SAN FRANCISCO — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says a lot of pandemic deaths could have been prevented in California if the state had focused earlier on vaccinating people in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Garcetti also said Friday the federal and state governments haven’t given local officials like him enough freedom to inoculate who they feel are most at risk.
Garcetti and Gov. Gavin Newsom are fellow Democrats and close friends. And while the mayor didn’t name Newsom, his comments ultimately are criticism of the governor and his initial tightly constrained approach to vaccinating residents by age and profession.
Newsom has since pivoted and set aside 40% of all doses for people in the state’s poorest areas.
THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
The U.S. reported 59,822 new coronavirus cases and 1,611 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to Johns Hopkins University. That’s second to Brazil, which reported 86,982 cases and 2,724 deaths.
VACCINES: More than 75.4 million people, or 22.7% of the U.S. population, have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some 40.9 million people, or 12.3% of the population, have completed their vaccination.