Weideman COVID-19 Update
April 24, 2021

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Finally Some Good COVID-19 News

California has the lowest rates of new COVID-19 cases in the continental United States. To date, California has administered more than 26 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and no California county is currently in the most restrictive tier in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. If this trend continues, the state is poised to reopen and drop the tier system by June 15. K-12 and higher education systems are also preparing to provide in-person instruction starting this fall with preventative measures in place. For example, Stanford recently announced that it will require all students be vaccinated to be able to return to campus.

California is also showing positive signs that it is beginning to economically recover from the COVID-19 induced recession. California added jobs for the second straight month; 119,600 new jobs were added in March and unemployment claims are at their lowest level since the pandemic began.

Drought Rearing Its Head

California’s relatively dry winter has prompted Governor Newsom to direct the state to fortify its drought resilience measures. This is the second consecutive dry year for the state with a possible third dry year on the horizon. The Governor formally declared a regional drought emergency in Sonoma and Mendocino counties and his administration will be coordinating to protect water access in the affected communities. More information on the state efforts and the recent proclamation can be found here.

Chauvin Conviction

Following the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of the killing of George Floyd, Governor Newsom issued a statement saying that “no conviction can repair the harm done to George Floyd and his family, but today’s verdict provides some accountability as we work to root out the racial injustice that haunts our society.” Senate Speaker Pro Tem Toni Atkins stated that “justice was served today, but cannot be a one-time thing.” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said that he believes the jury did its duty and “we must work to make sure this step towards justice is followed by thousands, or millions, of steps in that direction.” This comes at a time when the legislature is considering a number of measures seeking police reform, including SB 2 regarding police decertification.

Biden on Earth Day 

President Biden hosted a virtual Climate Summit on Earth Day where he took steps to reestablish the United States as a global leader in the fight against climate change. He made several bold announcements aimed at tackling climate change, including a goal of 50% reductions of GHG emissions by 2030, with net zero emissions by 2050, doubling climate related financing to low income countries by 2024, and is encouraging other world leaders to set ambitious targets. More information on the President’s climate goals can be found here. Additionally, his administration set out actions it will take to advance electric vehicle charging infrastructure including guidance on how to deploy grants, funding partnerships, and transitioning the federal fleet to Zero Emission Vehicles.