This past year, tragedy struck the entire nation, lives were lost, businesses were forced to close, and Americans adjusted to this new normal, so in a virtual state of the state speech, Governor Newsom addresses Californians to touch on this past year and plans moving forward.
Last year Governor Newsom focused his speech on the state's homelessness crisis, but this year, in a critical speech amid a possible recall, Newsom spoke on a variety of topics from wildfires to state funding and grants, and of course, issues surrounding the pandemic.
“Too many forever goodbyes over facetime.”
Newsom addressed the state from the Dodger stadium Tuesday night, surrounded by 56,000 seats, which he compares to the number of lives lost during the pandemic.
“54,395 Californians we now mourn with broken hearts. That's almost the same number of empty seats behind me”
Nearly a year ago California became the first state in the nation to enact the stay-at-home order, and currently has some of the strictest mandates in the country.
“All of which is why California's death rate has remained one of the lowest per capita in the nation: 134 deaths per 100,000, compared to 158 nationally, 153 in Texas and 247 in New York.”
Newsom also says California continues to lead the country in combatting COVID-19, as he references vaccine distributions.
“I’m proud to report that California has administered nearly 11 million doses. That’s three million more than any other state.”
With Newsom saying the state is setting aside 40% of those vaccines to the most impacted communities, and another 10% of all vaccine allocation will go to teachers and staff.
“Vaccine equity is not just the right thing to do, it is also the fastest way through the pandemic. Grocery workers prioritized. School staff prioritized, and farmworkers put to the front of the line.”
And with that, Newsom says the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter than ever, but still, millions of people are facing another struggle within the pandemic, the struggle to pay their bills due to the pandemic
“As of today, 24 of our 58 counties are out of the most restrictive tier, and many more are poised to move next week. As we safely re-open, we are also providing financial relief.”
Newsom ended the night, saying California will continue to lead the way.
“Our hopeful vision of our brighter future is the basis for the decisions we make today. We place faith over fear, optimism over pessimism. The power is in our hands.”
Newsom’s address comes at a time where a recall effort continues to gather more signatures, according to the website Recall Gavin 2020, they now have 1.9 million signatures in support of a recall election, their goal is to collect two million.