California’s next Covid wave- POLITICO

THE BUZZJUST ENDEMIC THINGS: California has gone through more lulls and surges than we can count at this point, but it looks like we’re heading for another uptick. The Omicron variant has evolved into more subvariants, doctors are masking up again and California has seen a 50 percent increase in cases over the past two weeks.

Things are not as bad as they were in January. At that time, the seven day positivity rate jumped to 22 percent. Today, it’s around 3.4 percent. In January, hospitalizations peaked at nearly 15,000 Covid patients. On Friday, the state reported 1,112 hospitalized Covid patients. You’d be forgiven for wanting to take a hiatus from worrying about the pandemic, but with this next increase — surge, bump, ripple or whatever you want to call it — we’ll get to see how the state’s SMARTER plan works in action and how Californians react in year three of living with the coronavirus.

As a quick refresher: Gov. Gavin Newsom debuted the plan in mid-February, at a time when the state was just coming down from the Omicron surge. It was a much more somber rollout than the celebratory reopening ceremony Newsom threw in June, which featured Minions and a Troll. In February, the governor opted for a tone of moderation and caution, warning Californians that there “is no end date” to the pandemic, and that “there is not a moment where we declare victory.”

A NEW SET OF PRIORITIES: The state’s priorities at this point include minimizing the strain on the health care system and keeping schools open and in-person. Unlike previous strategies, the SMARTER plan doesn’t have specific metrics that trigger certain restrictions. Instead, the state monitors transmission and deploys resources, like masks, testing supplies and medical staff, to specific areas as needed.

A big difference between the old plan and the new approach is that the state doesn’t require masking in public places any more, including on transit and in schools, but does strongly recommend masks for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. Could that change if cases continue to climb? It happened last year when Omicron entered the scene, but as we mentioned before, that surge was much more severe than the one we’re seeing now.

The trends in California track with what’s happening around the nation. The U.S. has seen a similar increase since late April, with cases up about 50 percent, and a majority of states have seen cases rise by more than that in the last two weeks. But even if this particular uptick is mild, there’s no promise of smooth sailing in the months to follow. The Biden administration is asking Congress for more emergency aid and bracing for the possibility that 100 million Americans — about 30 percent of the population — will get infected this fall and winter, per reporting from the New York Times.

VACCINE SLOWDOWN: You can expect that vaccines will continue to be a central part of California’s pandemic strategy, but efforts to drive up inoculation rates have run into some hurdles. In total, 75 percent of eligible Californians are fully vaccinated, but that number drops to less than 67 percent for 12- to 17-year-olds and even lower, to less than 35 percent, for 5- to 11-year-olds.

Newsom last year made national headlines by adding the vaccine to the list of inoculations required for kids to attend public school, and a bill introduced this year by state Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) would have codified the same requirement and gone one step further by refusing to allow personal belief exemptions. Officials had expected the requirement to go into effect this summer, and there was hope it would improve the lagging rates of vaccination among kids. But just last month, Pan pulled his bill and the California Department of Public Health said it wouldn’t add Covid-19 to the list of required childhood vaccines because it hadn’t received full approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Now, it’s looking like California won’t require the coronavirus vaccine for public school students until July 2023 at the earliest.

BUENOS DÍAS, good Monday morning. Don’t think we’ve forgotten about the abortion issue. Senate Bill 1142, by Sens. Anna Caballero (D-Merced) and Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), is up in committee this morning. The bill would create a state-administered fund to help low-income people access abortion services in California.

Got a tip or story idea for California Playbook? Hit us up [email protected] and [email protected] or follow us on Twitter @JeremyBWhite and @Lara_Korte

QUOTE OF THE DAY — “I don’t think people realize that we’re actually at a point where, some of these fires, we cannot put them out.” Lenya N. Quinn-Davidson, a fire adviser with the University of California Cooperative Extension and director of the Northern California Prescribed Fire Council, in an interview with the NYT about the efforts to expand prescribed burning across the U.S.. 

TWEET OF THE DAY — Travel writer and one-time SF mayoral candidate Stuart Schuffman @brokeassstuart with a gorgeous picture of the sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge: “Don’t let Fox News know about this.”

WHERE’S GAVIN? Nothing official announced.

Column: A Texas woman needed an abortion. Here’s how far California went to help her,” opines Anita Chabria for the Los Angeles Times: “After the positive test, she went to a Texas clinic. She was only about six weeks pregnant, but they found a heartbeat and that was that. Suddenly the Texas law was about her, and her future narrowed down to panic and fear.”

How the pandemic divided the California county where 1 in 300 people died of COVID,” by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Ryan Kost: “As the United States prepares to mark the grim milestone of 1 million dead from COVID-19, Tuolumne County offers a look at the national pandemic writ small. In many ways, what played out there is nothing unique. Nationwide, the pandemic sowed death and division. But in this county, nothing is abstract.”

NO DICE — Judge tosses Trump suit against Twitter, by POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein: A federal judge in San Francisco on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed by former President Donald Trump against Twitter over its decision to permanently kick him off the social media platform following the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

APPOINTEE AFFAIRS If Chesa Boudin is recalled, London Breed will own San Francisco’s crime concerns,” by the SF Chronicle’s Joe Garofoli: “If Breed has to pick [District Attorney Chesa] Boudin’s successor, then she will own the crime issue in San Francisco until she faces voters next year. That’s not a re-election position she wants to be in given how people feel about crime.”

— “Prosecutors decline to file charges against 2018 Villanueva donors,” by the LA Times’ Alene Tcheckmedyian: “Prosecutors opened an inquiry a month before the 2018 election after receiving a complaint from then-Sheriff Jim McDonnell’s campaign alleging that the owner of a burger chain was reimbursing employees for donating to Villanueva.”

— “Ballots and a big decision arrive this week in L.A.’s mayoral race,” by the LA Times’ Benjamin Oreskes: “It remains to be seen, of course, how many voters will participate, and whom they will support. But with a month to go, the race looks far different than it appeared at the beginning of 2022.”

— “Governor, legislators won’t budge in high-speed rail dispute,” by CalMatters’ Ralph Vartabedian: “The battle involves who will exert control over the project’s future, how to improve its efficiency and how the remaining funds can yield the greatest benefits, which involve sharp disagreements that could be difficult to resolve.”

— “A bid to stop freeway expansions in California hits a roadblock: Organized labor,” by the LA Times’ Liam Dillon, Ben Poston and Rachel Uranga: “Labor leaders contend that limiting freeway widening overestimates the state’s ability to transition from an automobile-centered culture and does so at the expense of good-paying jobs.”

— “Bill advances to let California teens get vaccinated without parental consent,” by CalMatters’ Emily Hoeven: “Just five of the eight bills introduced this year by a vaccine working group of Democratic lawmakers are still alive.”

— “Battle for Police Reform: To Reduce Racial Disparities, SFPD May Ban Minor Traffic Stops,” by the SF Standard’s Michael Barba: “While barred from making certain stops, police would still be able to enforce violations—by issuing a citation in the mail, for instance.”

— “LAPD got hundreds of complaints about officers not wearing COVID masks, but punished few,” by the LA Times’ Kevin Rector: “The reports did not name the disciplined officers, describe the underlying circumstances of the complaints or say how many officers were involved in the two complaints that were upheld, or ‘sustained.’”

— “San Diego sees first conviction under new ghost guns ordinance,” by the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Teri Figueroa via LA Times: “Last year, the city passed the Eliminate Non-serialized Untraceable Firearm, or E.N.U.F., ordinance, making it illegal to buy and sell gun parts in the city that lack serial numbers and thus cannot be traced by law enforcement.”

— “Cash for farmworkers? California lawmaker says new $20 million idea will help amid drought,” by the SF Chronicle’s Melissa Montalvo: “Proposed by State Sen. Melissa Hurtado, a Democrat from Sanger, Senate Bill 1066 would allocate $20 million to create the California Farmworkers Drought Resilience Pilot Project, a state-funded project that would provide unconditional monthly cash payments of $1,000 for three years to eligible farmworkers, with the goal of lifting them out of poverty.”

— “California wants more electric cars. But many public chargers don’t work,” by the SF Chronicle’s Julie Johnson: “They found 73% of public kiosks in working order. But nearly 23% had inoperable screens, payment failures or broken connector cables. On another 5%, the cables were too short to reach the vehicles’ charging inlet.”

— “Climate Change Is Straining California’s Energy System, Officials Say,” by the New York Times’ Benjamin Mullin: “Officials said in an online briefing that they were preparing for a scenario in 2022 that would see California fall short of energy demands by about 1,700 megawatts…One megawatt is enough electrical capacity to power 1,000 average California homes, according to the California Energy Commission.”

— “More human remains found at Lake Mead days after body found in barrel, rangers say,” by the Sacramento Bee’s Don Sweeney and Maddie Capron: “A second set of skeletal human remains has been discovered at Lake Mead, just a few days after visitors found a body in a barrel at the rapidly shrinking Nevada reservoir, rangers reported.”

— “Pelosi to Raise Minimum Wage for House Staffers to $45,000 a Year,” by the Wall Street Journal’s Natalie Andrews: “Current salaries for some staff positions can be as low as $23,000, according to a Congressional Research Service report. [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi set the deadline for the pay increase to go into effect Sept. 1.”

— “How Netflix’s stumbles are causing rivals to rethink the streaming business,” by the LA Times’ Stephen Battaglio and Wendy Lee: “In order to sustain these services, companies will have to depend more on some of the revenue-generating methods that served the traditional TV business well for decades, such as advertising and the sale of programs to other broadcast and cable outlets after they run on streaming.”

HAS THE BUBBLE POPPED? — “The Tech Industry’s Epic Two-Year Run Sputters,” by the Wall Street Journal’s Sebastian Herrera and Akane Otani: “The technology industry, which powered the U.S. economy during the pandemic and grew at tremendous scale during a decade of ultralow interest rates, is confronting one of the most punishing stretches in years.”

— “Amazon Fires Senior Managers Tied to Unionized Staten Island Warehouse,” by the New York Times’ Karen Weise and Noam Scheiber: “The firings, which occurred outside the company’s typical employee review cycle, were seen by the managers and other people who work at the facility as a response to the victory by the Amazon Labor Union, three of the people said.”

— “Are pot consumption lounges coming to Sacramento? The City Council will hear a proposal,” by the Sac Bee’s Randy Diamond: “The lounge plan, one in a sweeping set of proposed changes to how Sacramento regulates legalized cannabis, faces an uphill battle in the council.”

— “Armored car company settles suit over $1M pot sale seizures,” via the Associated Press: “A Pennsylvania armored car company has settled its lawsuit that accused the San Bernardino County sheriff of illegally seizing over $1 million in cash it was transporting from medical marijuana businesses.”

— “A US agency will stop selling target dummies that resemble Black men. An Oakland artist is the reason why,” by the SF Chronicle’s Justin Phillips.

— “Electricity Shortage Warnings Grow Across US,” by the WSJ’s Katherine Blunt.

— “Everything you know about Angel Island, the largest island in the San Francisco Bay, is likely wrong,”by SF Gate’s Silas Valentino.

— “Semiautomatic and automatic assault rifles among firearms collected at buyback event in Lynwood,” by the LA Times’ Marissa Evans.

Telemedicine abortion providers see a surge in interest, by POLITICO’s Ben Leonard. 

Threat to Roe puts GOP on defense in 2022 battlegrounds, by POLITICO’s Natalie Allison and Holly Otterbein.

— “‘If I get something from you I could die’: Some immunocompromised Cal State students feel left behind as COVID safeguards loosen,” by CalMatters’ Julian Mendoza.

— “California’s ‘class of 1972’ wineries continue to raise the bar,” by the Washington Post’s Dave McIntyre. 

— “State Bar notifies 1,300 people identified in data breach,” via the Associated Press. 

— “Appeals court upholds limit on California’s foie gras ban,” via the Associated Press.

— Frank Cardenas has stepped down from the Fair Political Practices Commission and accepted an appointment from Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon to the Strategic Growth Council.

—Nate Garcia is now scheduler and caseworker for Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.).

— Selina Sun is now special assistant and district scheduler for Pelosi. She most recently was director of scheduling for the office of the mayor of San Francisco.

MEDIA MOVE — Hamed Aleaziz will join the LA Times to cover immigration. He currently is an immigration reporter for BuzzFeed.

— “George Pérez, Who Gave New Life to Wonder Woman, Dies at 67,” by the New York Times’ George Gene Gustines.

Samantha Huynh, legislative aide to Assemblymember Buffy Wicks… Erin Ivie, communications director for Wicks…

CALIFORNIA POLICY IS ALWAYS CHANGING: Know your next move. From Sacramento to 
Silicon Valley, POLITICO California Pro provides policy professionals with the in-depth reporting and tools they need to get ahead of policy trends and political developments shaping the Golden State. To learn more about the exclusive insight and analysis this subscriber-only service offers, click here.

Want to make an impact? POLITICO California has a variety of solutions available for partners looking to reach and activate the most influential people in the Golden State. Have a petition you want signed? A cause you’re promoting? Seeking to increase brand awareness amongst this key audience? Share your message with our influential readers to foster engagement and drive action. Contact Jesse Shapiro to find out how: [email protected]

Click Here For This Articles Original Source.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *