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tv   KQED Newsroom  PBS  January 16, 2022 5:00pm-5:31pm PST

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seven cisco mayor leonard breed talks about how she is tackling the pandemic and crime on the city streets.
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state health officials say 23% of professionally ministered tests are showing a positive. the number of new cases topping 100,000 daily over the past few days. some school districts have closed the doors and go back to school online. sonoma county has been for indoor and outdoor gatherings. health officer dr. synder remains. are you joining us. >> think of her having it. tell us about the status of coronavirus cases in sonoma county. >> we are feeling the same increasing cases as every other county here in the state. we actually have a case right now 212 new cases -- at the
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height of the surge last winter we were at 58 new cases 400,000 per day. widespread community transition. >> have announced new restrictions lasting four months. were the restrictions? >> background information. we find the majority of our cases report having attended a gathering. that is what we think is contributing to the huge case of transmissions. we have done is to put a limit on indoor gatherings and events. 50 persons. for outdoor gatherings 100. unless able to socially distance. if there is a venue outdoors and able to help more people with distancing, they can do so. that is really the gist of the order.
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but also in our highly impacted formal populations like our skilled nursing facilities, we have put that limited 12. for gatherings and events. >> you are encouraging people also to stay home as much as possible. >> that is about imitation. at this time with widespread transmission of covid-19 is that right now not together and not to go places that can put you at risk. two generally stay home except for the essential activities like doctors visits and visiting the grocery store and things like that. do you think we are currently at the peak of the pandemic from the scientific research you are seeing? >> we are not there yet. we had close to 1900 new cases reported yesterday. in sonoma county. we have seen a widespread in our skilled nursing facilities. we have seen more hospitalizations and deaths.
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homeless population. and events. all that is concerning. i think we are still on the upward trend. >> tells about the metrics the counties are using to determine when the pandemic is no warmer a pandemic? when covid-19 is not a major threat to public health any longer. >> there is a multiple manufacturers are coming to this. let me say in sonoma county one of our most concerning metrics is our hospital capacity. or hospitals have all reached out and said, they have staffing shortages, there are seeing more people in the hospital with covid-19 but also with other illnesses. emergency department are packed. it's really hard for hospitals to get people out. to skilled nursing facilities. or to homeless shelters. or even alternate care sites. where people with covid-19 positive are quarantining. all these things are important
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because they can impact the care for the community. the hospitals can provide. people who need to go to the hospital with other illnesses they could find there is a backlog. that would really be a significant impact. think you so much dr. mays. we appreciate it. last month seven cisco mayor london n. breed declared a state of emergency in the city's tenderloin neighborhood. she vowed to bring a police crackdown on a regular and open crime in the neighborhood. >> it's time the reign of criminals were destroying our city, it is time for it to come to an end. it comes to an end when we take the steps to be more aggressive with law enforcement. more aggressive with the changes in our policies. less tolerant of all the -- that has destroyed our city. criticism of her calls for
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increased intervention came swiftly from the district attorney -- another centimeters. the situation in the tenderloin in the debate over how to handle it revealed the political tensions. in the deeply blue city. joining me now is seven cisco mayor leonard breed. they were joining us. >> of course. your move to increase police action has been criticized as we just mentioned. by the district attorney in several city leaders as continuation of this world drugs policy that is not worked in the past the red policing is only one part of your plan. it's a pretty prominent feature. what you think the work now? >> just to be clear i think it's unfair many progressives in the city leaders have labeled this was a war on drugs. this is not about re-creating or reemerging something that clearly is a failed policy. this is about striking a balance. san francisco has been a
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compassionate city with numerous resources. millions of dollars we have invested in a number of agencies in the tenderloin district in particular, which unfortunately are not working in a way that has led to the ki of results we really want to see in this community. it's not just law enforcement. law enforcement is important part of this. the tenderloin community in particular has gotten increasingly violent. there has always been challenges in this never had. but it is increasing significantly with the number of homicides, people who have been shot, people who had been stabbed. the constant random and physicalssaults on many parents and sometimes kids and elderly who lived there. we have a responsibility to make sure when those lines are crossed, when people are assaulted, open-air drug dealing out-of-control we deal with it in law enforcement
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plays a role in that process. >> will law enforcement escort people to the linkage center? this is a place for people who are struggling with substance abuse issues where they can go and get help. i understand it will be opening next week. will law enforcement be bringing people there? or will this be completely voluntary? >> the goal, it's not necessarily going to be voluntary. especially if someone is breaking the particular law and clearly is struggling with addiction. they will be given this is an option. the goal is to have all the resources that will be able to respond quickly and pick them up and walk them over deliver them in one of our vance location. we want to keep that distinction between health and services in law enforcement but the police are out there. they are giving people narcan.
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they want a place to take people who are struggling. this is a part of the solution to get us on the right path and to not just walk by somebody who is struggling with addiction. >> you have been critical of excessive use of force. how is the idea of increasing police square with the idea of using fewer police and less force as a way to handle problems? >> at the end of the day i have to say, what san francisco has done, we have done in terms of turning things around in our police force with antibias training, de-escalation training, with a number of new hires, all the work we have done has led to changes in our police department. it's not perfect, we will keep working on it. ultimately we want to make sure our officers are there to serve and protect everyone. and they also understand how to do their jobs in a way that
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leads to the minimal amount of harm of anybody that is out there. so i think ultimately maybe you are the person that is unfortunately assaulted, you want them there to deal with the person who assaulted you. you want justice. with the families with high people who have been killed in the city. they want justice. but what we don't want is where officers inflict unnecessary harm on people who may be innocent or have nothing to do with the situation. i think this is really about a balance. this is really about making sure our officers are trained, that they want to work on these assignments, that they care about this work. we have been doing a lot to turn things around. >> your frustration is very clear. i think it mirrors a lot of frustration the residents of san francisco and people in the surrounding counties feel when
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they come to visit san francisco. you declared the state of emergency because you said something needs to be done now. this has been going on for long enough. it has been bad for long enough. you call for this immediate increase police intervention. but then according to a report in the seven cisco chronicle it appears the rest have remained flat and police presence has not increased. why has there been so little change if we are truly in a state of emergency? >> the factis, omicron is completely unpredictable. we have had a lot of police officers who would otherwise be out on the streets that have been off work. in order to quarantine. so that has impactednot just our police department, it has impacted the fire department, other city resources. we have had to bring in people to make sure the initial shifts
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are actually filled. and using overtime and other resources to do that. my hope is as the search begins to decline we will be able to have more officers for the tenderloin community into a lot more work in the coming week. >> on the other hand police presence did increase quickly and significantly and union square after the mass looting incidents in december. why was the city able to respond so quickly there but not to the same in the tenderloin? >> as i said, at that time we weren't dealing with the search. we were losing significant numbers of officers like we are now. unfortunately we have had to scale back some of the response the union square area. i don't think it's fair to attribute this to anything other than the fact people are out sick. the vote to recall 37 cisco school board members is happening next month. you haven't lost recall of all three. what you think this recall is
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important? >> we were dealing with the pandemic. we all got derailed. we didn't expect anything to be perft but at the end of the day the prioritizing of our children should've been, and of course safety. which is important. it should've been at the top of the agenda in many cases it wasn't. in many cases there were often times questions and concerns and issues and frustrations. it's not even just about the decisions. more so about communication. it's about the role of the school board. the need to put kids first. there were a number of failures. we saw the city during the pandemic, seven cisco has been praised with our response. for using data in science to make hard decisions that led to saving lives. on the flipside of that criticized for what was happening in the school board, which really should've been a completely different situation than what they dealt with. my hope is ultimately whatever the votersdecide on the school board, my goal is to make sure
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we continue to work with the school district and provide them with resources and support they need. ultimately when we focus too much on ourselves and the politics, the children lose. the children are already losing and struggling. we need strong leadership. >> district attorney -- is facing a recall. political observers have noted you have been critical of some of his actions. why haven't you endorsed recalling dean putin? >> i am focused on this first election. it's going to be in february. with a number of decisions that are to be made. that decision is not being made by the voters until june. i will make a decision closer to when that election occurs. >> we asked reviewers for questions and one of them wrote in asking about housing. they will, how are you going to get the board of supervisors to
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pass a rezoning that will be compliant with state law and allow us to meet requirements for the upcoming housing cycle? >> i am going to pray. i'm going to also ask people to reach out to the members of the board. in my office we consistently try to push the envelope on housing production and seven cisco. we will try and work with the board and get some of this legislation through. we will allow for parking lots and gas stations and underutilize spaces which don't currently have housing. the legislation will serve and save 18 months. >> let's turn to the coronavirus. you said seven cisco will not following in sonoma county's footsteps introducing fresh restrictions in response to this rrent surge coronavirus cases. why not? >> i think our data is a little different. our capacity and ability to
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have icu beds in our hospitals are different. we are in a different situation. we depend on our public health experts and folks who understand infectious diseases and looking at the data to determine what kinds of decisions we need to make of the city. with regards to this. this is not a decision that they believe is necessary at this time. it doesn't seem to be a decision that might be necessary in the foreseeable future. on the east coast we are seeing the surge declining there. there surge started to increase a lot sooner than ours. we were preparing for that.. seven cisco we are doing okay. things that are completely out of control even though we are seeing significant increase in the people, the numbers of people who were infected with omicron. we are not seeing our death rate increase. not significantly and we are not seeing the hospitalizations get out of control where we don't have the ability to take care of people.
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i think we are in a decent position. if we get worse we will make a decision at that time. but for now we are okay. >> london n. breed, the mayor's after so, thank you for your time. >> thank you. despite the pandemic, despite an increase in crime, despite what jams at the ports in rising inflation, california is once again looking at an optimistic budget. the budget the governor some unveiled includes a projected surplus of over $45 million. it is aimed at covid-19 , climate change, homelessness, the cost of living, and public safety. i'm joined by scott schaefer. in washington correspondent for the synthesis of clinical toll copan who joined us on skype. they give her being with us. >> would be with you. >> once again we are in the position of having this very
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large budget surplus because california's economy booms. what will this section may mean for california? >> it's very good news. this is the second year of the big surplus. to keep it in perspective $46 billion surplus is bigger than the entire state budget of a lot of states in this country. it's a lot of money. it will be spent on the priorities you mentioned. covid-19, climate change, and the rest. and also a big idea , which democrats have been pushing for a long time, which is to explant medi-cal to more adults regardless of how the immigration status is. there are about 7000 not eligible for obamacare but if this budget passes for the cost of $2 billion be able to access healthcare in the state. that's a big deal. so much of this money is spent reacting to emergencies. the climate change crisis, covid-19, crime, but was sinking back to the 60s when pat brown was governor. all the big money we spent on things like the big water
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aqueduct, the uc system, things we still use today. i'm not sure we can necessarily say that about this particular spending plan. these are priorities that must be addressed. >> i want to pick up specifically on the hot button puzzle about medi-cal. you wrote about this this week. if it's adopted it would make california the first state in the nation as gavin newsom likes to say to offer healthcare to all low-income residents regardless of immigration status. also you see this proposal playing out. >> a couple brief details that did not go over. 2 to 3 billion per year. that's an important detail. it's not going to start before 2024. the state has authority extended this to senior residents who may or may not be undocumented and covers young immigrants. so this is filling the gap. adults were not below 26 or above 50. the other numbers you mentioned, this bugs the gap.
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it's interesting i was calling around about this and what really struck me is how much this put california at odds with most of the country. aside from debbie new york, most of the country is restricting when it comes to immigration. not expanding. i spoke with senator left immigration advocate policy thinker who said this is great this is california doing its thing. but it's not necessarily what's going to play well for suburban swing voters and the rest of the country. while this may be welcomed in california and something advocates have been puing for for years and years and a really heralding as important investment there may be backlash elsewhere in the country and provides republicans a character they want to portray to run on the midterms. it will be interesting to see
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the dichotomy which is a smart policy move and how it's going to play with the rest of the country. >> because the support of undocumented people. >> it is controversial outside of california. here not so much. politicians run the country may criticize gavin newsom but it's not that controversial roman voters in the state. the statewide peer >> is go to the opposition in general. he is putting forth proposals broadly. what are you hearing? >> republicans who i want to say relevant, but largely irrelevant because the democrats have a two thirds majority in both houses, they don't like overspending. they would like to see more of the surplus go back to voters and people.
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to voters with rebates. there may be some of that. we will have to wait and see just a bit the surplus gets. they want to see more money spent on water infrastructure, water storage, they really don'like this expansion of medi-cal for undocumented immigrants. there are disagreements in the democratic party. there disagreements over healthcare. whether or not single payer, which is making its way through the legislature is a good idea for california. there is criticism from republicans but there is also a lot of disagreement within the democratic party. >> had is federal money play in all this? what is come from thscene would we expect in the future? >> it's funny to think a year ago the tone in dc was, we have to pump out so much money because governance are floundering in here we are talking about california's massive surplus and how to invest. there is more money on top of that. they did pass covid-19 relief. the bipartisan infrastructure bill is going over the next five years to pump billions into california for roads
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bridges. there may be more covid-19 relief coming. there is actually a ton of federal money that is on top of what the state is also announcing. >> scott, covid-19 continues to rage but the specific coronavirus sickleave relief is gone. we will have that anymore. is there any occasion about the come back? >> the governor and legislature are talking about it. it expired the end of september they are taing about adding days. the question is, how the days who pays for it? businesses want to do it. they feel they have already given at the office so to speak and they are helping to make customers and workers safe. it is costing them money. so this will be a negotiation. right now in the middle of the search you really need that sick time. but next month and in march, who knows? epidemiologists say we might be through the nurse of it. >> one more topic.
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eric swalwell hurried his lawsuit against president trump related to the generous extensive exit. before the hearing and what is this case stand on? >> he has sued independently in his case is being heard with another group of lawmakers in that group includes oak oakland congresswoman barbara lee. and capitol police officers there trying in civil court to hold trump and some of his associates liable for the insurrection that happened on generous sixth of last year. monday the court heard the motion to dismiss basically he is weighing whether or not this could proceed. what are the boundaries of the first amendment? does this violate them? swallow and is seymour arguing,
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if not this what could possibly merit limits? trump's team saying what the president is in office he is immune from suits and first amendment rights are extremely broad. >> we will be watching with echoes of the next three weeks. make you so much for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> something beautiful bauman's western outfitter in livermore we don't feature a storm in this segment but bauman sends a strong local history been family owned for 140 years. if you want to visit the beese of wild was passed check out the selection of jeans, cowboy hats, and boots.
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that the universe show. behind the scenes placing our best online. it kqed newsroom is on twitter and facebook. or you can email us at cayenne are at kqed.org you can always reach me on twitter at priya d clements. we will see you right back here next friday night . have a great weekend.
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captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, january 16: all hostages are safe after an hrs long standoff at a texas synagogue. a winter storm brings snow and ice to the eastern united states. and the economic and environmental impacts of a changing climate in iraq. next on “pbs newshour weekend.” >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: sue and edgar wachenheim iii. beard and denise schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the anderson family fund. the estate of worthington mayo-smith. leonard and norma klorfine.
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