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tv   ABC7 News Getting Answers  ABC  July 26, 2021 3:00pm-3:30pm PDT

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building a better bay ea wa. g solu thiss c7 we ask experts your questions every day at 3:00 to get answers for you in real time. there is a lot of proof of vaccination news from bars to the state of california, requiring the employees and healthcare workers to get vaccinated. we will talk about the ethics behind these new vaccine mandates. as more people are going out to restaurants, have customers forgotten how to be human? we will talk to a local restaurant owner who says it has been a rough ride
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a lot of covid news with vaccinations stalled and cases on the rise, there are new developments that are significant, including the announcement by fisa and moderna that they are expanding studies of children under 12. joining us to talk all things vaccine and covid-related, we have dr. michael wasserman. ai committee for the california association of long-term-care of medicine. we thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. this is such an important topic. >> nationwide, we look at the number of new cases going up. it was up 170 percent in the last two weeks here inred we started with a smaller number so the percentage increase would be huge. the governor warned us today in making the announcement that he says that we would see a significant rise in
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hospitalizations if we do not change the trajectory. explained that. >> so, this has been frustrating, because the experts knew this was coming and saw this is coming with the delta variant. here's the bottom line, even if you are vaccinated, you can get the virus. and transmit it to others. so, you might not get sick. you may not end up in the hospital. but you can still transmit the virus, so, clearly, we know that unvaccinated people can transmit the virus and can end up in the icu on ventilators, and can die from this. and we still have a lot of people who are not vaccinated yet. what has been misunderstood is that even vaccinated people can help transmit this virus. we are not slowing down this pandemic in the way that we need to. and, there are folks out there who have not been vaccinated for a number of reasons. they are at high risk right now.
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and, personally, i have been vaccinated since december and january, and i do not go anywhere indoors without a mask because i want to protect my fellow californians. >> because you don't want to be the breakthrough case, which i understand, is about number one in 20. i wonder if the number has changed due to the delta variant becoming more dominant. >> breakthrough cases are going to go up in terms of numbers. we are still hopeful that we are not going to see a lot of severe illness in those who are vaccinated. keep in mind, there is one other aspect to this. the more we let the delta variant go crazy, the greater the chance that there is going to be an epsilon variant that is even worse. we have got to stop this virus in its tracks. we have got to work together as
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a community, as a society, as a country. >> that i have to ask you this tough question that nobody wants to answer. are we going to get to herd immunity or wherever we need to be without mandates? lots of and dates? at schools. companies. you tell me. >> from the beginning of the vaccine, i was very reticent to require people to be vaccinated. i thought that people would step up and want to be vaccinated. but i think we are at a point right now where we have very tough decisions to make. i think personally as a physician, as a healthcare worker, as someone who is trying to protect the lives of my fellow californians, i think we are looking at requiring vaccinations in a lot of different settings. the sooner this gets vaccinated, there has been a lot of comparison to full polio.
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we wiped out polio. until everyone gets vaccinated, we are not going to stop this virus. we are not going to reach herd immunity. we are going to have problems. i would say that it is time, keep in mind, for those who are worried that this is a new vaccine, for billion doses of this vaccine have been given around the world. if there were serious issues with the vaccine, we would know about it by now. for billion. it is time for folks to step up and time for us as a society, we are going to have to decide if people are not going to step up and get vaccinated, there needs to be consequences for those decisions. >> you pretty much answered alex's russian which he posed on facebook which is, until we know the long-term side effects, we should not be forcing anyone to get the vaccine.
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and, you addressed how many people have gotten the shot. and how few cases there were any sort of possible case issue at all. but still, the fact that we have not had long-term, it is because it is a relatively new vaccine. so, you tell me. when the vote polio vaccine came out, did people say we would wait years and see how other people fair? >> i think that we have to specify something. just because the actual vaccine is new, does not mean that the technology is new. this technology has been around for a while and this vaccine, the pfizer and moderna vaccines went through all the steps every vaccine goes through. so, those who say we do not know, i beg to differ at this point. what we do know is unvaccinated people are dying. and that is what we know. and we know that there are
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millions, if not billions of people who have now been vaccinated who are doing fine. it is time to get everyone vaccinated. >> the state is saying that if you are not going to vaccinate, then, you need to always mask up and then take weekly covid tests. i wonder if you think that is sufficient with the week t to protect those around you. >> i notice tough for the state. in terms of making these decisions. i know that there is politics involved. but they should not be. this should be based on science. the science actually would suggest that if we are going to test people, we probably need to test them more frequently than once a week. so i actually am somewhat critical of a once a week testing requirement. i think it needs to be more frequent if we are really going to stamp down this virus. >> do you think that is true of
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schools as well? because, i just got an email for my kids high school saying, good job. 80% of us of the students returning are vaccinated, but we should try to increase that. if you are not, then, i guess with a are doing is they're asking everybody. everybody to wear masks indoors. but, they are not doing weekly testing. tell me how we can shore up the safety as kids return to school in the coming weeks. >> there is no question. i completely agree that everyone in schools should be masked indoors. i think that unvaccinated people, students, teachers, should be tested regularly. one could theoretically do antigen test daily. you can get the results within 15 minutes. those tests have been readily available for some time now. i am completely flummoxed and frustrated as to why we are not using the available technology
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to do the best we can right now. >> because most schools are not going to do asymptomatic testing anymore, it seems. there is technology. there is cost, of course, but perhaps that is something they should way. pfizer moderna today announced that they are expanding the trials or studies of kids between 25 and 11, who are not eligible yet. why are they expanding this. is this having to do with the heart inflammations that are sometimes related to the young people? >> i think that there are a lot of reasons. i think that it is important that if we are going to give the vaccine to people, we should be studying them. i am also still, i am critical of pfizer and moderna, we know that folks who live in nursing homes where the greatest risk and most of them have been vaccinated. they never study that population. so, we clearly need to study the vaccines if a population is going to get it.
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so expanding the studies in the younger age group certainly makes sense to me. >> how important it is it in the grand scheme of things in the battle against covid to get that age group, 5 to 11, inoculated as soon as possible and when you think that will be? >> you know, i have a 6-year- old grandson. we just took him out of his peace preschool because they were not wearing masks there and it did not make any sense to us. so here is the issue. the issue is at the very least, these young kids can transmit the virus. so, they can bring it home to other family members. and even to young children. to infants. or two older adults who have yet to be vaccinated. so, children can be a vector. i think, i think i would not talk about vaccinating children
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for their own protection, though, we are hearing more cases of children who get the virus. there are still not a lot, but, give me a break. do we want to wait until the children are dying from this virus before we act upon that? i don't think so. >> concern is duly noted and i hope a lot of people heard your message. i really appreciate your time today. thank you. >> thank you. there is a lot of news when it comes to businesses requiring proof of vaccine status. we will get into the ethics behind showing proof and the ethics of what california is hey, i just got a text from my sister. you remember rick, her neighbor? sure, he's the 76-year-old guy who still runs marathons, right? sadly, not anymore. -what, you mean-- -mhm.
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welcome back. thank you for joining us. on thursday, hundreds of bars in san francisco will require proof of covid vaccination negative test within the last 72 hours to enter. meantime, governor newsom announced today, and this is really big, california really is a leader in this, being the first to do this. state employees and all health care workers in california will either need to be back donated or be subjected to a weekly test. i am asking, starting in august. san francisco announced that starting tomorrow, anyone hired by san francisco must be vaccinated before they can start the new job, so no vaccine, no getting a jo so joining us to talk more about this is dr. david magness a professor of medicine and biomedical ethics at stanford. thank you for joining us.
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so, is it ethical to require covid vaccines at work or as a precondition for employment? >> yes, i think it has to be done in the right way so that it could be done ethically or unethically depending on how it is implemented but as long as you have exceptions for medical reasons, people who cannot medically be vaccinated, as long as you have exceptions for people who have truly, deeply, sincerely held religious beliefs and have accommodations for people who cannot get vaccinated from economic hardship, do from being from work a day or two, and if you do on the process, not on day one, but a condition of employment for existing employees over time, it is very nearly obligatory. it should be recognizing that in a society where all that matters is individual liberty, that society will not do well when you have to act collectively for the greater good. >> i was just going to ask
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about freedom to do what i want and freedom from, you doing whatever you want that could hurt me. that is something we wrestle this with regards to something that is a public health pandemic in this country? >> so, this trade-off between the public good and individual rights is something that happens all the time. for tuberculosis cases, it is rare, but when we do have patients who decide that they do not want to get treatment, they are usually essentially incarcerated and they are required to be home. often if they are with family members, there are restrictions on movement of those family members so there other cases where if you have very infectious diseases, there are curtailment of liberty and measles, we are familiar with the curtailment of liberty that parental decisions and vaccination take place
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if you want to go to school, then you have to be vaccinated unless you're going to be homeschooled, you have to be vaccinated now in the state of california, unless there is a very narrow medical exemption. >> you think this is an appropriate analogy to say we do not get to drive 100 miles per hour or start a fire inside a building. the idea is that somebody else could be in danger so you do not get to do that. that is not your liberty to do that. >> that is exactly right. we have to recognize here that people are not only going to have risk of harming others, but especially that the collective consequences of individual actions are quite significant and in this case, can be potentially very harmful to everyone. so it is appropriate, it is a balancing act between on the one hand not wanting to go too far, and allowing the public good to override all individual liberties, but at the same time, if you go the other way and say there is no such thing as obligations towards anyone else, then life would be nasty, brutish, and short, so, this is the balancing act here. you have a disease that is
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becoming increasingly infectious and increasingly pathogenic. this is more like the measles and less like influenza and it is important to recognize that it is appropriate for us to take necessary steps. >> you mentioned that it is a balancing act. i wonder if it is a set balance or if things change all the time as the situation shifts. like more cases. the virus is evolving, therefore we have to, it is a moving target, isn't it, what is considered ethical and what isn't. >> if it had turned out that delta had been less viral and it was more a nine version of the disease even though it was more infectious, i think it would be look at things differently. unfortunately with this disease, what we've been seeing with each new variant is that the evolutionary pressures to become more and more contagious and not less and less pathogenic. so unfortunately, the situation that we are in now is actually much worse than it was a few months ago before delta really
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started to spread. we are lucky in one way that we can see the trends and see what is happening and what is likely to happen as a result of the variant so the time to act is now, rather than wait until our hospitals are very full and icus are overflowing before act. we mentioned the religious exemption. i was wondering about that, because for example, the university of california does provide that. and, i heard an argument the city made saying, well, the problem with that is you have no way of proving what is someone's deeply had religious belief and you're not requiring any proof and it doesn't need to align with any established religious doctrines are basically, people are saying that anybody can claim they have a religious belief when they really don't so it leaves too many loopholes. to think about that? >> there are actually legal definitions as to the human resources or skew what counts as a religious belief. and, then, there are ascertainment that can be
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required so that somebody can actually essentially testified to the sincerity of the religious belief so that it is not merely a preference on other grounds or a function of ignorance or fear that has absolutely nothing to do with religion, so, i think there are ways of putting that in place. if you look at the experience of houston methodist, which is one of the earliest healthcare system dems to mandate vaccines, before the mandate was put in place, about 85% of the employees were vaccinated. once they put in the mandate, although it did allow religious and medical exemptions, went from 85 to 98%, so then i have 90% of the workforce vaccinated. and a fraction of 1% wound up leaving employment. >> so, no doubt, it gets more people to vaccinate. but, let's say that an employee is not vaccinated.
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the state of california mandate under that. and it says, i am also not going to test. i'm just not going to. with the employer, the state in this case, then terminate that person? is that >> i think that it has to be at the end of a process, not just a day one. that is the education, making sure that there is communication about why this is so important. warnings to let people know what is coming, but, the same way that at houston methodist, a little over half of 1% of the employees are no longer part of the work first. i do think that to making vaccination a condition of employment with appropriate safeguards is appropriate and that does mean that they're going to be some individuals for whom not getting vaccinated or not being willing to be compliant with other aspects of the policies is going to result in a loss of employment. >> all right. professor of medicine and biomedical ethics at stanford university. thank you for your thoughts. we really appreciate the
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conversation. all righ
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welcome back. something we covered early in the pandemic is to be patient with restaurants as they adapt to all the changes. now that more people are going out again, we are seeing reports and sometimes video inus to talk about this is the founder of misfits make house in palo alto. good afternoon. >> in afton. thank you for having me. >> we have heard a lot of stras about this. has a gotten harder for you as restaurant owners and with ? if so, why. what is happening? >> that is the million-dollar question. i'm not sure what is behind this. we can only speculate. what i said recently, it almost feels like people have been cooped up at home for so long
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that they have forgotten how to deal with others. and,is happening. give me a story. >> so, the most recent thing was , before we were open for full on walk-up's, we had it where people can preorder and we baked fresh to order. a person placed an order for a pick up on a friday and never showed up. then, they showed up on the wednesday after. literally as we were closing and demanded the order. and, when i said we do not have the order anymore, you have to place another order, a refund was demanded and i said, we already baked the breads and now we have tossed them. so, after they made a scene at
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the store, a day later, i got a one star yelp review and review that is the worst, that is fine, but a few days later, i find out that they filed a fraudulent charge claim with the bank, which, for most people , who do not realize this, as a business, the bank takes the money for the actual charge, plus a fine the business, which is pretty awful thing to do. especially considering how food businesses have been hit so hard. and, there are a lot of stories like this where people for no reason, no rhyme or reason, will just start causing trouble or just being unreasonable. >> look, cheryl says people are losing their compassion. saidit, but i want to ask you,
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is the upshot of these things happening? are you losing employees who quit because i don't want to deal with it anymore? are you not able to hire people? are you thinking of calling it quits and temporarily shutting it down? what are you thinking? >> for us here at the ,, we are very blessed to have an amazing team and we always have each other's inthe lot other ra where the employees do not want to deal with this. it is already high stress. when everybody was able to work from home, we are always here. we are always working and dealing with so much. all the shtaand
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will learn to be more patient, more compassionate, because we are all in this together. thank you so much. we appreciate your time. >> thank you for having me. tonight, the first mandatory vaccinations for some city and state workers. and the first federal workers, v.a. health care workers. with new cases on the rise now in 49 states, fueled by the delta variant among the unvaccinated. the u.s. cases up 314% since last month. florida alone recording 73,000 new cases in the last week. tonight, new york city now requiring all city workers, including teachers and first responders, to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. california issuing a similar rule for state employees and hospital workers. tonight, the v.a. the first federal agency to require its health care workers to be


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