tv ABC7 News Getting Answers ABC September 14, 2021 3:00pm-3:31pm PDT
>> building a better bay area, moving forward, this is abc 7 news. >> i am kristin c. you are watching "getting answers." we are asking experts your questions every day at 3:00 to get answers for you in real time. we will get caught up on the covid-19 headlines. ucsf infectious peter john hong will join us. we will talk boosters, the new variant. the big day is here. the recall election. five hours to go until the polls close. candidates were out making their final push to voters. governor newsom was in san francisco a short time ago, so
will that last-minute push make a difference and seal things for him? to kickoff our discussions is film a tear. -- phil matear. you and i will be here all night long. phil: events we've seen statewide, nationally and internationally. the international press is eyeing this race. he looks the part of a hollywood governor, possible presidential contender. he's in california. kri about, the beauty and the beast. phil: as soon as the results are in, you can bet everyone will be jumping in on the tea leaves of what it means for the midterm elections, what it means for democrats and republicans moving forward, all of that wrapped up here in california.
kristen: let's start here. governor newsom looking and sounding confident. phil: the latest we've gotten is there is about 9.1 million votes that have been returned. this is a vote by mail election. every registered voter got a vote by mail in the mail. there were two parts to it. yes or no on the recall, and the second is to pick between 46 or so candidates in case kevin newsom is recalled. if gavin newsom loses the second round, it's a fight between the 46 to see who is the next governor. governor newsom is telling people not to vote at all on the second part, which has raised some questions. isn't it your civic duty to vote? that's the strategy they have adopted. of the 9 million that have come
in, more than half are democratic voters, so that should be leaning in gavin newsom's favor. the other half is split between republicans and independents. it looks like it will be the independents who will decide this election. how do the independents look? kristin: it is always the independents. which way are they going to go? in recent years, they seem to be leaning pretty hard left, progressive folks, people who respond to bernie sanders and elizabeth warren who were very prominent in governor newsom's ads. phil: that's a key reason why governor newsom and his campaign staff made such a point of trying to keep any other democrat off the ballot. they were concerned that tom steyer, the billionaire, the
leader in climate change politics and one of the big voices to impeach donald trump, might put his name on the ballot, and those independent voters who are sort of like the bernie sanders progressives might gravitate towards that, and that could make for a coalition that could outpace the regular democratic establishment. 's if the democrat vote is there, it will probably be going to newsom, but i will also say that even with results like this , no matter what the result is in terms of a win for gavin newsom, this is not something to be boasting about. it's taken $80 million in campaign money to turn these numbers around to gavin newsom's favor is a bit of an
embarrassment. kristen: let's talk about it. if he were to get 70% voting no on the recall, instead of an embarrassment, could it be an affirmation of where the state is at and set the democrats up as a narrative for the midterms? phil: it could. 70% is a win, but what will it take to get to 70%? that money could have been spent in other races around the country. 70% is, everything is great. even that is an interesting phenomenon. you and i have been talking with the organizers of this recall effort ever since we started seeing them standing on overpasses waving signs. it was not a national republican move to get into california.
it's not like republicans were spending tens of millions of dollars. the case was this ragtag collection managed to get this on the ballot, and large sense -- in a large sense because of covid and gavin newsom going to the french laundry. it's an embarrassment then. it's an embarrassment now. kristen: no doubt there were some unforced errors. phil: there is a democrat, too. the point is, the democrats kept the other democrats off, but privately, some of them said, it would've been nice to have somebody on as an alternative. kristen: at one point, it looked like he might be in trouble. that was definitely the thinking. in the last two months, things have happened on a national level that changed things for him. talk about some of the things that benefited him politically. phil: what has benefited him political -- politically is the
delta variant explosion in places like texas and florida, it's a sad statement, but the increased admissions, the deaths, increased hospitalizations, the school closures in those states because of their lack of mask mandates or vaccination had a gavin newsom saying, do we want to become like them? my opponents are against mandates. they are against mask mandates. he has turned this into a health issue, and that was smart politically. we are not hearing about the great things gavin newsom has done. we are hearing that if he isn't there, this is what you can expect, and that is worse. kristen: do you think it has had an appeal to california voters as the conversation turned to bigger existential issues such as climate change?
phil: climate change has been around for a long time. a republican would reverse the gains made by california on climate change. they even threw in that roe v. wade would be in jeopardy in california. that is not necessarily the case. if someone replaced gavin newsom, it would only be 15 months, and the legislature will not allow any big changes. one of the things he has been running on from the get-go, and it is one of those things that will be interesting to see how the democrats handle, is donald trump. he is saying, this is a trump republican move. he's putting up the wolf of donald trump at the door and saying, you can't let donald trump back in, and that's in a place where donald trump was trounced 60/40. they've even go so far as to say if dianne feinstein decides to retire, it would be larry elder
or another republican who would appoint her successor and tipped the entire balance of power in washington. that is one thing about politics. if you can't inspire, you throw out two square -- scare. kristen: let's talk about that, the fact governor newsom has pegged him to trump. hasn't that narrative been enhanced because it is larry elder, as opposed to someone like kevin faulkner who is seen as a moderate? phil: that shows also the power of celebrity. kevin faulkner did a good job as a mayor of san diego and would've been a viable candidate. john coxe, a businessman who has repeatedly run for office in california, never successfully, so let's go with kevin faulkner
-- if it had been a moderate republican, it would've been a different story, but larry elder emerged because he's a conservative talk show host who has this whole network across the nation and the state of california that we in the media don't pay attention to, but it's out there. he's raised the second-biggest amount of money. he had that sort of celebrity going into it that outpaced all the other contenders. for a while, gavin newsom's numbers weren't looking too good. jane fonda of all people was thinking about entering the race as an alternative. that would've turned the race upside down. kristen: indeed. that would be injecting celebrity factor. for those into reading the tea leaves, give us a sense of which votes might be counted first. how do you expect the ebb and
flow to go tonight? phil: since it is all vote by mail, quite a bit of the votes are in. they are ready to be counted. that gives an edge to an early reading on it. we have a significant turner out -- turnout in the bay area, so the bay area is probably going to be big for gavin newsom. how about los angeles and other areas? not only do they turn out for a recall -- yes on the recall, but when you get into los angeles, that's a tough place to get people to vote. it's one of the reasons why every statewide elected official is from our area, because we vote. kristen: we usually blame it on l.a. traffic. we will t
kristen: a lot of covid news on this recall election day, so we invited ucsf infectious disease specialist dr. peter chang hong to join us. kristen: thanks for having me on. kristen: i like to start with the good news. california, now one of three states to exit the cdc's high transmission category. what does that mean? does that mean we are over the surge and in good shape? >> we are definitely in good shape in california and in better shape in the bay area, for many reasons, including the continued protections and risk mitigation strategies that folks
in our area do. us being in that elite tier of states escaping the lowest level is that we are the most popular state. the fact that we can be up there with for mont and connecticut says lots about what we are able to do. kristen: i know the southern states are currently in dire straits. how does it compare to last winter's surge? >> it reminds me of where we were in the darkest winter. we use the metric of icu bed availability. in certain states like florida and louisiana, for example, there is much more than 90% of
icu beds occupied and in a large proportion of hospitals, so not just some icu beds. the fact we are talking about icu beds in an era of vaccination is probably 10 times worse than where we were without vaccinations. kristen: it didn't need to be that way. >> it didn't need to be that way, and we have delta, which is much less forgiving. are resigning, and some are saying that the biden administration needs to slow down its timeline. our boosters needed now or very soon? >> my assessment of the so far is we know for sure, and you will see some data come out from before the end of the week, from israel showing the booster,
even though it was a short follow-up period, provides extra protection, but not for the general population the. they will start with age over 60 and immunocompromised individuals. when those folks got the booster, 12 days and further, they seemed to be performing and staying away from the hospital compared to people of the same age without the booster. those are the populations we will target first. we have lots of other vaccines it takes you longer over the finish line, but it is probably not going to be an emergency to get everyone immunized except for those populations. kristen: why not move with haste if we have the supply? keeping cases down prevents transmission to the unvaccinated
and slows down mutations. >> yes, but we just don't have any evidence and have evidence to the contrary that we are not seeing lots of vaccinated people going into the hospital. it has not really been generalized to other countries. it is more of an israel pfizer thing. the cdc showed a little bit of decline in serious disease, but again, it was related to age. there's science students -- among scientists. this is where the administration is different from the cdc and fda. we all understand that probably a booster is going to be
something at some point, but the difference is, what is the time we need to do certain things? the evidence, a little bit of evidence with the older that has traditionally borne the brunt of problems in terms of stretching health care resources. kristen: don't go away. we will take a short hey, i just got a text from my sister. you remember rick, her neighbor? sure, he's the 76-year-old guy who still runs marathons, right? sadly, not anymore. -what, you mean-- -mhm. -just like that. -wow. so sudden. um, we're not about to have the "we need life insurance" conversation again, are we? no, we're having the "we're getting coverage so we don't have to worry about it" conversation. so you're calling about the $9.95 a month plan -from colonial penn? -i am.
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and you'll also get this free beneficiary planner, so call now. (soft music) ♪ ♪ hello, colonial penn? kristen: we are back on air with dr. peter chang hong from ucsf. we are talking about the different variants, and there are people asking, i got the j&j. does that mean i should get a booster sooner? efficacy appears to be lower, and if so, which one should i get? >> i will tell you what the data is, and then i will go to my advice. we have data showing you can get
two doses of j&j safely. antibodies are pretty stable for six months, and we have data showing j&j people aren't going to the hospitals in droves. in terms of mixing and matching, we also know that is safe. astrazeneca and pfizer, very easy to mix and match, good efficacy. i think it is going to be safe with j&j to get any other vaccine they want to. it probably will result in more antibody production and durable response. whether or not that will be a recommendation, i am doubtful it will be a formal recommendation because there isn't data about j&j matching, and j&j hasn't
submitted their second shot as a booster for the fda. kristen: how is the mu variant? is it expanding its hold the echo -- hold? >> some recent data from colombia where it has been dominant shows it is declining. the tempo is not fitting to a super variant. remember delta? 5% in march, then 20%. mu has been hanging out at 0.2% in the u.s., 0.1% in the rest of the world. i don't think it is going to go anywhere, but something to watch. kristen: we are watching it, not panicking, but viruses slowly become less deadly and more contagious over time. do you think that is what will happen with covid? >> there is this phenomenon called convergent evolution
where certain properties of viruses seem to be selected over time, and it turns out the superpower of more transmissibility helps it hang out in the world. delta, two times more than wuhan. if you were a virus and choice between being more transmissible, you would choose being more transmissible. kristen: randy wants to know if you have two moderna shots or two pfizer shots, should the booster be something else? i don't know if he means the j&j or another mrna. >> the advice from the cdc and
fda will be to stick with the same company. pfizer says, let's try to keep my shot for the booster. the fda says, we can't keep it. that's why you won't see guidance. biologically, it is going to be fine to mix and match if you want to use another booster. there is data showing that it is fine. kristen: we are hearing that moderna is working on a combined the flu and covid vaccine. what do you know about that? do you think that will become the norm? >> i think multiplex vaccines have been something that actually before covid was a thing that people had done.
you get a lot of good stuff in one shot. if you do that, that gives a company a marketing edge. take the last minute we have remaining and talk about what you've seen in the month that school has been back in session and what seems to be working and not working. >> there's a big difference between the rest of the country and the bay area. overall, we've seen these scary headlines, 240% increase in cases. the sf school district showing data that there was zero transmission among schools.
kristen: thanks for joining us on this interactive show getting answers. we will be here every weekday at 3:00 on air and on livestream answering your questions. a reminder. today is the recall election, and you can count on abc 7 for election results. we will begin streaming live coverage at 8:00 tonight, and you can watch on abc7news.com or download the abc 7 bay area app on your streaming device. you can find us on facebook live.
dan ashley, myself, material will tonight, the hurricane slamming into the u.s. several states now in the path of this storm. and the coronavirus tonight. dr. fauci on child vaccinations, when shots could be ready. and those boosters for adults. what to expect now. first, that hurricane and now possible life-threatening flash flooding as we come on the air across texas and louisiana tonight. a half million without power already. category 1 hurricane slamming into the u.s. winds up to 75 miles per hour. up to 20 inches of rain expected in some areas. victor oquendo and ginger zee with the timing. the coronavirus tonight. the dangerous surge in child covid cases. nearly 30% of new cases now. in ohio alone, children's hospitals now overwhelmed. tonight here, news on vaccines for children, when pfizer will