Calif. seeks 15K hotel rooms for homeless during pandemic

Yolanda Curtis
April 5, 2020

The governor noted that the Trump administration has yet to allocate any ventilators directly to the state. "... There's no question we've had our differences of opinion on many issues", he said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom discuses California's efforts to convert hotels and motels into isolation housing for the homeless threatened by the coronavirus during a news conference near Sacramento, Calif. April 3, 2020.

"All I can say is that, from my perspective, the relationship has been strong", Newsom said. "I'm not doing it to kiss the ring-I'm just being forthright with the president".

"[Trump] returns calls, he reaches out, he's been proactive". We started working with the administration directly to get these repatriated flights from mainland China into the state of California.


Behar asked, "Governor, it's no secret that you've had a combative relationship with Trump in the past, but lately, you've been praising him for the help he's giving. Of course, you have to, because look at how he treats governors who don't kiss his ring", Behar said.

"This order provides flexibility to our medical and health providers so that they are able to provide continuity of health services to people across the state, and will allow providers to assess a greater number of patients while limiting the risk of exposure and infection of other persons from in-person consultations", said Governor Newsom.

"I'm not anticipating that happening, in this state", Newsom said.

Newsom also announced that state and local governments will receive up to 75% of cost-reimbursement for the rooms and wraparound support services from FEMA with essential behavioral health and health care services also being provided from local governments and community partners where needed. That's not a cheap shot, that's not fingerpointing. When it comes to times of crisis, we need to [rise] above the partisanship and I've always extended an open hand, not a closed fist, in those circumstances.


Mr. Newsom wasted no time rejecting the comedian's premise. Newsom told CNN's Jack Tapper that he'd be "lying" if he said the president wasn't responsive to California. He has. So as sort of an offer of objectivity, I have to acknowledge that publicly.

Newsom said it was a national problem - as is the shortage of tests and a lack of the masks, gloves and other protection healthcare workers must wear to administer tests from people who are possibly carrying the highly contagious virus.

As of Friday, California had more than 11,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. California got a head start in many respects, where no one was really paying much attention.

"They're right, and we recognize good enough never is", Newsom said.


"Once we plow through the thousands of people who are accepting our help we'll be forced to deal with that stickier situation", San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said.

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