California Governor Gavin Newsom was heckled during a live press conference on Wednesday as he sought to explain the evolution of the state’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“RE-call NEW-som! RE-call NEW-som! Was heard repeatedly as the governor announced a new vaccination site in the hard-hit central valley. It was the latest in a parade of events he hosted this week to celebrate the opening of larger venues across the state, including two at ball parks in Oakland and San Diego.
Later that day, however, it was revealed that the state’s largest site was going to shut down due to a lack of vaccine. It was emblematic of the duality present in California’s current response to the pandemic.
On the one hand, infections are down and the governor and other officials have eased restrictions on retail businesses and restaurants. As of Wednesday, a tenth of the state’s population had been vaccinated. At least three super vaccination sites were opened recently, with the governor leading the band. CVS and Walgreens stores will begin vaccinating Californians. But these positive aspects can have a downside.
Los Angeles Covid-19 update: Dodger Stadium vaccination site will be closed for 2 days due to massive vaccine shortage;
The state’s largest vaccination site, at Dodger Stadium, will close along with four other city-run sites on Friday. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday night that the site was running out of vaccines as the city’s allowance fell more than 80% week over week.
“This week, we only received 16,000 new doses. That’s about the number of new doses we give each day, ”he said. “That’s a drop of 90,000 from the previous week. This is unacceptable. “
In the meantime, according to the Fresno beeThe Fresno County allowance was doubled to 19,000 doses this week. Last week, the county received 8,000.
“At a briefing from our county partners this morning,” the mayor said on Wednesday, “we learned that other towns with a smaller population are receiving more doses than our entire county with a larger population. important. When we look at the places where the cases are lower, we see 50% more doses to other cities. I don’t want to deprive them of a single dose, but it is fair that Los Angeles gets a steady supply for respond when we need it.
“I’m not here to point fingers,” Garcetti continued. “As always, I am here to be a partner. But I want to be clear: Los Angeles needs more doses. The mayor has promised to “fight” for more vaccine.
When asked specifically if the increasing prevalence of vaccination sites may have contributed to the drop in supply, Garcetti observed, “It’s kind of Hunger Games out there. We do a sort of “all of the above”. I think part of that is we’ve been to so many places without the matching offer, you’ve seen some of the main places … like ours and the county mega sites don’t have as much supply.
When Asked Newsom whether the new Fresno site would cannibalize vaccine from other sites in the region, he replied, “Everything is dynamic. It depends on what the State of California receives. Again, the state has no vaccine doses. the federal government distributes these vaccines through their networks.
This is an answer the governor has given time and time again, insisting that the state is not the middleman and that distribution is done directly from the federal government to suppliers, as with the flu vaccine. seasonal. But what Gacetti points out is that the state’s efforts to quickly expand vaccination sites are drying up an already shortage pool of vaccines.
Newsom stressed that the allocations to CVS and Walgreens would be “additive”, ie in addition to the current offer. But doses in places like the new Fresno clinic, which is expected to deliver more than 400 vaccines per day at launch, will come from the existing supply – in some places non-existent -.
“I think everyone wants to come in and save the day and I admire that. This means that I work with partners who have the same motivation as me, ”Garcetti noted. “But it would be nice for someone to kind of take that 50,000-foot view, to look at the metrics of places like our sites that get it out of the park, that have efficient centers, where they’re well staffed, where we recover 98% of the doses, where we have mobile clinics next to that …[and] reward us. Reward places that work before building more architecture for doses that don’t exist. “
President Biden on Thursday announced an agreement to purchase 200 additional doses of the vaccine. This will ultimately go a long way in matching supply and demand. In the short term, however, a delivery infrastructure is being built, part of the population is being told to get vaccinated and there aren’t enough doses to circulate. These kinds of dashed expectations are becoming a regular feature of the Covid-19 response in the Golden State.
On Thursday, it was revealed that states’ immunization figures were very bad.
By the Sacramento Bee:
In an interview with The Sacramento Bee on Friday, California State Association of Counties executive director Graham Knaus said his organization’s counties found that the state’s data was missing by hundreds of thousands of doses administered. At the hearing, [Yolo County Health Officer Dr. Aimee] Sisson said other counties in the Sacramento area are seeing similar errors. Los Angeles County’s top science official, Dr Paul Simon, said this was happening in his county as well.
This is a problem because an undercoverage could mean that counties that have already vaccinated a lot receive much larger shipments of vaccine than they otherwise would.
“Over the past few weeks, this has been an extremely intense concern for us, cleaning up the data, improving the quality, ensuring that every dose is given,” said Dr Tomás Aragón, director of the public health department of California. “Without good data, we will have no visibility on the achievement of any of our goals.”
The monitoring problem recalls the excellent data from the SNAFU State for 2020.
Last August, California chief health official Dr Mark Ghaly held a press conference and admitted that multiple errors on the part of the state had caused a backlog of 250,000 to 300,000 records in its case data reporting system. This system was mainly used to analyze and distribute data on coronaviruses. At least two weeks of data were impacted as officials were still trying to understand the spread of the virus. The California director of public health resigned shortly thereafter.
Then there was the loosening of restrictions in January, which was welcomed by Newsom’s critics, but confusing to anyone trying to follow the logic of the closures. Simon, from LA County, when asked by Deadline if he understood how the state calculated the ICU thresholds by which regions were kept closed, said, “I can’t really comment. I haven’t seen the news. I don’t really know what considerations were taken in this threshold. ”
It was the scientific director of the state’s largest county who said he did not understand the parameters by which his county was kept closed. if he didn’t understand it, how were non-doctors supposed to do it?
Simon’s response came on the heels of an explosive Associated Press report alleging that the Newsom administration kept secret the data calculations by which it justified one of the longest and most stringent lockdowns from the country.
California Health and Human Services Director Dr Mark Ghaly then made several attempts to explain the formula, but the more he spoke, the more Byzantine it sounded.
Newsom is the target of an ongoing statewide recall effort, and activists working to put its referral to a vote say it has collected 1.4 million of the 1.5 million signatures needed. TV ads targeting Newsom are scheduled to air this week.
Also on Monday, a new Republican challenger, businessman John Cox, whom Newsom brilliantly beat in the last election, declared his intention to challenge the governor in the proposed recall election if he qualifies for the election. the ballot, or says he will run against Newsom if he seeks a second term in 2022. Cox once again threw his hat in the ring on Monday with an ad portraying himself as an underdog.
“I’m a businessman, not a politician,” he says in the ad. “It’s time to make a fresh start.”
Cox joins fellow Republican and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer in the race.
Tech investor VirginGalactic chairman and Golden State Warriors co-owner Chamath Palihapitiya teased – and then pushed back – a gubernatorial race in January. Palihapitiya has frequently criticized the powerful for maintaining the status quo in order to preserve their own power. Its proposed platform included no taxes, better schools, and higher pay for teachers.
– Chamath Palihapitiya (@chamath) January 26, 2021
The hiccups in the state’s handling of the Covid-19 response have hurt Newsom polls. Likewise, his poor judgment in joining a host of friends and lobbyists at The French Laundry shortly before ordering Covid restrictions on restaurants in the state. It became a rallying cry for the recall supporters.
And there’s also the continuing cascade of jobless fraud disclosures around the state. As federal funds poured in to help those affected by the pandemic last fall, about $ 1 billion was sent to prisoners who fraudulently qualified for help. And it’s not just the prisoners who benefit from the chaos.
A Jan. 28 state audit estimated that the amount of EDD fraud committed in California between March and December 2020 could exceed $ 10.4 billion.
And yet Newsom’s soldiers continue. Asked about the recount, he said it was just noise, that he focused on his work for the state, even when they chanted “RE-call NEW-som!” right outside the doors.
Watch Newsom’s Wednesday press conference below.