collaborative capacity to guide us through that process. As you know, the legislature, to their credit, afforded this administration $1 billion of emergency aid from the state’s general fund that included 100 plus million dollars to provide for support, for distance learning and for PPE and deep cleaning in our public education system. That $1 billion we’ve distributed in a very transparent way.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (36:03)
$1 billion. We’ve distributed in a very transparent way. I make the announcements to you and to others at these daily news conferences. We talked about the work we’ve done on childcare, $50 million. Work we did on foster care, $42 million. The work we did on workforce development, $17.8 million. We’ve laid that out. I can continue to walk down that path in very specific terms and we provided that information to the legislature. What you’re referring to is the totality of ask that we anticipate above and beyond the vast majority of that 75% will be reimbursed by the federal government because of the authority and relationships we have developed with FEMA. And that reimbursement will ease I think a lot of the stress; however, it all requires oversight and it requires the appropriate dialectic of the engagement that you saw over a five hour period yesterday at a hearing.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (37:00)
That’s what legislators are for. And so we look forward to continuing to engage in that spirit. It’s been difficult for everybody because legislative sessions not in. They’re doing these virtual meetings and now they’re doing a little bit of a hybrid with some people physically there, others on the phone, and obviously it’s not an ideal situation for any of us, but we’ll continue to work in that spirit of collaboration and also the spirit to which the legislature advanced by providing me the emergency authority with that appropriation and the utilization of a disaster emergency recovery fund, which also was supported in last year’s fiscal budget for exactly these kinds of emergencies, which is the second tranche of money that we have been utilizing for these purposes.

Speaker 3: (37:55)
Nikki Laurenzo, Fox 40.

Nikki Laurenzo : (37:59)
Hi Governor, thank you for taking my question. I’m wondering about the collaboration with the federal government right now as Congress works on another round of stimulus and one of the sticking points was states and local municipalities getting more money. Do you have the Speaker’s ear, and even when you talk to the President, are you able to really lay out what California needs considering we are the fifth largest economy?

Governor Gavin Newsom: (38:23)
Yeah, it’s a wonderful question. Not only do we have the Speaker’s ear, we’ve been in constant contact with the Speaker’s office for now months since this pandemic first became very real to us in late January with those repatriation flights from mainland China. That collaboration was strengthened in the Speaker’s office beginning then as it relates to this disease in particular. We worked with the Speaker, I put out a letter specifically requesting resources not only for the state of California, but putting the magnitude of what I believe is going to be the needs for this nation as it relates to governors and city administrators and city managers and city leaders. That was a trillion dollar request and I actually believe that may be modest in terms of the totality of this challenge. I’m appreciative that Senator Menendez has got a bill, bipartisan bill with Senator Cassidy for a half a billion, trillion dollars rather for $500 billion in that space.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (39:35)
That’s real progress. It’s just a bill that they’re promoting. But the work with the speaker is more prescriptive in this respect. And it I think goes to the spirit of your question. The CARES Act, the $2.2 Trillion that came down to the state of California. We were the beneficiaries of about $15.3, $15.4 billion as a state, $6.9 billion of that to the largest cities in the state, but just six cities with population north of half a million. I don’t know what the number is, but I can’t imagine there’s more than 40 cities around the country with a population north of 500,000. So I think people all across this country were hopeful, particularly those smaller municipalities that the next round of stimulus will consider those smaller jurisdictions. In California, just to put that in perspective, only 17 of our 58 counties were able to get the benefit of that local support, not just our cities.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (40:35)
So six cities, 17 counties. So we’re hoping to bring that down from 500,000 to 50,000 and that’s specifically kinds of conversations I’m bringing in to our private conversations with the speaker’s office and other people. The good news is, I think this is broadly shared across the spectrum. The challenge of course is the more money you put for cities, the less for States, and we don’t want to be in this awkward dance of fighting for limited resources. And that’s why we put out what we believe is necessary over the looking out over the next few years at the unemployment rates. We’re looking at the trajectory of where we think things will go. We put out that marker of $1 trillion. So that’s the answer to the question. Yes. Couldn’t be more blessed by Speaker Pelosi’s leadership. She’s been masterful and we couldn’t be more pleased hearing the progress on the PPP extension, which is just fundamental and critical to keeping businesses alive so people have a place to go back to work when we get through the worst of this pandemic.

Speaker 3: (41:43)
Katie Orr, KQED.

Katie Orr: (41:47)
Governor, the California Nurses Association reports that there have been hospitals who are holding onto their PPE and not giving it to nurses and medical actually use because they’re preparing for a possible surge, but in the meantime, the nurses are not properly protected. Have you heard about that? What’s your response? And then how do you ensure that the PPE actually is getting to the people, not just the hospitals, but the people who need it?

Governor Gavin Newsom: (42:15)
Yeah. I had another one of those zoom conference calls and heard that directly from leadership, The California Nurses Association. I quite literally said the following, give me the CEO’s cell phone and I’ll call because that is an outrage. Our nurses must be prioritized. Their health is more important than the health of people like me. They must be prioritized. The reason I won’t wear an N95 mask is until every nurse in the state of California has an N95 mask, has a procedural mask, has appropriate gowns, coveralls, shields. They deserve it. They’re the heroes in this pandemic. And so forgive me for being a little forward.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (42:56)
The answer is yes. I’ve heard it and I’ve heard enough of it as well. And what I mean by that is it is the spirit of why we went out to get this large contract, which you and others have written and discussed a lot about including the legislature and we are very hopeful in the next few weeks that we’re going to see millions and millions of additional PPE masks, new units of PPE into the state of California and we’re going to get those out as quickly as possible.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (43:26)
The numbers we gave the legislature on Sunday that were socialized yesterday on Monday were 42.8 million N95 masks, some 3.3 million procedural masks. We actually gave them the information by county so they can see where they are going within the counties, but we have very prescriptive protocols and we are really running herd over those protocols of how we distribute these down to the hospital systems. And then what happens within the hospital system is where we’re trying to get under the hood so we don’t hear stories like that anymore.

Speaker 3: (44:03)
Final question. Angela Hart, Kaiser Health News.

Angela Hart: (44:10)
That you would accept help from the federal government to ramp up the testing as you have called for, and we’ll be looking for details on that tomorrow, but I just wanted to find out from you today, what specifically do you need help from the federal government with. What supplies, what testing procedures do you need help with and what can California handle on its own?

Governor Gavin Newsom: (44:33)
Yeah, well, we did a survey and I’m going to get a little ahead of my skis, my staff that’s in front of me, behind this camera. It’s probably not going to be pleased, but we did a very detailed survey of all of our testing providers and I’ll do justice to their concerns as they’re moving closer to me. Forgive me for bringing you into this room. Tomorrow I’ll give you the results of that survey that will answer the question, but let me just for the purposes of generosity of your question and my responsibility to be transparent to you, it will not surprise you. Swabs and transport media remain the dominant need, but it’s not exclusive to swabs and transport media. It also goes back to the old reagents, the RNA extraction kits, those remain issues. We’ve been very directed or rather pointed in our private conversations with the administration.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (45:33)
They know this and continue, as I said yesterday, that yes to the federal government, we need more of those supplies, but we’re not just going to sit on our hand in the absence of that. We’re not going to complain about it. We’re not going to point fingers. There’s plenty of fingers being pointed in every direction with his pandemic. And I just, let’s put our hands down. Let’s open our fists and let’s open our hearts to all of us trying to work more collaboratively together to resource the needs of 300 plus million Americans, 40 of which million live in the state of California. And so we’ll continue to search high and low and continue to make progress in this space. And you’re going to hear a lot more about that progress tomorrow. So look, I want to thank as always, thanks to everybody that is tuning in and watching.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (46:24)
And moreover, I cannot express my gratitude more to Josh Fryday and his team for this wonderful effort to really get our volunteer efforts in the state of California at a whole new level. Please, please, if you’re sitting at home and you’re wondering how you could contribute, you’re wondering what you can do to help those in need and put a smile on your face. If you’re not feeling particularly good about the moment, you’re feeling a little bit down, you want to lift that spirit. You want to lift someone’s heart. Here’s your opportunity. Check out Californiansforall.ca.gov. Stay home, practice physical distancing, stay connected and check out that website. Take care everybody.