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EXCLUSIVE: Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses recall effort, California's COVID response

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Posted at 9:49 AM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 12:49:03-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — ABC 10News anchor Lindsey Pena spoke with California Gov. Gavin Newsom Thursday regarding the recall election against him, the rise in COVID-19 cases around the state, and the possibility of more public health efforts to curb the virus' spread and increase vaccinations.

Newsom told Pena despite the effort to recall him from his seat as governor this September, the decisions made over the last year and a half to address the pandemic have led the state to outperform most other states economically and medically.

"This state has outperformed states like Texas, Florida, Indiana, the United States as a whole in terms of health outcomes, but we've also outperformed economically. We're running at an $80 billion operating surplus, allowed us to do a $12 billion tax rebate. We're the tentpole in American jobs, almost 600,000 jobs coming out of this state in the last five months," Newsom told Pena. "I recognize the last 18 months have been stressful, a lot of fear, anxiety all of us have felt. In hindsight, we're all geniuses, not just experts. And of course you look back, and I don't think there's a governor in America, there isn't a president of any jurisdiction in the world that probably wouldn't suggest otherwise. But I'm proud in the fact that we have led in terms of vaccines and testing, and continue to do more than most states in that respect as well."

Newsom said California's recent moves to require all health care workers to be vaccinated, have all school workers provide proof of vaccination or regular testing, and require proof of vaccine for large indoor events demonstrate the seriousness being taken by his administration.

According to the California Department of Public Health, the state has reported more than 22 million eligible residents are fully vaccinated and nearly 3.5 million residents are partially vaccinated.

"I don't see another lockdown. I continue to see more people get vaccinated. The more people get vaccinated the quicker we can return to normalcy and move beyond these debates on face coverings, masking, and any notion of any of those restrictions," Newsom said. "So I don't see that at all, quite the contrary. If California continues its nation-leading efforts on getting people vaccinated we will be in a very good position."

On the recall, Newsom continued previous statements, encouraging voters to simply vote "no."

"I want folks to know, I see what you see on streets and sidewalks, the encampments, how dirty things are. Twelve-billion-dollar commitment to get serious about homelessness and housing affordability in this state," Newsom said. "We got to defeat this recall so we don't set ourselves back, and that's exactly what these candidates on the other side want to do."



FULL INTERVIEW: ABC 10News speaks with CA Gov. Gavin Newsom on recall, COVID-19 response