Gavin Newsom on COVID in California

Read Transcript EXPAND

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Can I ask you where you are in terms of COVID? And the fact that California is one of I think 20 states that has just over half its population vaccinated. Why do you think you’re suffering this spike again now in places?

GAVIN NEWSOM, CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR: Yes, we have one among the highest vaccination rates in the country, 76.2 percent of all eligible Californians have received at least one dose, 45.3 million doses administer. That’s 17.8 million more than the next state, largest state Texas. That said, your question is the right question, why are we seeing an increase. We have a case rate that now has grown over the last seven days to 17.5 percent. We’re seeing an increase in hospitalizations, just shy (ph) of 5,000 people now hospitalized, that’s nowhere near our peak of 22,000. But it’s simply this and it’s well-known and well-described. It’s a pandemic that now is disproportionately impacting the unvaccinated. And we still have a stubborn number of folks that are unvaccinated in this state. And that’s where we’re seeing the big increase.

AMANPOUR: So, building on that, the statistics show that more than 90 percent of Californians live in areas where community spread is, quote, high or substantial. So, you have sort of, you know, sort of danced around, if I can say, the question of whether you will order mandates of any kind, mask mandates or the rest. The Bay Area is calling for it. We see New York City is calling for certain mandates to go indoors now, whether it’s restaurants and the like. Why do you not just come out, given this spike you’re talking about and given those who are vulnerable, and just declare certain mandates?

NEWSOM: Well, we were the first state in the country to do just that last week. In fact, California led the way by mandating that every state employee be vaccinated or verify vaccination or submit to weekly testing. But we took it a step further, that included all healthcare workers. 2.2 million healthcare workers all totaled. We also work with private sector. You saw some of the largest health care providers in the country. Just this week, Kaiser following suit some of the largest employers in America in the world. Facebook, Google and others, following similarly, and of course, the President himself doing it with all federal employees. California led a year ago, the first stay at home order, and we have mask mandates in place throughout the Bay Area in Los Angeles, we have mask guidelines, and indeed mask mandates one of the first states in the country to do it for all schools as they reopen as well. So we’ve been assertive. We’ve been aggressive and we’re really proud of where California stands. That being said, we’re sober and mindful and humbled by the nature of the Delta variant in particular.

About This Episode EXPAND

California Governor Gavin Newsom discusses COVID, wilfires and his recall election. Elif Shafak discusses her new book “The Island of Missing Trees.” CNN correspondent Fred Pleitgen gives an update from Iran. Anti-racist educator Robin DiAngelo discusses her new book “Nice Racism.”