Appearing Tuesday on CNN’S The Lead, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) said Los Angeles county’s likely decision to extend its stay-at-home order by three months does not mean everything will undoubtedly remain closed within such period of time.
“We’re going to have to have, for our young people, not just testing once and you’re good to go to school, but at least weekly, if not more frequently, to make sure nobody infectious is going to school.” – LA Mayor Eric Garcetti on what steps need to be taken to reopen schools. pic.twitter.com/ofy4FQMEvH
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) May 12, 2020
A partial transcript is as follows:
HOST JAKE TAPPER: What was so alarming in L.A. County for the health director to make this kind of warning? Explain to us what the situation is there?
MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI: I want to reassure people, because I think there was a lot of panic suddenly when the headline said we’re all going to stay exactly how we are for three more months, when that’s not the case. I think, quite simply, think that she’s saying we’re not going to fully reopen Los Angeles or probably anywhere in America without any protections or any health orders in the next three months. I think we know it’s probably going to be longer than three months. And as I’ve said a million times, we’re not moving past COVID-19, we’re learning to live with it. We’re not going to go back to pre-COVID-19 life anytime soon or just forward to post-COVID-19 time, until there is a medicine or a vaccine that allows that. So we’re still living in the age of COVID-19, and that said, we don’t need to freeze life or freeze our economy where it is. But we will continue to need to have the health order about covering our faces, specifically distancing, testing our vulnerable population, and following the numbers when it comes to what steps we take moving forward, assessing those and staying or retreating in some cases when this disease gets bad.
TAPPER: But she did seem to be saying that people are going to be staying at home still through July. I understand we’re not going back to 100 percent normal for quite some time, maybe not even until next year, but are you saying that she’s wrong, that Los Angeles County residents are not going to be staying at home until July?
GARCETTI: No, and I just spoke to her for a few minutes before. We have a great health director in Dr. Ferrer here. We’ve taken her advice and saved thousands if not tens of thousands of lives. And I know most Americans want us to get it right. You look at polls across the country, certainly here in Los Angeles, it’s, go slow, don’t go fast, and get it right so we don’t have to retreat. She wanted to make sure that what I communicated and what she is communicating is that we still need a public health order, because there are some populations who will need to stay at home. People need to know whenever possible that it’s safer to stay at home, so you telecommute. There are no radical changes in the next week coming. That doesn’t mean three weeks from now, six weeks from now, two months from now, we won’t continuously edit that order and make sure we open up safely as much as we can, and if it gets dangerous, we may need to step back at times as well. I’ve always told people the hard truths.