How California leaders are faring politically as they try to manage record coronavirus cases

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COVID-19 cases are surging in California, and some critics say California Governor Gavin Newsom reopened the economy too quickly. Newsom has since closed businesses like bars, gyms, and restaurant dining rooms again. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/CC 2.0, via Flickr

California and Los Angeles have set records this week for the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. Officials are shutting down businesses again.

Some people fault Governor Gavin Newsom and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti for reopening too fast, and others for not reopening fast enough.

“People look at the situation in LA, which is obviously pretty dire, and they say, ‘Why did LA allow bars to reopen?’” says reporter Jeremy White, who covers California politics for Politico.

White says both Newsom and Garcetti were praised at the beginning of the pandemic for acting quickly and aggressively to curb the spread of the virus.

Polls from late Spring indicated that most Californians thought the economy was reopening too soon. But leaders continued to face pressure to reopen anyway.

Newsom has since closed businesses like bars, gyms, and restaurant dining rooms again in most of California. Garcetti says Los Angeles is on the brink of another full shutdown, where residents will only be able to leave their homes for essential services.

Credits

Guest:
Jeremy White - California politics reporter for Politico and co-author of Politico California Playbook

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Caleigh Wells, Angie Perrin