In his Monday coronavirus briefing, California Governor Gavin Newsom said he and the leaders of Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Nevada, including the governors and the speakers of each state’s legislature, are calling for the federal government to provide an extra $1 trillion in aid to those states. These are the members of the so-called Western Pact.
“These budget shortfalls are so much bigger than any state,” said the governor, adding that a big portion of the aid will go to helping public safety officials such as policemen, firefighters, etc, as well as schools
Newsom said this aid is needed, in part, because he sees real unemployment surging beyond 20 percent “getting closer to 22, 3, 4, 5 percent very likely.”
“The challenge is enormous,” said Newsom.
Newsom also said that nine additional counties had “self-certified” that they are ready to begin reopening. Those locales will be announced tomorrow, if not sooner, he said.
The governor stressed that “over seventy percent of the economy” of California is now open. He added that “more formal plans” for reopening specific sectors in “the dining space, the office space, some malls” would be revealed tomorrow.
“A new milestone in testing” would also be announced tomorrow, according to Newsom.
When asked about the scuffle between Tesla and Alameda County officials, the governor said he believed that “as early as next week” Tesla would be able to resume operations.
“As it relates to Tesla” and its threat to move operations to Nevada or Texas, Newsom revealed that he and Tesla founder Elon Musk had spoken a while ago.
Regarding recent reports of Tesla employees returning to work in violation of local health restrictions, Newsom said that Alameda County is leading the investigation of such violations and that they would likely be checking on such issues but that “we’ll certainly be doing that as a follow up as well today.”
The governor then sounded a more conciliatory tone on Tesla.
“I have long been a supporter,” he said. “I have great respect for their leadership and I have confidence that, at a county level, we will be able to work through those issues.”
In terms of ensuring compliance with state reopening requirements, Newsom said he is trying not to be “heavy-handed.”
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