KNX EXCLUSIVE: Former CA Gov. Gray Davis Talks About Reopening CA Economy, Testing

Ameera Butt
April 21, 2020 - 3:45 pm

California, like other states, is trying to figure out a timeline to reopen the state after a few factors have been met amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Those criteria include the capacity for testing, the ability for the healthcare system to handle COVID-19 surges, and the ability for schools and other businesses to physical distance.

Gov. Gavin Newsom gave an update to the public last week about reopening the economy - and there is no fixed date in sight yet. 

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There are  30,978 positive cases and 1,208 deaths in California, according to the California Department of Public Health website.

On Tuesday's KNX In-Depth show, co-hosted by Charles Feldman and Mike Simpson, former California Governor Gray Davis dropped by to discuss the state and the virus crisis.

Davis is also part of an economic recovery committee to jump-start California's economy that was formed by Newsom earlier this month alongside fellow governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown.

Davis said the committee includes all four living governors of California and others including Tim Cook of Apple and people from the community. 

"If we can just give the governor one or two good ideas on each of our sessions. Everyone wants to do what's best for California so even though it sounds unwieldy, I think it'll produce some good ideas and some consensus around those ideas," he said. 

He said when speaking for himself, "the testing, to date, is not good enough to assure a worker that he'll go back to an environment safer than the environment he or she used to work in." 

Davis said testing should be available in all communities including Watts and other areas of LA.

Davis said opening schools is key to getting people back to work.

"Children need to go back into an environment where they feel safe, their parents feel safe, their teachers feel safe. We need more testing and better testing so we can increase the assurance level of both students and prospective workers need, to go back to do what they prefer to do," he said.

Davis said some of the things we are doing right now will have to continue even if the economy, including going back to school and phasing in some workers, opens up in phases. That includes still practicing social distancing, in many cases still wear masks and minimize any risk-taking.

"America is an idea. It's an idea about coming here, working hard and playing by the rules and having good things happen to you. People want to work. When you meet a new person and you introduce yourself, pretty soon they ask 'what do you do?' It's natural for people to want to get back to things they enjoy doing or have to do but still prefer to do rather than sit, cloistered in their homes. I don't think we should fight that urge. I think we should find ways to allow it to materialize in a responsible, safe and fair manner," Davis said.

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