tv ABC7 News Getting Answers ABC November 9, 2021 3:00pm-3:31pm PST
building a better bay area, moving forward, finding solutions, this is abc 7 news. kristen: hello, there, i'm kristen sze you are watching "getting answers." today on our program, san francisco will take a step to becoming the fourth city in california to apologize to chinese americans for how it treated the community historically. a few local students came up with the idea. we will chat with two of them coming up. also, if you fill your tank lately, you have seen prices at or above the all-time high in many places. what is driving this pain at the pump and what can make it at her? first, major covid news on the booster and a surge in cases. joining us to talk about the
latest developments is dr. george rutherford, an epidemiologist at ucsf. let's start with the big news a pfizer, asking the fda to approve hooters for all adults, so 18 and up, without restrictions. right now, people under 65 should are good -- should or could get it if they have a medical condition or work in a higher-risk setting. what is the thinking here? dr. rutherford: making the rules simpler so everybody understands them. i know people taking care of family members who are severely immunosuppressed, really at high risk of covid, but they can't get the vaccine because they don't necessarily fall into one of these categories. that is just an example, but it makes sense -- i like the idea of going forward with this. it simplifies everything for people to just say, you got a pfizer vaccine, you should get a booster.
if you get a moderna vaccine, i am assuming they will go for this as well, you should get a booster. we already said anybody who got j and j should get a booster. and the parallels we can create among these three vaccines, the better the effect will be. kristen: i can see the benefit and simplicity, but is the booster really necessary for healthy people in that broad 18-64 age group? dr. rutherford: really were a zero-sum game and you didn't get a vaccine, you knew it was going to zambia, that would be a consideration. but we don't have those considerations. so the question is, do you want to get the vaccine or throw it away? with that kind of calculus, most people would opt to get the booster dose to provide additional immunity into the future, get away from this problem of breakthrough cases, and cases among vaccinated
people, and it will help us move forward more rapidly. i am in favor of it. there is going to be an upside for many people in a downside for nobody in terms of getting the booster. dr. rutherford: that is a fair formulation, yeah. kristen: let's give examples so people can consider if this is them -- would you get the booster if you were 30, perfectly healthy, you work in tact, maybe half -- in tech, maybe half from home in tap-in office? dr. rutherford: it depends on what i am doing the best -- doing the rest of my time when i am not in tech, but i would consider it if i was out and about, going to clubs and doing stuff socially at night. we ate -- we see a lot of transmission and that age group, especially in san francisco.
so, i would tend to fall on the being more cautious side of that equation. kristen: what if you are 50 and work in retail or drive a new the bus? dr. rutherford: if you drive a muni bus, you are on the list right now to take it. kristen: that is because the city of san francisco does mandate it. dr. rutherford: transportation workers are on the wrist. kristen: what about a customer-facing position? dr. rutherford: yes, especially if you were 50 and had a little bit of chronic disease, which everybody had 50 has to some extent. i don't think there is a lot of reason for parsing this out at this point. there is, to we get this approved, and then i think we move forward pretty easily. kristen: there are some folks though who are not convinced that there is no downside. there are people concerned about side effects and others are concerned about other things. what would you say to those folks? dr. rutherford: if they have had to vaccines already -- two
vaccines already, they have pretty much accepted what they are getting into. this is a built in suspenders approach, to ensure you have high levels of immunity and that you can get out of a pending winter surge without getting infected. believe me, you don't want to get infected with this. even if you had a couple doses of vaccine, it is a miserable disease. kristen: you brought up immunity, so i want to ask about that because when the biden administration announced the booster plan, i think back in july, i remember dr. fauci and dr. wilensky presenting slides that showed declining antibodies 6, 8 months after original vaccine shots. have we since learned more about whether that translates into waning immunity in real life? dr. rutherford: it does. it does. we have detailed studies that have figured this out, not only for major real -- not only from israel, which is where the original date to come out, but now from the v.a. system,
kaiser, other large health organization spirit we can track this overtime. and especially with the pfizer, immunity wanes. j and j wasn't as robust as the other two to start with and it remains not as robust as the other two now six months out. moderna probably has the best performance, but has some signs of winning amenity as well. kristen: what is going to make a bigger difference for us as a whole, when you talk about the society, the nation giving people boosters, getting the 5-11-year-old vaccinated as -- five-11-year-olds vaccinated as soon as possible our new adult vaccinations? dr. rutherford: the answer is yes. those all are really important. now, if you think you can get people who haven't been vaccinated to get vaccinated, good for you. let's go for it. but if you assume we are done with them, we are not going to be able to push on them and move that needle much more
with compulsory workplace vaccination as osha proposed come i think we have to concentrate first on getting people boosted and then the 5-11-year-old. kristen: if we get one third of the 5-11-year-olds, and i'm going with that because that is what parents said in recent polls about jumping out immediately and getting the vaccine, and then you get 50%, 70% of the people who have already gotten the vaccine get a booster, where would that put us percentagewise? does that get us to the elusive, we are good now place? dr. rutherford: it gets us close. and the 30% of parents who want nothing to do with the vaccine, who are going to be early adopters or actually never get the vaccine for their five-11-year-olds, this is from a national survey. i think in the bay area, the percentage going out and getting it is going to be much higher. my 11-year-old granddaughter sent me a picture of her getting vaccinated today. kristen: that is exciting for
you, especially with thanksgiving. let's talk about the bay area. some counties seem to be going in the wrong direction, back in the cdc orange or red tier. we were in yellow before. why? dr. rutherford: we are seeing the start of, potentially, a winter surge. it would be nice if this all kind of goes away and we don't move the needle very much, but statewide, the numbers are being driven -- we are day -- those are being driven largely by urban southern california, 13 cases -- 1300 cases a day from los angeles and almost 1000 a day from riverside and san bernardino, and fewer from orange and san diego. that is where a lot of the cases are coming from. additionally, we are seeing cases in the large central
valley counties, kern county, fresno county, tulare county, stanislaus county, that drives transmission as well. kristen: but even in the bay area, aren't our numbers 20% higher than they were two weeks ago? dr. rutherford: not really. it is sort of up and some places it is up, some places it is down, it balances out. kristen: is it time to stop looking at case numbers and rather look at hospitalizations, especially in areas where vaccination rates are high, such as the bay area, to give us a true indicator of how good or bad of shape we are in? dr. rutherford: we look at those numbers every day anyway. people getting used to seeing case numbers. but yeah, hospitalizations are equally important. when you look at the metrics that the health officers put forward to stopping indoor mask mandates, one was about case levels, one was about levels of hospital capacity and the other
was about levels of vaccination. all three are important and i think you need to continue to look at all three of them. kristen: dr. george rutherford, great to see you and talk with you and the take away is, get the booster. it is not going to hurt you. it can only help. dr. rutherford: get your shot. take care. kristen:
congratulations, highest in the bay area, not a contest that you want to win. joining us to talk about what is driving prices is the head of petroleum analysis for gas buddy. patrick, thanks for your insights. patrick: thanks for having me. kristen: help us put these prices in perspective. they are rising very quickly. a year ago in the pandemic, they were very low. hat trick: exactly right. during the summer, they held relatively stable because the delta variant was keeping things in check. since the end of the summer around labor day, things have started to escalate. a lot of the reason is, energy issues have developed overseas, and the crisis if you will in areas of china where: victoria's are at record-low levels. as a result, china -- china, where coal levels are at record low levels. as a result, china is buying
more natural gas. there have been shortages as well. that can be replaced by crude oil. essentially, we have had incredible rise in demand the best couple weeks, so oil prices have been hold higher -- have been pulled higher and that is why we are paying more. kristen: i read about our recent storms having an impact as well? is that right? patrick: we saw a kinks as a result of the daily news of rain we had a couple weeks ago, some of those in the bay area, enough of an interruption to cause gas prices in northern california to spike. we may see relief in the weeks ahead with those refineries back online. for now, the bay area, averaging $4.80 a gallon the only good news is that, in the last week, it is only up a penny, so increases are starting to throttle back. kristen: but you mentioned people being back on the roads and that is going to increase as we head into thanksgiving and christmas, so don't you think those will drive prices up
further? patrick: we tend to see as temperatures cool off, gasolinee demand seasonally starts to decline. that should offset a temporary increase in gasoline consumption as americans hit the road for that thanksgiving day travel. all in all, demand is still cooling off slowly. the pandemic, there are still aspects of demand taking back, more commutes back to work, but overall, gasoline consumption is not likely to search as much as we progressed towards the holiday. kristen: what is your forecast as to when we will start to see the downturn in prices, maybe a short-term forecast and then a longer-term? patrick: short-term, we may see it inch up. it is slowing down and i think eventually, the bay area will still -- will see prices
decline, not much, a few cents. the average is going to go down and that could happen in time for thanksgiving. isis should be a few cents lower by then. more -- prices should be a few cents lower by then. more meaningful relief should come in mid-2022 and by that time, i am hopeful an increase in oil production that is happening will be enough to offset the rise in demand. kristen: a lot of people feel like these are all-time highs, but are they? how do they compare historically to 2012 when there was a huge jump in prices? patrick: back in 2012, the 2012t chevron refinery fire in richmond forced prices up to record highs, but we have now beaten those. night quite -- not quite all the way to the southern half of the state, l.a. is getting close, but the bay area has beaten those by close to $.10 a gallon. the distinction in the bay area of never having paid this much for a gallon of gasoline. kristen: other the natural ebb
and flow and supply demand taking care of itself, ared there things the u.s. and california can do now to relieve the situation -- are there things now the u.s. and california can do now to relieve the situation? patrick: there are things california can do. it has the highest gasoline prices and that is result of taxes, carbon management programs and to roll prices back, it would mean having to go back to know carbon pricing. -- go back to no carbonnn pricing. president biden talked about releasing crude oil from the strategic trillium reserve, but that may only be temporarily relieve -- temporary relief, because this is a global phenomenon. we have to wait for the supply and amanda balance come closer apart. kristen: we will see if we get to that point. i want to ask if you think a
price surge like this could convince more new-car buyers to get electric? patrick: i certainly think so. the higher prices go, the more of a decision, easier decision it is for new-car buyers to go that route. especially california, with that distention of the highest prices in the country, that will probably happen as prices remain high. kristen: patrick, head of petroleum analysis for gas buddy, thank you so much for your time today. coming up next, we talked to a couple local students behind the couple local students behind the new effort for san francisco t ♪ ♪ increased transportation benefits. one more thing you can rely on. one of many cost-saving medicare advantage benefits from scan health plan for 2022. call today, or ask your agent about scan health plan.
♪ ♪ low maximum out-of-pocket costs. more saving. more spoiling. one of many cost-saving medicare advantage benefits from scan health plan for 2022. call today, or ask your agent about scan health plan. kristen: today, san francisco is making a move to formally apologize to chinese-americans for the many ways the city mistreated the community. supervisor matt haney is introducing a resolution that, if passed, san francisco would become the fourth california city to publicly right
historical wrongs. >> it absolutely has to be more than symbolism. there is meaning in apology, acknowledge and -- acknowledgment, meaning and people knowing this history because it will build understanding and solidarity. but that is not enough. we have to go further if we are going to confront the violence we saw towards asian and chinese residents over the last year and a half, the shocking rise in violence, we have to confront this history. kristen: supervisor haney just now. this began after three students had a conversation with him. two of the teens behind this effort, joining us now, drew min and dennis, community alliance for safety and education. and you are not teens. thank you. i made you sound younger, which if you did that to me, i would not object. congratulations. >> i wouldn't object either.
kristen: ok. >> i went through a stem cell transplant seven years ago. a ucf doctor would tell you i am only seven years old. kristen: [laughter] how about a quick introduction to our viewers. i would like to hear from both of you have this got started, dennis? dennis: it started reading about what happened, in apology. -- and in apology. i mentioned it to george tilton lolo -- george lowell tilton said george -- a few years ago he did a paper, he was in high school, he is a sophomore at stanford and i said, you did
something about these atrocities , how would you like to do more follow-up? he got involved in it with my son, dennis casey, a senior at lowell, and they started researching and came up with a lot of findings. drew learned about it, we were at a luncheon with supervisor matt haney and i guess drew said something to the supervisor. and that is how this evolved. kristen: drew, was supervisor haney immediatly responsive --e- immediately responsive? drew: he was responsive. i think dennis is doing himself a disservice. he was the few behind this idea. it just so happened we were thinking about it, and we saw supervisor haney at a luncheon.
we talked about presenting this to the board, he was already there so we thought, this is perfect, why not approach him? the supervisor was very shocked, as all of us, that this apology was never issued before in the 150 years, but he was very responsive. kristen: look, we know as laborers, farmers, railroad workers emigrated to california from china during the gold rush, many discriminatory laws were passed on the national and state levels. lost prevented asians from becoming citizens, from bringing wives, from owning property here, from living in certain places, from working in certain jobs, the list goes on, but give us concrete examples of what san francisco did, what actions or lost san francisco passed? drew: i can take that. if you give me the whole day, we
could cover maybe half of the things that happened. but for an example, not a lot of people know this, but the reason why sf chinatown is in the location it is today is because chinese-americans were restricted by the board of supervisor as at the time board of supervisors at the time to not be able to work or live outside those parameters. that area at the time had factories, there was a lot of pollution, and it had a lot of butcher shops. the fda did not exist at the time, so there was a lot of contamination, a lot of unsanitary environments. so, happened to chinese-americans in san francisco. and you will notice that chinatown looks, feels like it's own pocket.
it feels like it's own pocket because it was segregated from the rest of the city -- like its own pocket because it was segregated from the rest of the city and cut off from city services for that is one thing. another example is, chinese-americans were not, could not go into integrated schools. for a long time, chinese-american segregated school and that eventually got shut down for 15 years, meaning there was no way of education for chinese-american children, until the supreme court ruled it unconstitutional, to which as a response, instead of putting chinese-american students in integrated schools, they reopened segregated school just so they didn't have to integrate them. kristen: dennis, i am going let you finish, why is a formal apology important? is it just i am sorry, or is
there a promise of action? dennis: i think it is all of that. we have to recognize what happened in the past before we can move forward. hate is a terrible, terrible virus. hate has affected all of us in our city, the blacks, latinos, the lgbtq community and it has certainly affected the asian-american community, with over 9000 attacks that have occurred since trump called covid-19 that china virus. kristen:
show, "getting answers." among the topics, surging gas pric tonight, pfizer is now asking for authorization for the booster for millions more americans. pfizer officially requesting the fda authorize booster shots for all adults 18 and older. they say the data shows the third covid shot, the booster, offering 95% protection against symptomatic infections regardless of age. how soon could this happen? also on vaccinations tonight, news this evening involving nfl star aaron rodgers facing backlash after saying months ago he was immunized. tonight, he says he takes full responsibility for comments that he says some might have felt were misleading. tonight, one big sports name not having it. chilling new images of the deadly chaos at that concert in houston. screaming fans trapped. tonight, what the fire chief is now saying. also tonight, newro