tv ABC7 News Getting Answers ABC June 23, 2021 3:00pm-3:31pm PDT
building a better bay area, moving forward, finding solutions, this is abc7 good afternoon, everybody. i am liz kreutz. thanks for joining us live on getting answers, who live, and wherever you stream. we are answering your questions every day at 3:00 to get answers in real time. today, we will speak with a radio reporter who is digging into governor newsom's fire prevention claims, and he says the numbers don't add up. we will talk about the drought and creative ways to save water. we have news from a cdc panel that shows that the likely association there is an association between the pfizer and moderna and covid-19 vaccine's between adolescencebee
and adults, we want to show you the numbers, 320 confirmed cases, 309 were hospitalized, nine people remain hospitalized. two of them are in in in in have been discharged, five remain without outcome data. to put that in perspective, that's 26 million doses administered. the panel says the benefits of the shot still far outweigh the risks. joining us to talk more about this and other news is dr. monica gandhi. good afternoon, thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> what is your take away from this report? >> you know, i think this signal is real. obviously, these are high eu -- higher rates of myocarditis. it is in children, especially in young people, because of the fact we haven't seen 12 to
year-old data. we need to talk about standing the durations between doses, giving one does in places with low community transmission until we see the 12 to 15-year- old data, then third is preferring johnson & johnson for those between 18 to 20. we have not seen myocarditis with the johnson & johnson vaccine. it's only 18. >> the possible link we know in the headline will still scare a lot of people. so how can we put this in perspective? >> so the risk is still really low. it is essentially, you know, the risk of getting this rare side effect is still, you know, let's say the benefits of vaccination are high. we want covid to go go go go go there are simple things to be done to likely increase the safety, personally, i have been talking to the nih. they might end up making the
recommendation. that way, you still get the protection, but you get more safety. >> that was going to be my next question. do you expect changes to be made to to to to administered to adults? it sounds like you think the duration will be extended. why do you think that will work or help? >> the reason it could help is, what we have seen is that in israel and the u.s., we have seen mild cases of myocarditis among young people. that is how we did it in both countries. in the uk, they were trying to get doses to the population faster, they had 12 weeks between doses. they haven't seen this -- the main thing is, you don't see it after the first dose, not really, you see it after the second dose in males 2 to 5 days after the second dose, that's commonly when you see it. the thing to remember about this vaccine is, everything is new. we are developing these as we
go along. seeing the pattern in the uk makes me think it is safer to extend the dose for the extended duration. >> i was also going men. how could someone know that they are experiencing this? >> it is strange to be in males, but it has been seen before in the smallpox vaccination. we note it has been eradicated. this is the only injection to be eradicated on the face of the earth. there were higher rates of myocarditis seen in men and military recruits, actually, and it was the exact same phenomenon. we have no idea how the testosterone interacts. this is described in both. symptoms are chest pain and shortness of breath. of those males we just listed,
you said 309 were actually hospitalized for a short period of time. and of those, almost 95% had chest pain. that is your most prominent symptom. >> one person asks, is there any correlation between people who have this and then people who had covid shortly before being vaccinated? >> yes, that is a very interesting question. it is very rare to get it after the first dose. those who got it after the first dose are more likely to be covid antibody positive. it could be there is a correlation between having covid, getting a first dose, and getting it after a second dose. if you've had covid before, talk to your doctor. your pediatrician, especially, if you are talking to kids about when to give the dose. the cdc does not recommend until three months to give a dose of the vaccine. >> we are getting people asking a similar question which goes
back to the vaccine hesitancy some people have. i would like to address these fears. you have someone sing the risk of dying of covid is so low, why would people risk the side effects? >> i like that you use the word vaccine hesitancy. i think it is important to talk about side effects to decrease hesitancy. i think if we said this is not happening, that would decrease public contrast. it's important you are covering this. it's important we are talking about it. bringing things out in the open is the right thing to do. it is true that young people are less likely to get severe disease. however, if the virus is still circulating, they are going to grow. it's good for them to have immunity. the more virus there is out there, the worse it is in the sense for all of us -- this is why we are much more safe in san francisco than we were in
january when we had higher rates of transmission. so getting the population immune is a good goal for all of us. that's why in keeping safety first and efficacy, the efficacy and safety, i agree with your callers question. we have to address this. i hope we get a recommendation that is fair. >> speaking of how important the vaccines are, i want to talk about the delta variant. dr. fauci says it will be dominant in weeks. it is growing in california specifically among those who aren't vaccinated. how concerned are you? >> i'm not as concerned about california because we have so much immunity it's hard for a variant to get in. he and others are worried about
those who have lower rates of vaccination. it seems to be more transmissible. i don't think it is more severe. luckily, we just got data from just this morning from the public health foundation in england that one dose of the pfizer vaccine is 94% effective in preventing hospitalizations. 96% effective after two doses. that goes back to what the alpha variant look like. it still responds to vaccines just like the alpha did. so i feel really good about the fact we have higher rates of vaccination here, and it makes me want to say where there are lower rates of vaccination, let's get vaccinated. it doesn't happen to be our state. >> i know people have expressed concern, people i speak with socially are worried that because there are some who are still unvaccinated, it could
mutate in ways where the vaccine would not be protected against. is that a concern? >> you know, i don't actually think that the virus can evade our vaccines. it has to do with t cells. it has to do with the spike protein being 100 segments long -- and t cells -- your other form of an immunity lineup to form a mutation. so the delta variant has 13. so you have knocked out 13 of the t cells, but you have 87 there to protect you. the virus will be very hard for it to get so mutated it would not become a virus that could infect anymore to evade our community. i'm not at all worried about ultimately us being able -- a virus being able to break through the vaccine. i'm worried about people getting protection by getting the vaccine, i'm not worried about the vaccine. >> that is good news.
we do need to continue to get people vaccinated. it's nice in california when we have to drive the vaccination rate. i'm getting the wrap -- -- unfortunately, but it's always wonderful to have you. thank you so much. thank you. next, an investigation into governor newsom's claims of wildfire prevention efforts. we are going to
from npr's newsroom alleges that governor gavin newsom made false and misleading statements related to wildfire prevention efforts in the state of california. among many of the claims made in this article, they have reported that 35 priority projects resulted in fire prevention work on 90,000 acres data they obtained show the actual number is less than over 11,000. also take a look at these maps from one county provided by cal fire, both of these maps show m the original project area, and that read shows work that was actually completed. so joining me me me me me me me radio state government reporter who broke this story. scott, thank you for being here. it is a striking report. >> thank you for having me on. >> let's talk about the maps. what do these indicate about what newsom has said is happening versus what actually happened? >> are reporting found that
newsom made misleading comments about these 35 priority projects, he identified them early on in his tenure as governor. the projects were supposed to protect some of the most vulnerable communities in california from wildfires, and, in total, they totaled 90,000 acres. once those projects were declared complete in 2020, newsom said that all those 90,000 acres were already treated. we found in their own data it was less than 12,000 acres that had been treated. it was less than 13% of what newsom had claimed. >> we did reach out to his office for comment. they directed us to the california natural resources agency which gave us a statement. we will read in part for you so you can respond to it. in the case of the 35 priority projects, the work benefited total area of 90,000 acres
though not every single acre was actually treated by boots on the ground, in other words, the fact that 90,000 acres was affected by and benefited from the work is a much more important metric than the number of actual acres treated. 90,000 accurately represents the project area that the 35 emergency fuel breaks were designed to influence. so breaking it down, they feel it is a mischaracterization. so i want to give you a chance to respond to that. >> sure, i'm glad you brought that up. are reporting specifically focuses on that word, treated. governor newsom used the word treated when he declared the projects complete in his press release in 2020 and while they were ongoing, said they would treat 90,000 acres. so i think it is important to recognize a difference when we say treat, the event means work being done versus land that might be protected. i think that is an important distinction. it is based on the words used by newsom and cal fire
themselves. >> for sure, i want to dig into your findings and what you shared with us from cal fire. we are showing it on the screen, how many acres were treated in 2018, 2019, 2020, then this year, the california naonal resources agency explains tt the drop from 2019 to 2020 was due to factors like the pandemic, budget cuts, wildfires that took away resources. is that what you're reporting found, too, and is that in line with what th what the administr has said? >> that is what the reporting found. i mean, we wanted to look at what work had been done on wildfire prevention. that ranges from fuel management like forests and prescribed burns, and we found it during the first year in office, the number of acres that the state completed had spiked. it had gone up to over 64,000 acres. in 2020, it dropped by about half. cal fire did say, we included
in the story, that the 2020 fire season certainly played a role. it's by the agency thin. it spread staffing thin. covid-19 also complicated that. however, we also note that due to those emergencies, while experts say those are legitimate reasons, at the end of the day, fire doesn't stop because there are other other o emergencies, but they say this needs to continue. it is essential for it to continue in order for california to continue to get this wildfire crisis under control. >> you said newsom's team has not responded to multiple requests and no response? >> we were able to interview tom porter. however, we did send notable requests for comment governor newsom's office including one that laid out in detail all of our findings and did not respond to requests. >> we have a hard time getting responses, too. i'm curious to know, i think they made chief tom porter available to you.
what did he say about >> he told us, as we said, 2020 was a challenging year. he did acknowledge that cal fire has fallen short on its goals. he said he is not comfortable with that. he is trying to reconcile to improve that. on the issue of these 35 priority projects where newsom claimed 90,000 acres were treated, he did say there needed to be improvement between his department, cal fire, and the office in terms of communication, in terms of making it clear to the public what treatment means, what protection means, and he essentially said that falls on his shoulders and cal fire's shoulders. >> i wanted to address this in the beginning, for people to have a better understanding because it is subtle, what are these 35 priority projects? what is the goal behind them? how much has been completed now? >> absolutely, i'm glad you came back to it. when newsom first entered
office, he wanted to take on wildfires head-on. he had these projects that were recommended by cal fire that would do prescribed burns and essentially protect the most vulnerable communities from fires. over the course of the next year, by early 2020, work was done on those projects. newsom claimed that all 90,000 acres of those 35 projects were completed. again, we found that only less than 12,000 acres had been done on those projects. >> i think a big question is, why? really, the key issue in the state of california is the fires. >> that is a great question. it is one i would have loved to discuss directly with newsom or a member of his cabinet. experts say that it is challenging to do this prescribed firework, the fuel reduction work, the chief of cal fire also said after the original scope of the project,
it became clear they weren't going to have the environmental clearances and they were going to have cooperation from landowners. there was an acknowledgment that despite the 90,000 acres, they were going to be able to do all of it. it is partly to blame. it is challenging to get this work done. that's what experts across the board have told me. me. me. me. >> you know, your report is making shockwaves at a critical time right now as newsom faces this recall election. now we are talking politics a little bit. how much of his rhetoric has been shaped by knowing he has to ward off this recall? >> that is tough to say. i do know he has made some pretty big announcements on this wildfire prevention. it is worth noting that his proposal for this year's budget would allocate a lot of money. he calls it a historic amount of money.
it is a lot of money for wildfire prevention. it is over $1 billion for prevention and response. that is certainly worth experts important increase. this would make a dent in things. this gets to the policy question. experts say this needs to happen. this funding needs to be sustained for years. it can't be a one-year thing. maybe it is topical, or after a bad fire season, we have to do this work for it to be affected for years and decades. >> thank you for joining us. fascinating report, we will be interested in seeing what happens from here. thank you for taking the time to talk with us. >> we will keep digging. thanks for having
joining us to talk about creative ways to save water is the codirector of the water efficiency partnership. tia, thanks to see you -- thanks for joining us. >> big picture, how important is it for people to cut back on water versus waiting for the district or county to tell them to? >> that's a great question. you know, we kind kind kind kin wait and see what happens. it is really safe to say in california, drought is the new normal, right? as californians, we all need to make water conservation and efficiency a way of life, right? we need to embed it in our culture. the trends are showing. they are going to keep >> give us some tips for those watching right now, some basic easy things that people can do to cut back on their own water usage at home. >> we saw great ones in the comments below, you know, take shorter showers, turn the
faucet off when you are brushing your teeth. only from the laundry have a full load. those are things we can do every day. upgrade the fixtures around your house so the water sends or the local water agency has a ton of great information for high-efficiency toilets or showerheads, dishwashers, clothes washers, there has been amazing advancement in technology, and water agencies are eager to adopt it. they have rebates and incentives. the first one is upgrading fixtures. the second one is breaking up with your lawn. water use in california, 50% of it is for outdoor water use. it has been said, if the only person walking on the grass is the person mowing the grass, it might be time to lose your lawn. we get it.
i'm a soccer player. i love turf. if it is just ornamental, not being used, drought tolerant gardens can be beautiful. they can harbor spaces for pollinators. they can collect rainwater. it doesn't have to be rocks and cactuses. it can be something beautiful. again, water agencies want to incentivize you to do that. the third i will mention is checking for leaks. >> i didn't mean to interrupt. checking for leaks is so important. you told me you can waste 200 gallons of water per hour if your toilet is leaking. definitely check for leaks. i want to ask before we have to jump off, about this report that came out about the drought is making water taste like dirt especially in sacramento, why is this happening? is it dangerous? what can you do to make it taste better? >> before we run off and buy bottled water, it is good to know that your tap water is
safe. it is highly regulated. i am a huge tapwater enthusiast. that said, i am in sacramento. and our tapwater is tasting earthy. our water comes from rivers, lakes or reservoirs. as it goes down, more organic material is getting into the treatment process. that organic material and yucky stuff, all that is a compound that is left. it is the same thing that makes the air smelled like dirt after it rains. it's the same organic compound. it is harmless. it is totally safe. there are easy ways to make it go away in
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thank you so much for joining us on tonight, several developing stories as we come on the air. the cdc finding a, quote, likely association, between rare heart inflammation and the pfizer and moderna vaccines in young people. but tonight, the cdc still saying the benefits of getting the vaccine outweigh the risks. tonight, 323 confirmed cases of myocarditis out of 26 million doses given to young people. the ra and the moment with dr. jill biden, the first lady on stage at a brad paisley concert and the crowd's response, with this push to get vaccinated. also tonight, the images coming in after a pedestrian bridge collapses on a washington, d.c. highway. several cars involved. several people rushed to the hospital. ve
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