Thursday, November 26, 2020

CA health secretary responds to lawmakers' Hawaii travel backlash

California’s COVID-19 travel advisory and added guidelines on holiday gatherings came one week after some lawmakers flew to Hawaii for an annual conference partially funded by lobbyists.

The lawmakers who responded to KCRA 3 defended the trip to Maui as essential travel. But it nonetheless drew backlash as COVID-19 cases continue to grow and restrictions tighten.

KCRA 3 spoke with California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly about the trip, which is part of a larger interview on COVID-19 and Thanksgiving guidelines.

Q: We have a long list of Thanksgiving guidance when it comes to COVID-19, including a travel advisory. But do you think that’s eclipsed when you have state lawmakers going to Hawaii for a conference, shouldn't they have more of a moral responsibility to follow the guidelines that you’re setting forth?

Ghaly: Certainly, we want all Californians to follow the travel advisory. We think it's a key strategy to reduce transmission. We know that so many people are asymptomatic. So, they're not having symptoms or not having cold symptoms or fever, yet they're infected and they can transmit it. So, for these reasons we're asking people to avoid traveling altogether if possible. And if they do choose to travel to quarantine for 14 days before they really start mixing in their communities again. So that extends to all Californians and we believe it's an important tool for us to follow.

Q: But do you think that that's the right example as-- we are realistic, and we know that not everyone is going to follow the guidance set forth throughout the weekend.

Ghaly: Certainly, we want to continue to push the message out to all people. So those who haven't heard it may decide to adopt it, and those who are here it for the second or third time decide to make a decision to not travel, I hope. And if they do, to follow that guidance. So again, it goes for everyone at all levels. Across California, north and south, regardless of where you are in the state and what you do in this state, we expect that that is how you sort of follow and take heed to this important advisory.

Q: You recommend a 14-day quarantine if people leave the state. Did you have any direct communication with those state lawmakers who went to Hawaii, and are they in fact quarantining?

Ghaly: You know I have not. And as I've said, I think it is a recommendation for all Californians who come back into the state. So, my hope is that everyone, including those lawmakers, but way beyond those lawmakers, make it a serious consideration to follow that direction and really serve and protect their communities.

KCRA3: What message do you think that sends, given that happened right before the Thanksgiving holiday?

Ghaly: You know, again, I sort of come back and focus on really that we all have a chance to set an example and show our communities and our families really that if we do make a choice to travel that following that travel advisory, quarantining, is an important way to support our communities and really make a decision that we hope all Californians will.


More government pigs flouting the rules.  We have to conform to the recommendations, but they do whatever they wish.  OFF the pigs!

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