Jun 25, 2020
Governor Gavin Newsom June 25 California Press Conference Transcript
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Governor Gavin Newsom: (05:03)
Well, good afternoon, everybody. Thank you for the privilege of your time, the opportunity to catch up on where we are as a state related to our response to COVID-19, and where we are going. Yesterday, I laid out in a comprehensive presentation some of the trendlines that are becoming headlines, not just here in the state of California, but all across the nation in terms of the total number of positive cases, total number of hospitalizations, ICU patients and the like. We talked about the imperative of taking personal responsibility to wear a face mask, to practice physical distancing, social distancing. We talked about the imperative to meet this moment head-on so we can mitigate the worst effects of this virus and work our way through this first phase. We reinforced that we’re still in the first wave of this pandemic. We are not in the second wave.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (06:03)
We’ve been successful in the state of California of bending that curve. I’ll get to that in a moment, but we have stretched it out. We have elongated it, and that’s what we’re experiencing here today. The purpose of today of course, is to update you on our daily tallies as well and give you the latest numbers. As you can see from this slide, a slide that’s become familiar for those that have taken the time to watch these presentations, this slide represents the total number of tests and the positivity rate here in the state of California. Again, positivity rate is the number of people, the percentage of people that tested positive that were tested in the state, the first 14 days. And the two numbers you see on this slide, 40.8%, and 5.1% represent the first 14-day cohort of positivity.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (06:57)
Again, most of the people in the beginning of this pandemic that went to seek testing were symptomatic so it’s not surprising those numbers in the beginning of this pandemic were so high. The blue bar you see represented on the slide are the total number of tests. So we have significantly increased the ramp of testing, and you’ve seen a significant decrease in the positivity rate. But I reminded you yesterday, I’ll remind you again today, point of caution, the positivity rate has begun to increase over the course of the last few weeks. It’s 5.1% now, positivity rate, over the last 14 days. What I’m not sharing in terms of a slide, but want to share with you in a transparent way is a 5.6% positivity rate in the last seven days. So this slide represents the last 14 days, but the positivity rate is north of the 5.1%. Again, 5.6% in the last seven days. Total number of cases, yesterday, we had a record high, 7,149 people that tested positive for COVID-19. You’ll see today, that number dropped to 5,349, still higher than we would like it to be, still a point of concern. Yesterday, we tested a record number of people. Over 101,000 people were tested in the state of California. Now north of 3.7 million, roughly 3.7 million people have been tested since the beginning of this pandemic. We’ve averaged over the last seven days, 88,000 tests in the state of California. While that is significant, it’s not where we need to be. We need to continue to increase our testing, continue to increase our community, what we referred to as surveillance, so we can get a better handle of the total number of positive cases and understand the nuances between those with symptoms, those that are asymptomatic, without symptoms, and those that are pre-symptomatic. But these case numbers, when you get a look over the course of the last few weeks, we are seeing roughly 56,000 new cases just in the last 14 days, and so points of obvious and real concern.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (09:24)
Accordingly, we mark, as we’ve made this point multiple occasions, consideration above all else to total number of hospitalizations as it relates to people that are coming into our hospitals that test positive for COVID-19. Yesterday, I shared a slide with you that showed 29% increase in hospitalizations over a 14-day period. You could see from this slide, it’s increased slightly to 32% increase in total hospitalizations over the last 14 days. We now have 4,240 individuals that are hospitalized as COVID-19 patients. Yesterday, we shared and I’ll share it again today, a pie chart of the total surge capacity within our hospital system. This is an incredibly important chart. And this marks the efforts that we have advanced over the course of the last number of months, not just again, to sit on our hands, but to address your anxiety and the legitimate concern we had to prepare for an increase in total hospitalizations.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (10:33)
As you can see from this chart, some 52,745 surge beds have been identified that we can make available to meet the needs if capacity within our existing hospital system becomes stretched with COVID-19 patients. Like yesterday, today, roughly 8% of that capacity has now been absorbed. 8% of that capacity in terms of total hospitalization system capacity within our surge plan has been absorbed based upon the total number of positive patients in our hospitals. By the way, that hospitalization number represents a 3.5% increase compared to our previous reporting period yesterday.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (11:25)
We look at ICU numbers and indeed, ICU numbers not dissimilar to yesterday are increasing. You’ll see a 19% increase in this chart of ICU admissions over the last 14-day period. Yesterday, it was 18%. So we’re seeing a slight increase, 3% increase over yesterday. But over a 14-day period, it represents a 19% increase, 1,306 individuals within our total population of patients in our ICU.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (11:59)
This, represented on this pie chart, is roughly 34% of the available ICU beds within our system. If you compare this chart to the one I put out yesterday, we were roughly 29% or so of our capacity, or rather, excuse me, 31% of our capacity. Forgive me. Roughly, in the ballpark, it’s a few percentage points higher today in terms of that blue part of this pie, in terms of the total capacity for two reasons. One, the increase in the number of ICU patients, but also a decrease in the total number, the universe of available ICU beds. Remember, that number changes day-to-day based upon the entire hospital system and the availability of ICUs for patients that come into the ICUs for multiple different reasons. Again, 8% on the hospitalizations of capacity, about 34% as it relates to ICU capacity in the aggregate for the state of California.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (13:04)
And I’ll remind you as I always do, we do not live in the aggregate and so these conditions are different. These percentages are different by county. And we encourage you and I’ll say this on multiple occasions in the presentation today, I encourage you to go to the covid19.ca.gov website, covid19.ca.gov website to take a look county by county at what is available, looking at those attestation plans, which are the preparedness plans put up by your county health officials in concurrence with your county representatives that attest to certain criteria and conditions before they can move further into the reopening of their economy and to these phases as they’ve been referred to. So, that’s an update in terms of the daily totals.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (13:55)
I want to go back and take advantage of a little bit of your time today and talk about modeling. It can be a head-scratcher to be candid, going back months, watching all of these charts on the evening news, and cable networks, people debating the methodology of these different models, people are using the University of Washington models, maybe those using John Hopkins models, California using the UCLA models, or the MIT models, or the Rand models. I can continue down this path. Many different models are put up, charts, and graphs, waves, dots. And if you’re like me, they can become profoundly confusing. And so today, I want to simplify what often you are presented, what you may look at and have your eyes roll, and try to make some sense of it. And also, to provide a framework in a moment where more people can participate in the modeling and avail themselves of their expertise to the collective effort here in the state of California, and we would argue across the rest of the nation in improving our modeling capacity, making it more real-time, making it more important than anything else relevant in your lives.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (15:14)
But the purpose of this model is to make two points. One is these models guide actions. They’re not determinative of our future. You’ve heard me on multiple occasions make this point. The future is not just something to experience. We are not victims of fate. We can manifest the future. It’s not something in front of us, it’s something inside of us. I say this often, it’s decisions, not conditions that determine our fate and future. In the state of California, we are proof of that. You see this, one of the original models that was put out many, many months ago, a very simple model that talked about no intervention, meaning you just rolled out of bed, we all just went along with whatever was thrown at us and without any intervention, the expectation and the reality, as you’ve experienced in some states, that there would be a large surge or a significant increase in the surge of transmissions of the virus and its consequence a big impact on the hospital care delivery system, on the healthcare delivery system.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (16:25)
Interventions, what we refer to in technical terms is non-pharmaceutical interventions, like stay-at-home orders, practicing social distancing, physical distancing, wearing a face mask, allowed us to prepare, protect, and promote, as we put on this slide, a different outcome. And as a consequence, because of the interventions here in the state of California, we were able to mitigate that curve and we never experienced that sharp increase. But what we did do is we pushed out because of these innovations the growth of that curve, but more modestly so that we had time to develop more capacity in our hospital system, more capacity to provide the protective gear that has become so important in terms of reopening our economy, and moreover, making sure that when people are in need of support and help that we are there to provide it in a proactive, comprehensive, and thoughtful way.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (17:27)
What we are doing today is not only trying to explain a little bit more about the modeling, Dr. Ghaly is going to come up here in a moment to do just that, but we want to open up the opportunity for more and more people to get engaged in helping us build our models. What we refer to in this slide as a model of models. You’ll see that we currently have on our covid19.ca.gov website, and I encourage you to take a look at this site, and you’ll see specifically, if you want to just go directly to the slide that I’m referring, go to-
Governor Gavin Newsom: (18:03)
Go directly to the slide that I’m referring, go to CALCAT, C-A-L-C-A-T.covid19.ca.gov. But this CALCAT allows you the tool to get access to our models. These nowcast models, these forecast models, and then these larger models that run, frankly, just scenarios of planning. Dr. Ghaly is going to come up in a moment and explain a little bit of what forecast versus nowcast modeling means and how we’ve stacked all of these different models that I referenced just a moment ago together, and we’ve made them available on this site.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (18:40)
But what we want to do today is something much more robust and significant, and that is, we want to open up our site to netizens, as it’s often referred to, of citizen scientists, people that are out there doing coding every single day. We want to give them access, through an open source platform, to all of the available data that we have, that I have, that our health professionals have, in a way that we don’t believe has been done anywhere else in the United States.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (19:12)
This is a deep dive for transparency and openness. This is a new resource that we’re making available today. This open source resource is available at github.com gov. You’ll see it’s state of California. You’ll see it on the screen there. We’re making available the capacity for people to participate and help build our modeling capacity. Because one thing we recognize is the limitlessness of the capacity of expertise and talent that resides throughout the state of California, throughout the United States, and for that matter, throughout the rest of the world. The information that we’re now making available is exactly the information we make available to county health officials and see information that guides the incredible work that Mike Wilkening and DJ Patil had been doing on our team. That data expertise that they provide, second to none, it’s the kind of work that they do every single day.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (20:17)
Now, we’re opening it up to all of you. We’re opening up to mathematicians. We’re opening it up to people that are experts in AI and opening up to our researchers and our scientists and our Nobel laureates and our partners across the spectrum, including, again, citizens that just have an expertise that hasn’t been tapped. They haven’t been asked, or they haven’t availed themselves to the opportunity to engage. This goes beyond flat files, goes beyond, forgive me, APIs and these simple protocols. We’re doing something much more dynamic, something much more interactive, something that could truly bring to life a visualization of this data in a much more timely way. It’s rather simple. We want to make the modeling more purposeful. We want to make it more efficacious. We want to make it more meaningful. We want it to promote a different outcome by promoting a different consciousness and, ultimately, promoting a different behavior.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (21:16)
And, dare I say this, we want to back up the health professionals because this is the data they use to guide their decision making. And often, that decision making is questioned by pundits, some for good reasons, some for more mysterious reasons, more of an ideological argument or frame. We want to put all this out there, and we want to test it, and we want it challenged. And we recognize there’s a reason this is not always done, is it will be tested and it will be challenged. And I think you deserve that.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (21:50)
And I think we have a responsibility to advance that paradigm, that value, and that protocol. It’s all about collaboration. It’s all about engaging expertise. And as I say, many, many occasions, expertise can be found anywhere and everywhere given the opportunity. And I think we’ve now afforded that opportunity. I think we’re going to see some really dynamic and exciting things come from these new protocols and this new opportunity to engage in these new tools and ultimately help us engage in making protocols and processes that help inform our guidelines and protocols and procedures, but more importantly, to encourage better individual behavior to back up the assertions that many are making about the critical nature of wearing face masks and continuing the social distancing and physical distancing required at this moment.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (22:50)
Let me no longer belabor this. Let me now ask Dr. Ghaly to come up and make a little bit more sense of what these models may do, what they mean for you, for our decision making, and again, how all of you can participate now in helping us inform our next steps in this pandemic. Dr. Ghaly.
Speaker 1: (23:18)
Thank you, governor. Good afternoon. I want to take a few minutes to talk about the three different functionalities or real benefits of the CALCAT tool that we’re announcing today, a real opportunity to get information that we, I’ve been using here with our team in California for months to guide some of the decisions at the state level. The exciting opportunity today is to not just have statewide information, but as we’ve built our understanding of the different models that you heard the governor mention from across the nation, to be able to use those at a much more local, county level. We know that county health officers and health directors are using this information on a regular basis, not to sort of support their opinions, but to really guide their decisions that are driving some of our actions as it relates to our response to COVID-19.
Speaker 1: (24:23)
I just want to walk through three slides. The first one is really an understanding of what do we mean by nowcasting? What actually goes into a nowcast? It’s very much like when my kids wake up in the morning and say, “What’s today’s weather like?” And I say, “Look out the back window and understand what’s going on. Is it sunny? Is it cloudy?” And it helps us understand what is going on today at this moment. It’s really built around this concept of the R effective, or that notion of rate of spread. We’ve talked to you before, the governor mentioned just last week, this idea of R effective, this notion that one infected person, if the R effective is one, that person is going to infect one other person. If that R effective goes up to two, it is one person infecting two people. And what we really want to see is an R effective that comes down below one. And each bit above one, so 1.1, 1.2, ends up growing our cases in quite dramatic levels.
Speaker 1: (25:33)
And that’s when you see often those graphs or models that show the high, steep, almost hockey stick-like arc up. That is what we want to really work hard to avoid. And having this information, not just at the California statewide level, but to put it in the hands of people at the county level, allow this information to go into making decisions at that local level.
Speaker 1: (26:05)
The slide you see in front of you takes into account a number of different models that we’ve been looking at at the state level. This is not California’s own model. But that dark blue line that you see is actually the average of all of the other models that many of us are seeing in the news and in the press and that we take our cues from. We believe that each of those models has strengths, and we wanted to put together a tool so that you can see the average and that that decision or those numbers get in the hands of local health officers and decision makers to guide future decisions.
Speaker 1: (26:49)
The next slide I wanted to go over is the forecast. This is very much sort of sticking with the weather analogy. This is like your 10-day forecast. This takes your current information, your current choices, and helps guide where you might be in the next few weeks. These are exactly the tools we see. They’re built around that R effective for your communities, for your COunty, for the state, that help guide the decisions that we might make around how to emphasize and reinforce many of the things the governor has been mentioning over the past many days focused on wearing our face covering, remaining physically distanced, washing our hands, staying home when you’re sick, and protecting the most vulnerable. Again, we have on our CALCAT.covid19.ca.gov, have a tool that brings together many of the various models, allows us to look at various different outcomes of the decisions that we’re making today.
Speaker 1: (27:59)
The third slide is really, highlights one of the key benefits of the tool, which is allowing us to look at various scenarios. The governor highlighted that today’s decisions help us understand a few weeks from now, through our models, where we might end up. This tool allows us to take our current data, whether that’s our hospitalization data, our case numbers, understanding some of those non- pharmaceutical interventions that we have in place like wearing your face covering, staying physically distanced, and where we will end up in the next few weeks and months based on those decisions. And so it allows us to model exactly how we need to design activities and choices for today to help us plan for the future.
Speaker 1: (28:54)
And between these various tools, we believe, inviting a number of new individuals to play with the tools, make them better, challenge them, as the governor said, that we will, as we increase our progress in our fight against COVID-19, have improved tools and make even better decisions in the future based on our work together. And I just want to reiterate that these are exactly the tools that empower your local health officers and local health decision makers to prepare better for what we’re going to see in the weeks and months to come and keep us as low-risk and safe as possible in California, as we continue to march forward in our fight against COVID-19. And with that, I’ll turn it back to you, governor.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (29:47)
Thanks, Dr. Ghaly. Bottom line is we want to really empower individuals. We want to empower you. We want to empower others that are willing to contribute code, time, attention. We’re now making all this data easily accessible in a machine readable manner, something folks understand, many others may be curious about. But the bottom line is, we are making this a seamless process of engagement, two-way engagement that we think will really advance the cause of understanding our capacity to deliver in real time our promotion to keep people safe and healthy in the state of California. Real progress has been made over the course of the last number of months of putting this together, this platform together. That’s why today we’re releasing it. We’re also putting out a series of other points of data. I have every morning, I reference this often, a dashboard that I receive with a lot of the information that we’re providing here today and in previous days. We are now making all of that available, as well, trying to, again, be as transparent as possible. Get encouraging all of us with the knowledge that we possess currently and the knowledge and insight that we hope will be advanced through these efforts to make better decisions that ultimately can help us navigate and allow us to move forward in a much safer and more responsible way through this pandemic.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (31:20)
In the spirit of safer and more responsible, let me take on a few questions in anticipation before they’re asked. You may have seen some information came out, or rather, the report that came out that Disney has not now decided to move forward next month, opening up their theme park. I want to just compliment Disney and their team for making that determination. It was referenced in their press release. The state of California had paused on providing guidelines in that space. That is an example of the data informing decision-making, and that is exactly what we’ll be doing as we move forward and we look at conditions as they change in real time, based upon the data, based upon local conditions.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (32:12)
We’ll continue to engage in those counties that are having more challenge or trouble than other counties. Again, about 11 counties that we’re monitoring through this technical assistance program, supporting those that are advancing into phase three in a responsible and thoughtful way, encouraging that, again, based upon the guidelines that we put out to safely reopen. I can’t say this enough. When the state of California puts out guidelines, it does not mean go. The guidelines are a document of how to safely and responsibly reopen the economy, not when. We empower local decision making, as is the case in California, a nation state, as we often refer to it. State has a population that’s larger than 21 states combined.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (32:59)
We recognize that we have conditions that are very distinct in different parts of the state, and as a consequence, we want to empower local leadership to make informed decisions, but we also want that information to be made public, and I encourage you and others to go to that public platform, COVID19.ca.gov, to check in, see how your county is doing against the attestations that were put forth by county health officials, health officers, in partnership with our hospital system, in partnership with their elected officials. We will continue as we do on a daily basis to monitor all 58 counties in the state of California to provide technical assistance in real time, and to the extent we’re making progress, we’ll continue to move forward, not backwards, in a thoughtful way. To the extent we do not see progress being made and we’re not advancing the cause of public health and public safety, then we certainly reserve the right to put a pause in terms of advancing into the subsequent phase.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (34:07)
And of course, we reserve the right, always, with the dimmer switch that many of you have watched these presentations are quite familiar with, we have the capacity and ability to toggle back in terms of the stay at home order and the guidance that we put out. So that’s an update on where we are. I just want to, again, thank DJ and Mike for their incredible work and the team they put together. These are the folks that rarely get any recognition. In fact, not rarely, they never get recognition. These are the folks behind the scenes crunching all the data day in and day out. They’re the ones that know most about what’s coming next. And I just want to compliment them for really pushing us in this direction and wanting to empower you, not just the elected officials and health officials, but empower all of you in terms of unleashing your capacity to, in real time, help inform our efforts to advance the cause, again, of public health and public safety in this state.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (35:13)
We hope others will consider doing something similar along these lines with this machine readable data, and we look at this as a playground of sorts for those that love to code, a playground for those that love to mix and match data. And again, the purpose is to make it all understandable to you at the end of the day and much easier to digest. That’s the purpose of this slide that we have up, so you can simply download that information and guide your decision-making day in and day out.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (35:51)
I cannot impress upon you more, the most important decision you can make when you’re out and about in the public, please, we have a mandate in the state of California to wear a face covering. We encourage you to do that, and-
Governor Gavin Newsom: (36:02)
… Wear a face covering. We encourage you to do that and we believe that can have a profound impact on slowing the spread, protecting you, protecting others, and sending a message of the seriousness of this virus.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (36:14)
We encourage you, as always, to practice physical distancing. If you’re going to enter into a crowd, please wear a mask. But first and foremost, we ask you, why are you entering a crowd? And we encourage you, if you do, to do your best to physically distance from strangers and others that you haven’t been mixing with in the past.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (36:33)
As always wash your hands, use common sense and hygiene. Answer the call. You’ll see that on this list because that call may be from a health professional, one of these cohorts of individuals that we have been training on our contact tracing platform, that may be calling you, that will provide confidential conversation and information that you could provide in a confidential manner that will help us mitigate the spread. Talk about people you may have come into contact with. Contact tracing has been used for decades. It’s tried and true. It mitigates the spread of disease, not just COVID-19 but of other disease and we want to encourage people to take those calls if indeed they receive one of those calls.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (37:21)
As always, the most important call is call for clarity and conviction on this point. If you’re a senior or you have an underlying medical condition, please, please do your best to stay at home and protect yourself. The most vulnerable remain, our seniors in this pandemic and people with underlying conditions. We can never say that enough and of course, I wanted to reinforce that here on this slide, as we need to remind everybody the power and potency of our individual decision making. It is not just government that will determine that fate. Again, it is individuals. The sum total of individual acts in the aggregate that will slow the spread, will mitigate the transmission of this disease and ultimately allow us to move forward in a much more responsible way ultimately to get to that place, we all look forward to and that is with immunization and with COVID-19 in the history books.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (38:22)
With that, I’m now happy to answer any questions.
Speaker 2: (38:30)
Governor, one of the early goals in your six indicators for reopening was the ability to contain the virus and so the data the [inaudible 00:38:38] is using seems to be the way like hospitalization. People aren’t hospitalized until a little while after they’ve been infected, so after the point of infection and positivity rates, again are people who are only opting to get tested, so aren’t a true sample of community spread.
Speaker 2: (38:53)
Now we’re hearing the counties are having trouble contact tracing everyone who tests positive. So how is the containing the virus and stopping outbreaks?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (39:01)
We average 88,000 tests a day. I don’t know many states that can lay claim to that. We have a responsibility to do more. I want to make that clear. We tested over 101,000 people yesterday. A few months ago, we were testing less than 2,000 people a day. So we’re getting a better handle on understanding community spread, but you’re absolutely right. We have a responsibility to do more. We want to encourage congress, president and others, to help support that effort at a federal level as we scale our testing; 3.7 million tests. We certainly have a responsibility to increase, not only the total number of tests, but who we test and how we test and what I mean by who and how is to make sure that we are testing our diverse communities and how, I mean, we encourage people that are in high risk situations to get multiple tests, not just to be tested one time and feel relieved by perhaps a negative test, but to encourage people to continue to be tested if indeed put themselves in a position where they’re vulnerable to contacting COVID-19.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (40:08)
As it relates to contact tracers, you’re right. We made a commitment to you and others that we would train up to 10,000 contact tracers in the state. We announced that a number of weeks ago. We announced a partnership with UCLA and you see UCSF to help us with that training. They have done a magnificent job. Their expertise is legendary and that tracing training continues. We have a cohort of existing contact tracers in many counties and you’re right to note, not in every county, is that cohort as robust. Some of the larger counties have well resourced contact tracing that predates COVID-19, others are putting together their contact tracers. We’ve aided that effort, not only by the training protocols through UCLA and UCSF, but also the platform we put together with Accenture, with Salesforce and with Amazon. It’s a contact tracing platform that is very familiar, not just here in California, but in other states like Massachusetts. I noted on a slide yesterday how many counties now are already participating in that platform. Five more joined us yesterday. Many more will join over the course of the next few weeks.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (41:25)
We’re well on our way to coming close or exceeding. We’ll see where we are in the next week of reaching our first phase goal of 10,000, as cohort trained as contact tracers, and we’ll continue to do more, to advance even more training opportunities and as you know, well, we have now encouraged through HR and the state of California to identify a cohort of state employees that we can train so that we have true representation and distribution of contact tracers throughout the state of California and can meet that goal.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (42:03)
As it relates to mitigating the spread look, we’re at 5.1% positivity rate. Over the course of the last 14 days, that positivity rate has gone up. It is certainly below the 8% that we prescribed as it relates to some of the attestations and some of the counties. It is an obvious cause of concern and I have made that crystal clear. Today, yesterday, I’ve made that point on multiple occasions and we’re monitoring that in real time.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (42:32)
There were six indicators around testing, contact tracing, protecting vulnerable communities, protecting vulnerable communities more broadly defined than just those in skilled nursing facilities, but also those in congregate facilities, including our homeless, including people in custody. We of course need to do more on therapeutics, another indicator, but I’m very pleased. We have a remarkable team of advisers in the therapeutic space and we continue to be very hopeful about therapeutics beyond just Remdesivir, other therapeutics that are entering into the discussion into people’s consciousness, another indicator that we’re advancing.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (43:14)
Another indicator of course, is the ability to toggle back. I talked about the dimmer switch just a moment ago, ability to pause. I talked about what Disney rightfully just did and why we’re very grateful for their recognition of the current growth and the total number of positive of contacts.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (43:31)
So look, we are working through this but nothing is more important than you and others to practice the kind of physical distancing and face coverings that can truly help guide and advance the effort of working through this in a way that can truly mitigate the spread as we have reopen our economy.
Speaker 3: (43:54)
Hi, thank you. Governor just about reopening. You often said California’s reopening would be based on the science and the data but now it seems some counties are pressing ahead without meeting certain metrics, LA County being a good example of that, failing to keep this number of new cases below the minimum called for by reopening guidelines.
Speaker 3: (44:15)
My question is why is California in such instances no longer being guided by the metrics? Has the state made the choice that it’s more important to ensure an economic reboot?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (44:24)
I would encourage you to take a look at a number of the presentations we’ve been making over the last few weeks. It would disabuse you of that frame and that notion.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (44:33)
I referenced just a moment ago, we’ve referenced on multiple occasions, including on two occasions last week, that we were monitoring 13 counties at the beginning of the week, which were providing technical assistance; 11 in the middle of the week. We continue to monitor 11 very closely with technical assistance.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (44:53)
Doctor Ghaly, in both instances, put out a dashboard which had checkmarks attached to it and had the data on a dashboard where we are monitoring very closely, the attestations that are requirement of these counties. You are correct to point one of those attestations out in one particular county, but as you can see from the attestations, which I encourage you to take a look at, it’s available on the COVID19.ca.gov website, there are multiple attestations that are attached to that.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (45:26)
When people are out of compliance, again, they go on this watch list and they go through this technical assistance process and so that’s the process we’re engaged in. It is data driven. We take it very seriously and soberly and I’ll just punctuate that by giving you one specific example of an outlier in this state where we haven’t been able to move forward with an attestation and that’s Imperial County, that simply cannot absorb the total number of new positive cases. Hospitalizations, we have been decompressing their hospital system. We have some cross border issues. It’s just an example of the seriousness to which we take the facts on the ground, the data, but always guided by the enlightened leadership of local elected officials, health officers in particular, that are working in the spirit of collaboration.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (46:16)
You point out LA. I can assure you that spirit of collaboration is very much present in our day-to-day conversations with their teams.
Speaker 4: (46:30)
Thank you. Governor, San Mateo County supervisor, David Canepa is proposing a series of fines to enforce mask wearing. I want to know where you are on that and if not that plan, is there another one that could enforce it because you’ve said repeatedly that this is a key strategy to slowing the spread.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (46:47)
Well, look, when rules are in place, laws are on the books, be it wearing a seatbelt, wearing a helmet, our belief public health and safety requires along those same lines. Doing the equivalent, wearing a face mask that local elected have the right to direct their police departments and their sheriffs to enforce that law in a thoughtful and judicious way. So I appreciate leadership at the local level.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (47:14)
I was a former county supervisor, so I’m quite familiar with those responsibilities and I respect the supervisor’s seriousness as it relates to this issue.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (47:26)
Our approach at the state level is to be guided by enforcement at the local level first, but we have made it clear. I made this clear yesterday. I’ve made it clear on multiple previous occasions that we have tools at the state level and those tools include OSHA. They include the regulatory framework, an easy one to understand for bars and restaurants, nightclubs, and like is the Alcohol Beverage Control State Agency where we can enforce guidelines as relates to mask wearing.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (47:56)
We again have begun with the process of not a closed fist but an open hand and open heart, a recognition that we put forth just a few days ago on Monday with Governor Schwarzenegger, Governor Brown, Governor Wilson and Governor Davis. We’re all ex governor’s, current governor. We put out a PSA where we all acknowledged that none of us like wearing these face masks but that we feel that this is not a political issue. Two Republicans, two Democrats represented by the ex-governors that this is a responsibility. We all have to share a collective responsibility to one another to mitigate the spread of this disease.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (48:36)
So you get a sense of the spirit that we want to bring. It’s the spirit of education, the spirit of collaboration, the spirit of cooperation, spirit of engagement and we hope that’s the first approach as it relates to enforcement in this space, not a punitive approach. So I recognize this as a new mandate and I recognize the difficulty of often enforcing many different rules and regulations and just use an example of just forcing people, jaywalking. Where there’s certain abuses, certain areas where people putting themselves in harm’s way, you tend to target that enforcement and I think that’s a spirit that I think we all align to and I hope that’s the spirit. I believe that’s the spirit of that supervisor you just referenced.
Speaker 5: (49:28)
Good afternoon, Governor Newsome. We’ve got a question about the dimmer switch that you’ve so often refer to and reopening the state of California’s economy.
Speaker 5: (49:38)
At what point, as we see rising cases and increased hospitalizations and increased ICU admissions, at what point do you stop turning on that dimmer switch or even reverse it? Is there a metric you are looking at specifically?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (49:52)
I made a reference a moment ago to the issue of hospitalizations and ICUs and the importance we place on those numbers. When our system cannot absorb, when there’s a capacity consideration or limitation, that’s when we obviously have alarm bells that are raised and concerns that are debated and discussed. We put out, very publicly, those 11 counties that we are monitoring, that we refer to and forgive the language on this watch list of sorts, and we look at the criteria that they attested to and currently how they are functioning related to that criteria. When we see things coming, particularly out of balance at the local level, that’s when we work with local health officials to understand what their capacity is and what supports they may need.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (50:48)
A good example, again, forgive me for going back to it, is Imperial County where it was clear that they needed a lot of support. I’ve mentioned this on previous occasions that we brought this FMS process out. The field medical stations. We brought in experts from the state of California. I talked to Vice President Pence who was generous enough to reach out and provide even additional resources with representatives in the federal government at CDC. That’s an example of a county where we simply put a pause. We’re not moving forward. We’re not attesting to any criteria to allow them to move into phases that are very familiar in other parts of the state.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (51:29)
So that’s the framework. We’re at 8% roughly of our capacity and our surge plan on hospitalizations today. A little over 30% on the ICUs. We have, by the way, alternative care facilities outside of our hospitals, which add a little bit of absorption, there in 10 key counties, including by the way, the reason I’m bringing it up, Imperial County, We have beds being used in Imperial and San Mateo County, connect the dots to the previous question around a San Mateo County supervisor making available those resources outside of the hospital system.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (52:04)
So again, when that starts to get capped and we start to see movement, we start to see resource depletion, resource constraints, that’s when we’re concerned.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (52:14)
One area and forgive me for belaboring the answer. I think all of these questions are outstanding, deserve comprehensive response, not a flippant, 140 character response. But one of the areas that is foundational, it was also one of the indicators that was referenced a moment ago in one of the questions is protective gear. It’s just incredibly important. As we ask you to wear a mask, that we demand through the guidelines we put out working with industry, that industry is protecting its workers and you its customers. One of the most foundational ways is to have appropriate protective gear, hygiene protocols, and the like.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (52:56)
I just couldn’t be more pleased. We have now received over, just in one contract, 29 million ,N95 masks. We have over 200 million close to a quarter of a billion to be exact, 241.2 million procedure masks in our inventory. A quarter of a billion procedure masks now in our inventory. We’re getting those out. They come in, trying to get them out. Tens of millions of these masks going out in every sector of our economy, making them available, including to other states as I referenced yesterday; 14 million to Arizona. That also is foundational in terms, our ability to continue with safely modifying our stay-at-home.
Speaker 6: (53:42)
Hi, governor. I want to go back to the data portal you announced earlier.
Speaker 6: (53:50)
So do you think making this data public will change the trajectory of the virus in California. Is part of this an effort to make sure that counties are all operating on the same page and then will the state be able to compile sufficient…
Speaker 6: (54:03)
On the same page and then will the state be able to compile sufficient data from contact tracers to really be able to drill down on what sectors or activities are causing the increased community transmission?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (54:13)
Yeah, both outstanding questions and to the latter part of your question, the answer is that’s the point of the platform that we have and the platform we are now organizing with all 58 counties to get everybody on that same platform, so we’re sharing information in realtime back and forth, county by county but that’s the spirit of the answer to the first part of your question of exactly why we’re doing this open source platform, why we have this data now made available in a machine readable way, why we want to empower coders to participate and support in our modeling efforts is to create a more granular understanding of data exactly at the county level and so the more robust, the more enriching that data is, the more it’s shared, the more it’s challenged, the more it’s considered, the more likely we will be making decisions with clarity and understanding in realtime of the conditions on the ground.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (55:14)
So it’s precisely why we think … It’s maybe a confusing announcement when we talk about machine readable and we talk about flat files and APIs, these programming interfaces and people roll their eyes and coding and medicines and the like, but all of this really does matter. All this stuff that goes behind what we often just take for granted when we take our phone out and we download something and we use something, it’s all that stuff that lies underneath that informs a visualization of that data that ultimately can inform better behavior at a granular level and that’s the purpose.
Speaker 7: (55:51)
Sophia Bollag of Sac Bee.
Sophia Bollag: (55:56)
Hi Governor, so you had talked earlier this week about how your administration was putting out more detailed guidance for certain sectors in terms of the mask order and how they’re supposed to use masks. I’m just wondering if you can give some more clarity. The schools’ guidance says that schools are supposed to teach and reinforce the use of cloth face coverings, masks or face shields but it’s not clear from the guidance if those are actually required so can you clarify, are masks going to be required for schoolchildren and does your administration expect that schools are going to be able to get young kids to consistently wear masks in the classroom?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (56:36)
So full disclosure on the school question, we are still having a very robust conversation with the Superintendent of Public Education Tony Thurmond, with the State Board of Education leadership including Linda Darling-Hammond, and our team and there is a work group and so we’re continuing to work forward to clarify that because it is a more complicated question than you can imagine based on the 1,000+ school districts and the many, the myriads of opinions that are coming back.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (57:08)
What was foundational? Interestingly, in being able to answer this question is to understand exactly where we land on issues like ADA and specifically where we land on this budget deal. Forgive me for talking in insider terms, but once we have clarity, once that vote is cast, once people have a real specific sense on the language, that has become an issue that will help us unlock and inform the next steps on the mask wearing requirements. So we’re looking forward to get those out as soon as we possibly can and in making sure that we do our best to get as many people as we can on the same page.
Speaker 7: (57:50)
Laurel Rosenhall, CalMatters.
Laurel Rosenhall: (57:54)
Thank you so much. I’m going to take it in a different direction and ask about something in the budget agreement you made with the legislature concerning job protections for workers who take paid family leave. The Chamber has put this on its job-killer list. It’s something that the legislature hasn’t passed or has rejected in the past when it’s been introduced but I understand that it was a priority for you. I’m just wondering given the fragile nature of the economy right now why you think that this is the right time to require these job protections.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (58:26)
Well if you support contract tracing and the purpose of contact tracing is to isolate an individual, potentially quarantine an individual, that has huge economic consequence on that individual. In order to encourage the kind of engagement with our contact tracing workforce, we want people to be honest and transparent where they’re putting their health first and not concerning themselves about their economic conditions and if they put their economic conditions ahead of their health conditions, that can impact the greater economy in a way that’s a particularly deleterious. As you know well, we have a task force on paid family leave, it’s a value I’ve long embraced, forgive me, I continue to embrace it because I believe that our nation, our state is unbalanced in terms of caring for our workforce, caring for families, caring for caregivers and so often is the case that people are not attending to the needs of their family members which is impacting society in a very deep way. There’s no substitute for caregiving, outstanding parenting, where they’re pulled away because they’re not afforded the rights and privileges that are extended quite universally in most of the industrialized world.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (59:51)
I believe the United States can do more and do better. That’s why we conceived and convened a task force a year ago. It was a predicate that brought our chief of staff Ann O’Leary to this job because of her passion, her conviction, her resolve to do more, particularly for working mothers, but also across the spectrum for workers generally. So this was a recommendation that came from the task force. We made progress on paid sick leave last year and all this does is say, “Well if you’re paying into the system, you can’t be fired if you take advantage of the right to draw down that support if your health is impacted.” I don’t know that having a restriction on just firing someone is particularly deleterious, so it’s just something that I support.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:00:50)
Good people can disagree. There are a lot of things that we’re doing for small business and I don’t think I need to remind you but that’s my background. I know a thing or two about small business. I’ve had the privilege to start dozens of small businesses quite literally dozens of small business, managing, general partner, took pen to paper, took an idea to fruition, opened businesses with one part-time employee and some businesses with hundreds of employees and I deeply respect the entrepreneurial spirit, the business community in this state, the vibrancy, the innovation that defines the greatness of this state and how the dream is predicated on social mobility and the opportunities that entrepreneurs provide in terms of making real their ideas and passion and putting them into action and so I am very sensitive to answer your question about the vibrancy of our business community and again I don’t come at it lightly but quite learnedly and with a deep realization of consequences, of decisions that we make at the state, local and national level.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:01:59)
I’m not ideological about this but it is something we believe in and forgive me, because I would be remiss, the First Partner in the State of California made this a top priority herself. We have four young kids, she’s been an advocate for the cause of equality, and you’re not going to be serious about equality in this state and nation, you’re not serious about the cause of equality in this state and nation unless you address the disparities in caregiving at home and the responsibilities that are placed, those burdens when those responsibilities are exacerbated by responsibilities at work without the benefit of being able to create a little bit of balance, a little bit of understanding, capacity, relief. So we believe in that paradigm and appreciate the Women’s Caucus in the state legislature who has also made this a top priority and I believe they have done a wonderful job advancing this cause.
Speaker 7: (01:03:02)
John Carroll, KPBS.
John Carroll: (01:03:06)
Yes, good afternoon from San Diego, Governor. I have two questions for you. The first one is we are concerned over here in San Diego County because of the very terrible situation in Arizona right now with their hospital situation. Have you given any thought to what the governors in the Tri-State Area have done and forgive me if you answered this yesterday, in making people coming from hot spot states, quarantine once they get to California? That’s my first question and the second one is have you recalled the ventilators that we have in California that we’ve loaned out to other states?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:03:46)
Yeah. Thank you for the questions. We have over 11,000 ventilators in our hospital system and in our cache and my understanding, let me get back, I think the vast majority, there may be a ventilator or two still out there but the vast majority of those ventilators are now back in the state of California and we continue to work with the hospital system that’s been able to draw down and procure more ventilators within their systems separate from the state and the state continues to do what we can to find more and more ventilators.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:04:15)
Interestingly and forgive me for adding this level of nuance and detail to your simple question, we had a call, a governors only call with the vice president just a few days ago and many governors requested an update on the national stockpile and the efforts of the current administration and FEMA to procure more ventilators including those that were being produced by GM and others. We were given assurances, all of us, that that stockpile was not only being replenished but substantially increased, tens and thousands of new ventilators that are being procured and will be made available just in the next number of weeks. They gave a number in the tens and tens of thousands in July that will be made available and I think that’s important in terms of the broader national implications in terms of that availability.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:05:18)
As it relates to Arizona, you may have heard me a moment ago say 14 million masks in partnership with FIMA we’ve sent to Arizona. We feel a deep sense of responsibility to support American citizens and to support people in need and I would expect nothing less from that state if we were in a circumstance where some of that protective gear was necessary and important, and again, it’s another reason why I just couldn’t be more pleased that we’ve been able to fulfill our commitments with these large orders of procedure and surgical masks as well as N95 masks to be in a position to be able to do that. As it relates to your specific question around quarantining individuals, we don’t believe at this time, at this time, that that is necessary.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:06:13)
That said I want to make this crystal clear, it’s been the case in the past because this question has been asked not just yesterday but months ago that when you do come into the state of California, you’re responsible to advance the rules within the state, meaning when you come into the state of California, you have to wear a face mask. When you come into the state of California, you have rules and regulations and health guidelines that have to be enforced and we expect will be advanced. I think the message should be very clear. Anyone coming into the state of California is subject to a mask mandate and the guidelines that we have put forth but at this moment we’re not shutting down our border to other states.
Speaker 7: (01:07:03)
Final question. Josh Haskell, ABC7.
Josh Haskell: (01:07:07)
Yeah Governor, I know you just talked about the masks to Arizona but are you monitoring what’s also happening in Texas and Florida in terms of their positivity rates as well as Arizona is on the rise and what could we learn from what’s happening there? Is there anything that you believe those states can learn from what California’s already done?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:07:27)
Let me say this [inaudible 01:07:30]. If as governors we’re not humbled, we should be. I think we would do a disservice to each other if we’re not humbled by the conditions that persist in different parts of this country and in just a moment’s notice, these conditions can radically change. So we should be humbled. That’s what I’ve learned. I’ve been trying to practice it for months, certainly been humbled by this entire experience, these numbers are humbling. While we have a 5.1% positivity rate over a 14 day period, and it’s increasing, you’re correct that positivity rate is not as high as those three states you’ve mentioned but I’m not here to attack the governors, point fingers. We are working in the spirit of collaboration and cooperation with governors, Democrats, Republicans, human beings, that want to do the best they possibly can and care deeply about their states, their families, their communities, the world, we’re collectively trying to … We may have different approaches to thing.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:08:39)
That’s why when people have asked the previous question for ventilators, we were very proud we could provide ventilators to I think five different states. When we’ve been asked for masks that we want to afford the availability of masks, expertise to the extent now that we have provided all of this data to every governor in the state, every health official in the state, every university in this country, that is in the spirit of trying to be open, transparent and more importantly connected to a collective cause, and that’s the cause of ending COVID-19 in the United States of America. Many states but one extraordinary vision and nation and so we are all about affirming and advancing the cause of a more perfect union and I feel deeply, deeply, empathetic to those governors that are struggling at this moment and we will do everything in our power to be as supportive as we possibly can to them.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:09:42)
With humbleness in the heart, I say that, and also, soberness and recognition of the world we’re living in here in the state of California and I will close as I began by making a point that cannot be emphasized enough. Individual decision-making in the aggregate will determine the trajectory of our trendlines and ultimately mitigate the expectation that we’re going to experience even more horrific outcomes into the future. We have the ability to bend this curve. We have remarkable capacity to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by putting on a face mask, a face covering when we can’t practice physical distancing. We’ve got Fourth of July coming up. We have rules of the road, expectations that we believe need to be met and we cannot impress upon people more the importance at this critical juncture when we are experiencing an increase in cases that we had not experienced in the past to take seriously this moment and if we do, we can mitigate and we can mend and we ultimately can rebound and become more resilient still in the future and that again is a decision each and every one of us needs to make by practicing common sense and good behavior.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:11:09)
So it’s in the spirit of common sense, the spirit of our grandparents and our parents that teach that that we preach and we hope we all practice that and so we’ll all do our part and I hope you do yours as well and we look forward to re-engaging and reconnecting this time tomorrow. Thank you everybody.