California Governor Gavin Newsom is rewarding Covid-19 vaccinated with cash prizes

Ed Walsh

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Social media image from Governor Gavin NewsomOffice of California Governor Gavin Newsom

The San Francisco Bay Area has among the highest vaccination rates in the country but that is not enough yet for the Bay Area and the state to achieve herd immunity from the virus. California Governor Gavin Newsom is fighting for everyone to get the vaccine in the state. In a Facebook post, Newsom is urging the unvaccinated in his state to get a shot and he is promising to reward those who have already gotten vaccinated with a lottery to win millions of dollars.

Newsom wrote: "Who wants to be a millionaire!? Get vaccinated and you can win up to $1.5 MILLION! #VaxFTW"

The vaccine lottery post was met with mixed comments on the governor's Facebook page.

Some commentors noted the high gas taxes in California and suggested the money would be better spent to lower taxes overall.

Erik Stewart wrote, "Going up again in California July 1, thanks to even more gas taxes imposed by your Democrat overlords in Sacramento. Despite the so-called "budget surplus.""

But Ned Ashter countered," I don’t guess those complaining want to shift over to efficiencies away from fossil fuels to combat global warming and the clear threat our state is facing due to the clear environmental catastrophe . Nope, white folks,( not all white folks, just the ones knee jerking with hyperbole,) used to the same old lack of care for our world and brimming with self interest "

When someone wrote that gas prices are the result of decisions by private companies, Stewart countered: "California has the highest gas tax in the nation. And it's going up again July 1. Gavin could introduce legislation to reduce the gas tax, which is regressive and hurts the poor, many of whom are POC, disproportionately. So, when you look at, Gavin is racist for supporting a racist tax. "

Governor Newsom said the lottery is money well spent.

“Getting every eligible Californian vaccinated is how we bring our state roaring back from this pandemic,” said Governor Newsom. “California has already made incredible progress in the fight against COVID-19, with the lowest case rates in the country while administering millions more vaccines than any other state. But we aren’t stopping there, we’re doing everything it takes to get Californians vaccinated as we approach June 15 to help us fully reopen safely.”

The state reports that more than 62.8 percent of Californians aged 12+ are at least partially vaccinated, but an estimated 12 million people who are eligible still have not gotten a vaccine.

“Some Californians weren’t ready to get their COVID-19 vaccine on day one, and that’s okay. This program is designed to encourage those who need extra support to get vaccinated and help keep California safe,” said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, California Department of Public Health Director and State Public Health Officer. “The State will work closely with our partners at local health departments and community-based organizations to ensure the program reaches families living in communities with the lowest vaccination rates, who might face language barriers and other obstacles.”

All Californians aged 12 and over who are at least partially vaccinated will be eligible for the cash prize drawings taking place in June. A total of 30 winners in total will be selected for the “$50,000 Fridays” cash prize drawings on June 4 and June 11, totaling $1.5 million. On June 15, the date when the state will officially reopen, $1.5 million will be awarded to 10 lucky Californians—for a grand total of $15 million in cash prizes.

Under the official rules, winners must complete their vaccination in order to claim their prize. If someone under 18 wins, the cash will be put in a savings account for them until they turn 18, the rules state

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