Flanked by video screens in an empty stadium, Governor Gavin Newsom delivered the first virtual State of the State address this week.
The number of empty seats at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, the Governor said in his March 9 address, is close to the number of Californians — 54,395 — who have lost their lives to COVID-19.
In reviewing the state’s efforts to fight the pandemic, the Governor said California is leading the way toward recovery because “we listened to the experts and were guided by the evidence.”
He acknowledged that the state and he have made mistakes, but pointed to the increasing number of vaccinated Californians and declining rate of positive COVID-19 tests as among reasons to place “faith over fear, optimism over pessimism.”
California Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Allan Zaremberg issued the following statement in response to the Governor’s address:
“We appreciate the Governor’s focus on the importance of vaccines and safely re-opening California’s economy and our schools as quickly as possible. The Governor’s previous actions to provide economic relief to our small businesses will certainly help provide an economic bridge as we wait for California’s economy to recover.
“As we move toward that recovery, we encourage Governor Newsom to use the billions of dollars California is likely to receive in federal relief to replenish the unemployment insurance fund rather than burdening small businesses with tax increases to repay billions in federal government loans.”