“We’ve underestimated this virus”; how it’s surging in Los Angeles, Arizona and Florida; why California must decarcerate to stop Covid and save lives

On this show:

0:08 – We talk about the spread of Covid-19 in the Bay Area with Art Reingold, division head of epidemiology and biostatistics at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. He says more studies are desperately needed to determine how people are transmitting the virus, and that the nation’s testing infrastructure is being further overwhelmed by demand for Covid tests and the lack of a system-wide response by the federal government. Wear a mask, and consider the possibility of transmitting the virus to friends and family at gatherings during the 4th of July weekend, he says.

0:34 – What does the coronavirus outbreak look like in Los Angeles? Soumya Karlamangla (@skarlamangla) is a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and covers health care in California for the Los Angeles Times. L.A. County data says that cases are increasing, and that residents started taking more risks as restaurants began to reopen, Karlamangla says. Residents are experiencing long wait times and low availability for testing, as cases go up. The county employs about 1,800 people in contact tracing.

0:48 – “The only reasonable fix here is to get as many people out as quickly as we can, as safely as we can.” – that’s Somil Trivedi (@SomilBTrivedi), senior staff attorney at the ACLU. He’s working on numerous cases nationwide to protect incarcerated people from COVID, including two in Arizona. Arizona is shattering daily records for Covid-19 cases and deaths. Advocates say one of the drivers of the virus is the vast system of immigrant detention, and they’re suing to release immigrants from confinement to avert Covid-19 spread.

1:08 – R.G. Ratcliffe is writer at large for Texas Monthly magazine. He joins us to talk about the Covid surge in Texas, and how Governor Rick Perry has responded. RG says Perry’s mask policies have been “more of a recommendation than a requirement.” 

1:18 – Mitch Perry is a political reporter for Spectrum Bay News 9 in Tampa, and gives us an update on the Covid-19 surge in Florida. He sees very little daylight between Ron De Santis and Donald Trump, when it comes to a politicized coronavirus response.

1:34 – California State Senator Nancy Skinner presided over a hearing Wednesday on the push to decarcerate to save lives, as the Covid-19 outbreak in San Quentin continues to grow. Brendon Woods, public defender for Alameda County, talks about the human rights of incarcerated people during the Covid-19 crisis. Woods just delivered a petition demanding the immediate release of everybody incarcerated in California with a year or less remaining of their sentence, everyone who is 65 or older or medical vulnerable, and develop an early parole system for those with sentences of 3 years or less.

1:49 – Continuing our series on people whose lives were taken by police, we remember Yuvette Henderson. In 2015, Emeryville police shot and killed Yuvette. She was 38 years old. She left behind four children, one granddaughter, and her brother, Jamison Robinson. Jamison spoke to our reporter Chris Lee (@chrislee_xyz) at Defremery Park in Oakland, four blocks from where he and his sister Yuvette grew up. This piece was edited by Lucy Kang (@ThisIsLucyKang).

1:54 – As monuments to enslavers and genocidal historical figures topple across California, what statues should replace them? Our listeners speak out.