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Gov. Newsom says 56% of Californians could contract coronavirus in letter to President Trump

"We project that roughly 56% of our population — 25.5 million people — will be infected with the virus over an eight week period," Newsom said.


Gov. Gavin Newsom is asking President Donald Trump and congressional leaders for help dealing with coronavirus.

In a letter to Trump Wednesday, Gov. Newsom requested the deployment of the USNS Mercy Hospital ship to the port of Los Angeles until Sept. 1, 2020.

"This resource will help decompress the health care delivery system to allow the Los Angeles region to ensure that it has the ability to address critical acute care needs, such as heart attacks, strokes or vehicle accidents, in addition to the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases," Newsom said in the letter.

There are a total of 675 positive cases and 16 deaths in California (including one non-California resident), according to the California Department of Public Health

Newsom’s letter outlined the seriousness of his request by noting a 21% increase in new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. There's community-acquired transmission in 23 counties with an increase of 44 community-acquired infections in 24 hours, Newsom said. He said in some parts of the state, the case rate is doubling every four days. 

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"We project that roughly 56% of our population — 25.5 million people — will be infected with the virus over an eight week period," Newsom said.  

Gov. Newsom also sent a letter Thursday to congressional leaders asking for federal support to help families and businesses in California deal with "economic disruption" as a result of an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

He said state and local governments worked together to provide a safety net for families after the Great Recession. 

"Without a substantial economic intervention from the federal government, many of those middle-class households may fall into poverty,' he said. "State and local governments need broad-based federal support to meet this moment and the needs of the people."

Newsom requested federal assistance in five key areas with specifics, including:  

Ongoing pandemic response

Newsom requested funding for public health emergency preparedness and response for state and local partners.  

"This funding will help meet our critical need to procure additional personal protective equipment, ventilators and tents for medical surge capacity, as well as cots and other sheltering needs," he said in the letter.

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He said the state estimates it will need an initial $1 billion in federal funding to support coordinated COVID-19 response, surge planning and implementation. 

Assistance for California’s most vulnerable individuals, families and communities

Newsom asked for increases with the state’s safety net programs, including an increase in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant and more funding for all food assistance programs. 

Assistance for workers, small businesses and the economy

Gov. Newsom is asking for the creation of a new U.S. Treasury Authority to provide guaranteed loans made by U.S. banks to small and medium sized businesses. He also asked for direct-cash and rental assistance for small businesses. 

Ensuring schools and university can continue delivering high quality instruction through technology 

"In California, nearly all public schools have been closed to traditional classroom learning, and school districts are quickly adapting to deliver quality alternative /online programs," Newsom said in the letter.

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He asked for funding for a major expansion of technology investments in California schools. He also asked for increased funding for Title I schools to address the high concentrations of poverty and the increased challenge of implementing online programs when many households lack internet and devices needed for online learning.   

Stability for governments to maintain essential programs and services

Newsom asked for direct fiscal support to stabilize state and local budgets. He also asked for immediate transportation-related relief for local transit agencies, airports and port authorities.

"Working together, I am confident that we can meet this moment and take the necessary and immediate steps to address our economic and societal needs as we continue to address, and begin to recover from, this unprecedented crisis," Newsom said.


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