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tv   ABC7 News Getting Answers  ABC  June 15, 2022 3:00pm-3:30pm PDT

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>> building a better bay area. this is abc7 news. kristen: you are watching getting answers live on abc7. we ask experts in your questions everyday at 3:00 to get answers in real-time. sfo is telling passengers to prepare for long waits at security checkpoints amid a surge in summer travel. we are also seeing flight issues nationwide with delays and many cancellations. our travel expert will be here in about 20 minutes with what you need to know before you fly. but first, today marks exactly one year since california officially reopened after the pandemic shut down. that was the day the state dropped the color-coded tier
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system. that was also the day that california dropped the indoor mask requirement for vaccinated people except for certain settings such as hospitals. that was also the day businesses could stop checking for proof of vaccination and simply go with itself to station. that was the day most events dropped capacity limits and social distancing, except for at what is considered mega events. that was a big day on june 15 in california. many people celebrated, thinking the worst was behind us and that we were moving towards endemic. certainly there was the sense that there would not be many more deaths, but that turned out to not be the case in that about a half million more deaths were recorded after june 15, now a year later. as we have new news in the
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works, more vaccines coming out, today big news with the fda panel giving the go-ahead to vaccines, both moderna and pfizer, to the youngest children. there is also a nasal vaccine in the works. a lot going on. all of that is something we will be discussing with a doctor who was just here a moment ago, lost the zoom connection. we are working to get that back. in the meantime, we do have a story for you right now. >> this is your second year in this position for the festival. both years were in the pandemic, so what is the biggest difference from last and this year? >> i feel like personally with the biggest difference is is since last year we hosted one of the first festivals that was able to open up in person. this year everything is open other than the fact that i don't know if mask mandates will come
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back in those little tidbits. i think the biggest difference for this year is it is a lot easier in terms of people being able to come. i feel like feeling comfortable to come, since the world has started to open back up and we have been in this weird on and off pandemic state. everybody knows how to pivot. i think that makes it a lot more different than last year. kristen: the san francisco black film festival begins tomorrow. in the meantime, we do have our doctor back with us. one year later after we reopened as a state, let's discuss how far we have come and also some of the big news today. a year ago today, thank you for providing information to the public. san mateo county celebrated its reopening by declaring it monica gandhi day.
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i think we have video from that. you cut an interesting unusual ribbon there. we have it. what is that? you are jumping up and down. and that ribbon was -- what was it made of? >> it was made of masks. that was not my idea. essentially we had the vaccine since april. we had high rates of vaccination in our state, our city. right now we had zero deaths in san francisco from covid over the last week. that is zero deaths in chicago over the last week. we are in a very good place. i think that a year later with this much vaccination, we are in a good place with covid-19. kristen: but since then we have had several big waves of infections, delta, omicron, ba.2, so many people anecdotally have it right now.
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the u.s. is recording over 100,000 new cases a day. many experts think the actual figure is five times higher since people test at home. what are the metrics that have you still believing we are in a good place? >> the fact that we have that many cases, and you're right it's much higher because people test at home, and we have low rates of severe disease is what the country is monitoring. that is what the biden administration meant when they tweeted this morning that we are at the lowest point of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. march 2020. now we are at the same point of covid-related deaths. there was a paper from usc last week that 67% of them, we swab the nose and it is a covid hospitalization.
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hospitalizations are already low. look at the san francisco website. we had zero deaths in the month of june. that is true in chicago, true in new york. it will be about severe disease in terms of tracking. unfortunately we will never get rid of covid. that is not people's fault. kristen: even though we won't get rid of it, i wonder if you think medication members -- think mitigation measures to prevent transmission are needed. hospitalizations are low, but many wonder if keeping people out of hospitals and icu's should be our main metric for defining success. we know a lot of people who have long covid. i know an 18-year-old who had it a year ago and has been fatigued ever since. isn't there serious cost to the individual as a whole to have more long covid cases that could have been prevented if we try to ran i thinkon is lek eord.
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i doubt mask mandates will come back. the new york times covered it last week, mask mandates have not seemed to make a difference after vaccination. i think wearing masks indoors if you want no transmission is the right approach. it is also probably the right approach for all respiratory pathogens. there will be a certain segment of the population who will mask for their whole lives indoors. i think you need a kn95, n95 or kf94. the largest study of covid has been brought down to baseline. you need a well-controlled baseline. people, who had covid prior to vaccination we are working on treatments for those patients. vaccination is the best thing
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you can do to mitigate risk of long covid. kristen: on that point, health care providers and officials all agree. although the principle of what you say, at this point it should be an individual choice because the mandate itself may not work, don't you think in reality, without the mandate a lot of people who should be making the choice to mask, for example, they probably have covid, simply won't don't it, and that leads t o more transmission than necessary. the pilot who can't fly because they are sick or the gig worker who can't work because they are sick that day. >> study after study against mask mandates have shown that is not effective because people are wearing cloth masks, they are down over their nose. i would encourage people to look at that data. you don't want to do some thing
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just because it is doing something. you want to do something effective. what is recommended right now is well fitted and filtered masks in doors for anyone who wants less exposure. i'm giving you the data. kristen: oh no, i do appreciate that. i'm just wondering if the messaging would have been more effective from the start in terms of trying to get us to where we want to go if it were like, hey, wear the good masks, and this is how you wear it correctly. let's all wear it in a university setting or a higher chaz mission possibility setting because a lot of people -- higher transmission possibility setting because a lot of people do not wear them when they should. >> people find n95's uncomfortable. college students that are vaccinated are comfortable being with each other. it all depends on your societal
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goals i think. kristen: still even now -- >> you could try wearing an n95 all day, it is pretty uncomfortable. kristen: let's continue our conversation after a short break. we want to talk about today's news, including dr. fauci testing positive and the fda's approval on vaccine candidates for kids. we
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kristen: we are back with a ucf infectious disease specialist. i want to touch real quickly on this. dr. fauci tested positive today. he afforded the white house correspondents dinner. what do we know about his case? >> he has a very mild case. he says he doesn't have very
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many symptoms and he had four shots so he's feeling well. kristen: that is good to hear because he's 81 years old. fda advisors today okayed vaccines for kids under five, or is it six, they are different. talk about which shots those are and when they will be available. >> the next step is for the fda to approve it, then the cdc acip then the cdc will sign off. the white house is planning for these to be available as early as june 21. one type is the moderna 25 micrograms dose given as two shots in six months up to the age of the end of five. the second is pfizer and is three micrograms and given as three shots. the last one is given two months after the second one. those who had covid before may want to get just one shot and
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consider their covid as a previous booster. i think each parent will decide. about 20% of parents are interested in getting their children vaccinated. kristen: which of the two is more effective? >> the moderna at 25 micrograms was more effective. it took three doses to get to better efficacy with pfizer and that will end up taking you longer. there were more lfevers in -- more fevers and those with the moderna shot. kristen: recently the youngest kids have become a bigger percentage of hospitalized. >> actually there were zero cases of severe disease in either the placebo or the vaccination arms in these large studies. many of the children who go into hospitals have covid incidentally. in their nose.
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like 67% of our hospitalizations. it is important to get vaccinated because it sets you up for the future. children are very low risk for severe disease, which is a relief. kristen: if you have time, there is a new nasal vaccine that is possibly in the works you are excited about. >> i am. as you know, the vaccines which are intramuscular, even when you are boosted, are great at preventing severe disease, but they have not stopped all transmission. neither have masks. dr. fauci wears a mask very regularly. speaking to your mask mandate question. because of that, if you want to stop all transmission, we need antibodies up in the nose. the way to get levels of antibodies up the nasal area, or to give a nasal vaccine that stimulates t cells in the nose, those are coming. there is a phase 2b trial, which
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means they are going to come to us. that will be the way for those of you who want to avoid infection altogether. you will want to wait for the nasal vaccine. kristen: great speaking with you. i know it has been a year and a lot has happened and we learned so much. always appreciate you being part of the conversation. coming up next, this we don't appreciate. have you seen them? long waits at sfo. our travel expert will
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- [announcer] the more we learn about covid-19,
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the more questions we have. the biggest question now, what's next? what will covid bring in six months, a year? if you're feeling anxious about the future, you're not alone. calhope offers free covid-19 emotional support. call 833-317-4673, or live chat at calhope.org today. kristen: sfo is telling passengers to arrive at the airport at least two hours early for domestic flights and three hours early for international flights. this is the airport faces unusually long lines amid what can only be described as a perfect storm of circumstances. what is driving all of this? joining us now to answer your questions is our travel expert, the founder of scott's cheap flight. i think you are more in demand
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than ever right now. scott: it is a popular summer for travel. i love getting to talk about cheap flights, so thank you for having me. kristen: before we talk about cheap flights, let's just talk about getting on your flights. the lines at the airport are long, sfo no different. explain why this is happening. scott: look, there is a full rebound in travel demand happening this summer. the travel numbers are looking basically like they were first summer of 2019 when you look at the number of folks traveling, the number of people searching for flights, how full flights are. they are as high if not higher than three years ago. one of the difficulties is there is difficulty staffing up to support that travel. many folks have heard of the pilot shortage, ground crew shortage, but there is even a shortage of tsa workers, leading to these long lines at security in the airport.
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so showing up early to the airport, as a young father myself, that is music to my ears to show up early, but it's especially important now. kristen: is it just the stsa -- the tsa security checkpoints that have lines, or is it luggage or restaurants? scott: all of the above. the labor shortage is something that is occurring economy-wide. airlines, security staff, folks working at restaurants are not immune from this. that is why urc and not enough people there to help support the number of travelers hoping to get on flights right now. kristen: are we back to pre-pandemic levels or have we exceeded that? scott: we are back to pre-pandemic travel demand, but the actual number of people traveling is down 5% to 10%. the reason why is there is not enough planes to support it. because there is not enough
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planes, pilots and ground crew you still cn down about 10%. if we were, you would see the same number of folks traveling. kristen: what is sfo and the airlines doing? they are different in terms of trying to ameliorate the problem. scott: from the airport perspective, ti's trying to advise people -- it's trying to of eyes people -- to advise people to show up early. if you are able to get it on have it, taking advantage of tsa pre-check to be able to get the fast pass lane at security. from the airline's perspective, they are trying to trim their summer schedules, which is kind of the break glass in case of emergency option because airlines make the majority of their money during these valuable summer months but don't have enough ground crew to
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support a full summer schedule so they are having to trim that schedule and trying to do it weeks or months in advance. the worst case outcome is to cancel a flight the day it was supposed to fly. that is not just terrible for travelers, it is terrible for airlines, flight attendants and pilots. that is the worst-case scenario they are trying to avoid. kristen: let's start with the first with regards to get a global entry or tsa pre-check. how much does it cost? can anyone get it? scott: global entry tsa pre-check, i believe it is available for folks who are u.s. citizens or legal permanent residents. it costs $85 for the application for tsa pre-check and it lasts for five years if you are approved. global entry costs $100 and includes tsa pre-check. pre-check will get you in the,
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fast lane in airport security let you not have to take off your belt or shoes, be able to keep your laptop in your bag and go through the metal detector rather than the full scantron. it goes through pretty quickly. if you are traveling internationally coming back to the west, it allows you to go to the kiosk and not have to stand in the long line for folks coming back. kristen: global entry if you travel internationally. if you travel to mystically, tsa pre-check may be enough. that is $85. trust me, the line is so much shorter. it is 1/5 of the time it takes to get through the regular nine. spencer: sometimes even quicker than that. i came in skeptical and was impressed how much it changed my experience traveling at the airport. kristen: now let's talk about how to give yourself the best chance to not beyond one of the flights that will be canceled. give us your best tips, given
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that people should expect that more flights from before are getting canceled last minute. scott: few things to bear in mind. generally speaking, the first flights of the day are less likely to be impacted by delays or cancellations than the final flights of the day. if you are a morning person, take advantage of early flights. second, check ahead of time if there have been any delays or.cancellations you don't want to show up and find out only the your flight was canceledn. -- only then your flight was canceled. come with a backup plan, your next best alternative if your flight gets canceled or delayed. when you get on the phone with an agent or someone at the airport, if you can request a specific alternative flight you are much more likely to get it than them reassigning you to some other flight. finally, be willing to call international phone lines. american airlines, delta, united
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have their main u.s. hotline but also have hotlines in canada, australia, japan, mexico, anyone of which can service you. the lines for those international phone lines are significantly shorter. obviously, check your phone plan for international rates but if it costs two cents a minute to call canada and you get done in 15 minutes, that is 30 cents well spent in my book. kristen: that is a great tip. what are your rights when your flight is canceled? i am hearing people are getting canceled left and right and stuck at connecting airports for suddenly two days before they can catch the next flight and the airline is telling them we will not pay for your hotel. can you see compensation? scott: unfortunately there is no requirement for them to put you up in a hotel. i think there ought to be. what your rights are from a
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federal low-level is if the airline cancels or significantly changes your flight, you are entitled to a full cash refund. when you book that flight with the airline, even if your original flight gets canceled, they are still obligated to get you to your final destination. that is why you get reassigned to a different flight. you don't have to take the first one they reassigning to. you can call up and requesta different flighto r request -- and request a different flight or request a cash refund. if you need a hotel for the night, cab, whatnot, check with your credit card, the one you used to book your flight. many credit cards will automatically reimburse you for those out-of-pocket expenses as long as it is the card you used to pay for your flight. google that credit card plus travel protections and see what you are entitled to in the events of a delay or cancellation.
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kristen: i don't want to cut you off, but we have about 30 seconds on the air. since your name is scott's cheap flights, let's talk about that. is it even possible to get cheap flights right now? scott: cheap flights are not gone forever, just for the summer. in the past week we found flights out of san francisco to places like hawaii for $161 round-trip, madrid for $474, but these are happening in the fall and winter. your likelihood of a cheap flight in the summer at this point is not very good unfortunately. kristen: we will take this over on facebook live. abc7 is your exclusive home for the nba finals. we will have live coverage from boston tomorrow starting at 5:00 p.m.
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scott: thank you so much. kristen: thanks so much for joining us on this interactive tonight, breaking news. reports two americans missing, feared captured by russia. their families back home here in the u.s. believe the veterans were fighting for ukraine. also tonight, the tornado just touching down. the watches and warnings up tonight. and the largest interest rate hike in 28 years. tonight, what this means for you at home. with the fed raising interest rates three-quarters of a percent. credit cards, car loans and new mortgages all costing more. tonight, president biden and what he's asking of the oil companies now on gas prices. rebecca jarvis standing by. the reports coming in on those two american veterans missing, feared captured by russian forces, possibly near kharkiv. their families waiting for word back here at home tonight. the state department now responding and james longman
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with late reporting from ukraine

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