California Governor Gavin Newsom welcomes tourism back as state reopens Tuesday

Ed Walsh

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Governor Gavin Newsom at San Francisco's Ferry BuildingEd Walsh/Visit California

Governor Gavin Newsom held a press conference Monday at San Francisco's Ferry Building to tout his state's handling of the COVID-19 crisis stating that the state's early and lengthy COVID-19 lockdown benefited the state's economic vitality.

Caroline Beteta, the president & CEO of the industry-led Visit California first spoke at the press conference on Monday expressing concern that tourists would have the perception that competing states like Florida are more open than California.

"The best days are not behind us, but the best days are ahead of us," Newsom said. "So in that spirit, I am here as well to highlight and announced as the bells ringing a new day. Here, not only in San Francisco, but in the state of California as we look forward to moving beyond the blueprint tomorrow, formally and officially here in the state of California.

"And we are able to announce that and achieve that because of all of you, because of the incredible work of 40 million Californians strong because of your resilience because of your faith, to not only keep yourself safe your family safe but the work you did, on behalf of your community, county regions is state, and the contributions we've made all across the rest of the nation California was the first state to move forward with a stay at home order, and I thought it very interesting that an assembly member highlighted the fact that California's economy outperformed other states because of those health policies and the important point that someone she was making, I think needs to be highlighted over and over and over again, Florida, actually had worse economic outcome.

"Over the course of last year than the state of California so to Texas the economy in the state of California did not contract as much as those states and we had better health outcomes, It was because of the health first focus that the state is not posed, poised to recover it's poised, as was noted to come roaring back and don't take my word for it, just looking at the data, look at the facts 38% of Americans Jobs came out of the state of California last month 41% of America's jobs America's Jobs came out in the state of California. In February a record budget surplus, arguably now north of $80 billion. That will allow us to make the kinds of investments that were being highlighted just a moment ago, in terms of infrastructure here at the port to invest in our human infrastructure and our K through 12 education system to address the pre existing conditions in the state affordability housing, and yes, homelessness, record investments will be making in those spaces, but we're here, primarily because California has excelled in another category and that's vaccinations.

"And I just want to thank everybody that's taking the time to take that life saving vaccination. We have now administered over 72% of Californians 18 and older ever received at least one dose of vaccine 72% of Californians, that's about the highest rates of vaccination in the United States of America we achieved the 70% goal over one month before the stated goal of July fourth that President Biden has announced 40 point 4 million doses of vaccines have been administered here in the state of California, and just a few weeks ago we launched an incentive program in order to continue that work we started to see a decline in first doses, We started to see decline, all across the United States not just here in the state of California mindful of that we decided to move forward with the incredible support of the senator, and the assembly member, their leadership, to invest over $100 million in incentives to encourage people to get vaccinated.

"We have seen week over week though tomorrow we're going to get the new numbers and I think they're arguably more favorable, but week over week, 13.8% a 14% increase in administered doses, since we initiated the vaccination, incentives, we have seen over 22% increase in reported cases and that differentiation is really just a data collection, differentiation, the point being, we are confident these vaccines incentives have worked, and that's why we want to continue in that spirit and I'll announce here in just a brief moment."

Governor Newsom is the subject of a recall campaign in large part of his agressive lockdowns which many have said have done more harm that good. Newsom slammed Texas Governor Gregg Abbott's actions as being "absolutely reckless" when he reopened his state on March 3 but there was no surge in COVID-19 cases since Texas reopened and its new cases dropped to record lows following Abbott's reopening order more than three months before California's reopening.

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