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Newsom embarks on COVID vaccine roadshow as recall numbers rise

All Patriot NewsFebruary 25, 20218min
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Faced with a near-certain recall vote, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has embarked on an ambitious roadshow touting COVID-19 vaccine clinics to increase the state’s ranking as the nation’s worst dispersion rate.

During the past few weeks, Newsom has visited about a dozen clinics across the state and spoken to local officials touting his administration’s efforts to ramp up vaccinations, according to his Facebook page. The efforts have worked: California’s administration rate went from 5{bb7f96def6ea40275edfc9c5cdba1e157486eb0adede12a05297cf43a9589e0a} per 100 people at the end of January to 19.5{bb7f96def6ea40275edfc9c5cdba1e157486eb0adede12a05297cf43a9589e0a} Wednesday, according to Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker. The Golden State now ranks 18th.

“We are making progress, there’s not just a light at the end of the tunnel — there’s a bright light,” Newsom said at a Monday press conference in Long Beach. “A month ago, we were at 23,000 cases reported, today, just shy of 4,700.”

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Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia praised Newsom, saying, “We’re fortunate to have a governor that answers the phone …He has taken a bold approach to this serious problem.”

California’s coronavirus cases have totaled 3.9 million, making it the nation’s leader. The vaccine rollout had a bumpy start, with 40{bb7f96def6ea40275edfc9c5cdba1e157486eb0adede12a05297cf43a9589e0a} of the supply sitting dormant while confusing messaging from the governor’s office kept people from attempting to get vaccinated. Initially, the vaccine groups were divided by occupation, medical condition, and housing status.

Newsom’s vaccine focus is now on lower socioeconomic groups and teachers, rather than a concerted push toward seniors as was the model in Florida. California has had 162 more cases per 100,000 than Florida, which is an open state with a large senior population. Vaccinating teachers is the key toward getting children back in the classroom and opening the state, Newsom said.

“We must value our educators,” Newsom said. “That’s why this state is prioritizing an additional 75,000 doses every single week, 10{bb7f96def6ea40275edfc9c5cdba1e157486eb0adede12a05297cf43a9589e0a} set aside of all the first doses will be going directly to our educators and child care workers, which are essential.”

Kevin Kiley, a Republican state assemblyman and frequent Newsom critic, said he isn’t impressed.

“Gov. Newsom likes to brag that he was the first governor to impose a stay-at-home order, and he has been last at every other facet of a public health response, including testing and a botched vaccine rollout,” Kiley said.

About half the comments on Newsom’s Facebook page were critical of the vaccination blitz, and many mentioned the recall process, which has surpassed the number of petitions needed to place it on the ballot.

“Amazing how he can find the time NOW to come visit counties! Could it be due to the RECALL??? I think YES!!” one wrote.

Another said: “We are both 75 plus and NOTHING! I am pissed. My husband is autoimmune with diabetes. You would think he would have priority by NO! WTF!”

And a third wrote: “OMG. If he looked at what the other states have been doing to open-WE would be OPEN!! How can he stand up and say these things-WE are not stupid!!”

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But Newsom does have some fans.

“Thank you for all of your efforts behind the scenes to help all of us who live in California. You are an admirable man and have made many sacrifices to lead us. We appreciate you. Please stay healthy and well, we need you!” a Californian wrote.

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