California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday the only path to sustainable economic recovery from the battering ram of COVID-19 is to avoid early mistakes and open businesses more slowly despite the pain.
“It’s very raw. I am well aware of the mandates we put out as a state, the mandates that are put out by local health officers… The need and desire for people to get back to work and open their doors,” he said during a virtual Q&A at Milken Institute’s annual Global Conference. “At the same time, you’ve got to balance public health if you are committed to sustainable economic growth and recovery. Not situational economic growth and recovery. What I learned is the errant way that we reopened after the first few months that we had held the line.”
He didn’t elaborate on specific industries like theme parks, which have been vocally protesting the lack of reopening guidelines as they continue to shed workers. Disneyland and Universal Resorts Hollywood remain dark, although the parks are open in Orlando, Florida.
“We never had a big surge like they had on the East Coast,” he said, and the state is now seeing “not a second wave but a continuation of the first that we were able to temper. So now as we have now tamed this growth and we are now reopening we are doing it much more methodically and we are doing it much more stubbornly but in a way that I believe will ultimately aid our economic recovery by not having the fits and starts that an opening and closing that I think is very likely to persist and be advanced as people enter back indoors and we start to see some transmission rates go back up. “We are going to keep a health first focus in order to advance our economic paradigm.”
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